LINCOLN — Nebraska running back Maurice Washington is expected to return Thursday to a California court where he’s charged with two crimes, including a felony.
According to the prosecutor handling Washington’s case, a final resolution is unlikely to occur this month.
Quinn Nichols, a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney, said Wednesday the hearing, scheduled for 7 a.m., is likely to include a request from Washington’s public defender that the two sides, plus the judge, set a future date to discuss the case. Nichols estimated that court date could be four to six weeks from Thursday.
“It’s too early for me to tell you where we’re at as to what a potential resolution might look like,” Nichols said.
The 19-year-old Washington is accused of sending a 10-second video to an ex-girlfriend in March 2018 depicting the girl performing oral sex. Washington was not involved in the recording of the video or the sex act. The girl was 15 when the video was recorded in 2016.
Washington faces a felony charge of possession of a video of a person under 18 engaging in or simulating sexual conduct. He also is charged with one misdemeanor count of sharing a recording without the person’s consent.
Nichols said his office has not sat down to discuss the case with Washington’s public defender, Andres Del Alcazar, who is handling the case because Washington’s Lincoln-based attorney, John Ball, does not have a license to practice in California. Neither Del Alcazar nor Ball immediately responded to requests for comment from The World-Herald.
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Little progress has been made in four previous court hearings, Nichols said, because Washington first needed a lawyer in California. That public defender was assigned in May. A request from the defense for more information was made in June, which prompted a continuance to July.
Washington may be able to participate in Thursday’s hearing by phone. Nebraska doesn’t begin training camp until next week.
The sophomore spent the spring as a “limited participant,” according to coach Scott Frost, and didn’t play in the spring game. Washington wasn’t always at practice during the spring based on reporters’ observations.
Frost said at Big Ten media days that Washington has been working out with teammates over the summer and has done “a pretty good job” with the team. The coach indicated Washington will not be limited in training camp, even if the case remains unresolved.
“We’re going to wait and see how it all turns out with Maurice,” Frost said. “He’s been doing a pretty good job in the weight room and with the team. But we won’t make any decisions on (team) status or anything until we know that his legal problems are over. I don’t want to guess on which way we’ll land depending on what happens.
“I don’t think camp’s going to be an issue. He’s already been doing some with spring ball and working out with our team. So I don’t think any decision would have to be made because of his legal issues being unresolved until the first game.”
The incident in California emerged in February as charges were filed against Washington. The Nebraska athletic department learned in September that an investigator in California was trying to get in contact with Washington, but NU said it didn’t learn of the nature of the allegations until February.