A law enforcement task force appointed by Colorado Governor Bill Owens to look into nine cases of alleged sexual assault concerning Colorado football players will not file criminal charges at this time, the task force announced Tuesday. The announcement comes as an Independent Investigative Committee, formed in February to look into whether or not CU uses sex and alcohol to lure football recruits, is preparing to offer its findings and recommendations to the CU Board of Regents on May 19.
The task force, led by Attorney General Ken Salazar, said in a released statement, "After thorough review and further investigation, the unanimous decision of the Law Enforcement Task Force is to not file criminal charges on these cases at this time based upon evidentiary considerations and/or the expressed wishes of some victims not to be subjected to the criminal justice process. …As with many criminal investigations, these matters will remain open in the event that the nature of evidence of the sexual assault allegation changes in the future."
CU President Elizabeth Hoffman said, also in a released statement, "We have great respect for the difficult work being done by the special prosecutor. We deeply appreciate the timely manner with which the investigations into the sexual assault charges were completed."
Hoffman placed head football coach Gary Barnett on paid administrative leave in February after he made insensitive comments about former CU kicker Katie Hnida, who had alleged she was raped by a former teammate. Hnida has declined to name her alleged attacker.
Hoffman has said she will announce whether or not Barnett will be retained as CU football coach at the end of May.
Three women have brought suit against the university stemming from a party in which they say they were sexually assaulted by football recruits in Dec. 2001. No charges of sexual misconduct were ever brought by Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan in the case.