Police charge former Duquesne basketball player in Sept. 2 sexual assault case

Raymond Arke | News Editor

01/24/18 UPDATE: Washington appeared in court for his preliminary hearing, according to the criminal docket. His formal arraignment has been scheduled for March 22.

10/30/17

Charges of rape and sexual assault were filed against Duquesne student and former Dukes basketball player Nick Washington on Oct. 29. Washington, who is no longer listed on Duquesne’s 2017-18 Men’s Basketball roster, is facing the accusations after a Sept. 2 incident with a University of Pittsburgh student on Duquesne’s campus.

Washington is facing five criminal charges, including a felony count of rape, a felony count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a felony count of sexual assault, a felony count of aggravated indecent assault and a misdemeanor count of unlawful restraint.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim had met Washington at a party on the night of Sept. 1. She recognized Washington as a member of Duquesne’s basketball team and noted that Washington had shown interest in her.

The victim went to Duquesne’s campus with her friend and a friend of Washington’s. While in a Duquesne dorm, she was separated from her friend and asked Washington to borrow a phone charger for her dead phone, according to the criminal complaint. The complaint then said Washington took the victim into his room, where she plugged in her phone.

While in the room, the complaint alleged that Washington ordered the victim to perform oral sex. The victim told Washington, “No,” but he forced her to perform it anyway, the complaint said. The victim also described Washington as pushing her onto her back and forcing her to perform intercourse. When he got off her, she attempted to leave, but Washington threw her back onto the bed, according to the complaint.

The complaint also said the assault stopped when the victim’s friend texted her cell phone.

According to his official biography on Go Duquesne, Washington was a top 10 2017 recruit for the Caribbean and Latin American regions, as ranked by the Caribbean Basketball Report. He was also the starting forward for the U16, U17 and U18 Puerto Rican national teams. Washington’s bio also notes that his grandfather is a minority owner of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team.  

Bridget Fare, chief marketing and communications officer for Duquesne, said that Washington was no longer on the team as of Sept. 2.

Fare also said that allegations like these do not fit Duquesne’s missions or values.

“Verbal, nonverbal or physical sexual misconduct of any kind will not be tolerated,” she said in a statement.

Casey White, a Pittsburgh-based defense attorney, is representing Washington.

“Nick adamantly denies any and all wrongdoing,” White said.

He said that Washington is “looking forward” to presenting his defense in court.

Dave Saba, media relations for Duquesne Athletics and associate athletics director, and Keith Dambrot, head coach for the men’s basketball team, did not return requests for comment by press time.

Updates will occur as the case progresses and more information becomes available. 

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