When news first surfaced of the sexual assault allegations against a Washington Huskies basketball player, coach Lorenzo Romar told the media that there wasn't enough information for the program to determine what was going to be done, although they were taking it seriously.
Understandably, that answer might have seemed evasive to the 16-year-old girl involved in the case and her family.
However, Romar's initial comment was pretty much the same conclusion reached by the Seattle Police Department and King County Prosecutor's Office as announced in a release today reported by the Seattle PI: insufficient evidence for a charge.
UW basketball player won't be charged in sexual assault case
Police investigated whether the girl gave her consent and concluded there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges.
"The King County Prosecutor's Office has conducted its own review and has reached the same conclusion," a statement from Satterberg's office said. "The decision to decline to file felony charges is based on the review of witness statements taken by Seattle Police, including statements from a 16-year old friend of the complaining witness, and two other men who were present in the basketball player's apartment."
Most unclear from the redacted police report - and a complex issue in any case of this nature - was the matter of consent. In the state of Washington the legal age of consent is 16 and a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor could only have been brought if the player was more than 60 months (5 years) older than the girl. Thus the fact that the two investigations found insufficient evidence for lacking consent is what ultimately determined this outcome.
The PI also reports that the player could still be charged furnishing alcohol to a minor by the City Attorney's office. The basketball player's name has not been released, which is appropriate given that no felony charges for the sexual assault claim have been brought against him.
The girl's father already took to the airwaves today to express his displeasure with the decision and we can probably expect to hear more in the intervening days up until and likely after Romar makes a statement in response to the charges. It's worth noting, that the legal conclusion to the case does not make things any easier for the family of the girl who filed the initial complaint - lacking legal evidence by no means diminishes whatever emotional stress the girl experienced throughout this ordeal or the pain it has caused her family.