UPDATE (3:15 p.m.): Nebraska has released a statement.
“Last fall we were contacted by the Nebraska Attorney General’s office and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln police department and made aware that officials in California were interested in interviewing Maurice Washington about a prior incident. Details were not shared and there was no additional follow up with the Nebraska Athletic Department. Recently, we were made aware that charges may be filed against Maurice in California. We have not had a chance to review the charges, and will continue to monitor this ongoing legal process.”
Sophomore running back Maurice Washington is facing criminal charges under California’s “revenge porn” law in connection to a video of a 15-year-old allegedly being sexually assaulted, according to a report published Monday by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit.
From the report:
San Jose native Maurice Washington III did not record the video and is not part of the alleged assault involving his ex-girlfriend and two former classmates. But Washington is accused of keeping the video on his phone and sending it to the victim last March, along with the message, “Remember this hoe [sic].”
Washington, who dated the victim during his freshman year at The King’s Academy High School in Sunnyvale, is being charged under the “Revenge Porn” law because he’s accused of sending the video to inflict emotional damage on the victim. Because the victim was 15 when the video was recorded, he’s also being charged with distribution of child pornography, a felony.
According to the report, Nebraska was made aware of the allegations against Washington “sometime last fall,” while Washington played through his freshman season. The former 4-star recruit played in all but one of the Huskers’ 2018 games, missing the Purdue game with injury.
Washington's attorney, John C. Ball, issued the following statement to NBC Bay Area:
“This is a situation involving an inappropriate cell phone video. The allegations are that Mr. Washington sent that video to his high school girlfriend. Mr. Washington did not make the video, nor does he appear in the video. The incident is alleged to have taken place in California, several years ago. Mr. Washington will continue to be fully cooperative with the authorities in this situation. We are in contact with those authorities, and are in the process of making arrangements to move forward and resolve this matter. Mr. Washington has confidence in our justice system, and knows that he can rely on the fundamental constitutional rights of due process and the presumption of innocence.”
The Sherriff’s Department in Santa Clara County has, according to the report, made several attempts to interview Washington during an investigation that has spanned multiple months but has been unable to reach him through either the athletic department of Washington’s former attorney, Jon Bruning, the former Attorney General of Nebraska.
According to a lead investigator on the case, Bruning, when reached for comment, “questioned whether charges would actually be filed against his client when contacted last fall by the Sheriff’s Department” and questioned the severity of the situation.
Washington is the second person to be criminally charged in connection to the video, according to the report, which was recorded in 2016. One of the teenage boys depicted in the video of the alleged sexual assault was arrested in 2016 and placed on probation for distribution of child pornography after he recorded the video and sent copies to classmates.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.