Washington's Legal Situation Won't Be Resolved Before Season Opener
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Washington’s Legal Situation Won’t Be Resolved Before Season Opener

July 25, 2019

There will not be a resolution to Maurice Washington’s legal situation before the Huskers begin the 2019 football season.

The sophomore running back had another court date in the Santa Clara County Superior Court Thursday morning that served as a setting for a preliminary hearing. Instead, the matter was continued until Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. — the Tuesday after Nebraska opens its season against South Alabama — Benjamin Rada, a spokesperson for the court, confirmed to Hail Varsity

Washington is not required to be in attendance at the new court date, which will look to establish a date for a preliminary hearing. 

“The defense attorney asked for a discussion date to basically sit down the three of us — the judge, myself and he — to discuss the status of the case, and he asked for that delay in order to marshall his information, if you will,” said Quinn Nichols, a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney and prosecutor handling Washington’s case.

“He said he wanted the time to collect some information, speak to Mr. Washington and make sure he had a solid grasp of the case before he sat down to discuss.”

At the new court date on Sept. 3, the three parties — the prosecution, defense and judge — will sit down to potentially set a date for a preliminary hearing, but also to discuss “the case, the status of the case, any potential resolution of the case, (and) the respective positions of both sides.” Nichols said it’s still too early to say what a possible resolution would look like or when that might come.

If and when a preliminary hearing is set, it will serve as the first of potentially two evidentiary hearings. The purpose is to determine whether Washington will be “held to answer” and if a jury trial will be needed. The judge would need to decide whether there’s probable cause that Washington committed a crime in order to move forward with a jury trial.

“That’s not something that’s in the immediate future,” Nichols told Hail Varsity.

Washington faces a felony charge of possession of a video of a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. He is also charged with one misdemeanor count under California’s “Revenge Porn” law for sending that video to the victim to inflict emotional harm.

He was a limited participant during Nebraska’s spring session and he did not play in the April 13 spring game. He has been with the team this summer participating in weight room workouts. At Big Ten Media Days in Chicago on July 18, head coach Scott Frost maintained what he has said since the process began: no decision on Washington’s football status will come before his legal situation is resolved.

“I don’t think (fall) camp’s going to be an issue,” Frost said. “He’s already been doing some of spring ball and working out with our team, so I don’t think any decision would have to be made because of his legal issues being unresolved until the first game.”

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