University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic department spokesman Keith Mann provided further details into the extent of the university’s knowledge of running back Maurice Washington III’s investigation in a statement released to the Omaha World-Herald Thursday.
A judge in Santa Clara County issued an arrest warrant for Washington for distribution of child pornography and “revenge porn” under California Law.
In the statement, Mann said the police shared executive associate athletic director for compliance Jamie Vaughn’s contact information to the attorney general’s office. He also said UNLPD did not know the nature of the inquiry.
According to Mann, Vaughn spoke with Ed Sexton, an investigator in the attorney general’s office. Sexton told Vaughn the attorney general’s office was cooperating with an agency in California and he wanted to talk to Washington as a representative of the agency.
Sexton said Washington was not in trouble in Nebraska and wouldn’t say why the agency wanted to talk to him. Vaughn said he would try to arrange an interview.
Mann said Vaughn did not have another conversation with the attorney general’s office.
"Following department protocol, Vaughn informed Bob Burton, Deputy Athletic Director-Chief of Staff, and Athletic Director Bill Moos of the conversation with the Nebraska Attorney General’s office," Mann said.
He said the football staff introduced Washington to former Nebraska attorney general Jon Bruning, telling both Bruning and Washington that Washington must be treated as a normal client.
According to Mann, head coach Scott Frost had further conversation with Bruning in an attempt to figure out if the program needed to be concerned with the issue or take any action. Bruning didn’t reveal the nature of the inquiry because of “attorney-client privilege,” though he did say it involved a text message from Washington’s time in California and “doubted it would result in criminal charges.”
Mann said no one within the athletic department heard anything further on the issue until Michael Bott, a reporter from NBC Bay Area, contacted the university on Feb. 8 to say the station “will be reporting soon that a University of Nebraska football player is facing felony child pornography charges, as well as misdemeanor charges related to California’s ‘revenge porn’ statute."
He said Bott identified the player as Washington later that day.
"This was the first time any reference to the nature of these charges was known to University officials," he said.
Mann added that Washington was not enrolled at UNL when he allegedly sent the video to his ex-girlfriend in March 2018, and he didn’t enroll until August.
Washington’s current attorney John C. Ball also issued a statement Thursday regarding Washington’s warrant.
“I have also specifically confirmed that we will continue to move forward with a self-surrender, meaning that Mr. Washington will not be arrested or extradited, and that he will voluntarily appear in court in California. We are still in the process of determining a timeframe for that first court appearance, as well as continued discussions regarding possible resolutions and the accompanying timeframes associated with those resolutions. Regardless of any of those timeframes, Mr. Washington will remain fully cooperative in this matter,” he said.