Nebraska vs. Bethune-Cookman, 10/27

Nebraska running back Maurice Washington (28) scores on a second-quarter run against Bethune-Cookman at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 27. 

Newly filed documents in a California court laid out a timeline for investigators' attempts through the fall to talk to Husker running back Maurice Washington about allegations that in March 2018 he'd sent an ex-girlfriend a video of her being sexually assaulted by two others.

This week, Washington was charged there with a misdemeanor under the state's "revenge porn" law — and with a felony child porn charge — for the 10-second video sent from his phone number to the girl, now 17.

This week, Clarissa Hamilton, the Santa Clara district attorney prosecuting the case, said it could take one to three months for a judge to sign an arrest warrant.

"Once a warrant is active Mr. Washington can either be extradited or he can self-surrender. Should he choose the latter option there would be no objection," she said in an email to the Journal Star.

Washington's attorney, John Ball, said Washington would go to California at some point and make a voluntary appearance in the case.

Specific arrangements are still in progress, he said.

On Wednesday, more details in the case came out through investigative reports filed in the court. In them, Detective Colin Haselbach of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said the girl's mother reported it on March 2, 2018.

She had her daughter's phone when it received a video, taken two years earlier of her daughter, then 15, and two other boys, then 17 and 18, and a text saying "do you remember this hoe?".

One of the teens in the video later was prosecuted in juvenile court for what happened after the video was sent to boys at her school.

Washington dated the girl prior to what happened and wasn't involved in it, according to the reports. But the two occasionally kept in touch through texts or messages on social media. The girl said he'd threatened to send her a copy of the video once before.

"It was almost like a feeling of 'what the heck?' You knew what happened and you're trying to make me feel bad," she told the investigator.

As part of the investigation, Haselbach began attempting to track down Washington, who signed with Nebraska on Feb. 7, 2018, while still going to high school in Texas.

Washington was not cleared academically until Aug. 1, so he first joined the Husker football team during the second day of preseason camp.

On Aug. 28, the investigator called Washington's cellphone trying to reach him, but he didn't answer, Haselbach said.

He then reached out to the Nebraska Attorney General's Office after learning that Washington had started playing football at Nebraska, and on Aug. 29 contacted an investigator there, Ed Sexton, to ask for help.

When Sexton reached out, Washington responded with a text asking who it was. Sexton identified himself as law enforcement and asked for a phone call, but he didn't get a reply.

On Sept. 13, Sexton contacted UNL police to request Washington's contact information. Later that day, Sexton got a call from Jamie Vaughn, compliance director with Nebraska Athletics, saying UNL police had informed him of Sexton's interest in talking to Washington.

"Mr. Vaughn spoke to the UNL Football Staff who were concerned about Maurice needing a lawyer," Haselbach said.

He said Vaughn indicated he would try to set up a date for Sexton to speak with Washington. But a day later, Sexton got a call from former Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who said he was representing the Athletic Department.

Haselbach said Sexton informed Bruning about the nature of the case, and Bruning agreed to speak with Washington and his coaches and let Sexton know if he would be able to interview him, according to the documents.

On Sept. 19, Bruning called Haselbach and told him he had briefly spoken to Washington about the allegation.

"Maurice told Mr. Bruning he did not know what Mr. Bruning was talking about and he was befuddled by it," he wrote in his report.

When Bruning told Washington he was being investigated for sending a video of a sexual nature to an underage girl, Washington said he would never do that and didn't know what Bruning was talking about, Haselbach said.

"I again explained to Mr. Bruning my desire to have Maurice interviewed about the incident by either Investigator Sexton or myself," he said.

Haselbach said Bruning told him he would need to speak to Washington to determine if that was possible. When he hadn't heard back by Dec. 14, Haselbach called and sent him emails with copies of the search warrants in the case.

An interview never happened.

The Nebraska Athletic Department on Monday acknowledged that it was contacted in relation to California officials wanting to interview Washington, and in a statement said, "Details were not shared and there was no additional follow up with the Nebraska Athletic Department."

Athletic Director Bill Moos, speaking on the "Husker Sports Nightly" radio show Tuesday night, said the department is treating it as a legal matter.

"We want to make sure that Maurice is cooperating, which he is," Moos said. "We also want to make sure that he knows that he has a great deal of support.

"Then, really, the legal system kind of guides it from here on out."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.



Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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