Grand jury doesn’t indict UL staffer in sex scandal

Published 12:05 am Friday, May 26, 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky grand jury declined to indict an escort and former Louisville men’s basketball staffer in a sex scandal that engulfed the program.
The Jefferson County grand jury decided Thursday there wasn’t enough evidence for charges of prostitution and unlawful transactions with a minor against Katina Powell and Andre McGee.
Powell wrote in a book published in 2015 that McGee, a staffer under coach Rick Pitino, had hired her to provide dancers to perform sex acts for Cardinal recruits and players from 2010-2014.
The announcement by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office comes as the school awaits discipline that is expected to be handed down by the NCAA in early June. Pitino has denied knowledge of the activities described in Powell’s book and recently answered the NCAA’s allegation that he failed to monitor McGee.
On Tuesday the coach declined to discuss his hearing with the NCAA that he described as “one of the most difficult days, and I don’t want to relive any of those hours.”
On Thursday, the Attorney’s Office recommended no charges for Powell or McGee, and the grand jury agreed.
“In the final analysis there is not sufficient credible evidence assembled to support bringing criminal charges against these individuals,” Attorney Tom Wine said in the release.
Louisville has self-imposed its own penalties, including a postseason ban in 2015-16 and reductions in scholarships and recruiting visits by coaches.
A message left with Powell’s lawyer, Larry Wilder of Jeffersonville, Indiana, was not immediately answered.
Several investigations were launched after the October 2015 publication of Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.” Powell wrote that McGee had paid her $10,000 for 22 shows from 2010-14 at the team’s Billy Minardi Hall dormitory.
McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant coach at Missouri-Kansas City, which placed him on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced. He eventually resigned from UMKC a couple of weeks later to fight the “false allegations” against him.
The Commonwealth Attorney’s office release said that authorities were originally concerned that Powell had used underage girls to entertain recruits before determined none were used. The investigation then shifted toward charges of prostitution, unlawful transactions with a minor and other charges, the attorney wrote.
All of the women identified in the book denied having sexual contact with recruits or being paid for sex acts, the statement said. Though recruits revealed instances of sexual contact with unknown women, the statement added, none were able to identify of them or confirm that “McGee or anyone else” had paid them.
The attorney’s office ultimately decided there wasn’t enough corroborating evidence to proceed with recommending charges.
“Under Kentucky law, we can’t prosecute someone just based on their statements,” prosecutor Christie Foster said in a brief news conference. “We can’t prosecute Miss Powell just based on this book. We have to have sufficient corroborating evidence to present to a jury, and in this case we just didn’t feel that we have that.”

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