An erstwhile Nebraska running back’s legal odyssey has taken yet another twist.
Maurice Washington‘s preliminary court appearances in a California courtroom on a pair of charges, including a felony, had been scheduled on four previous occasions; all four times, those appearances had been pushed back for various reasons, with the latest target date being Dec. 12. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the fifth delay is now in the books as Wednesday’s hearing has been rescheduled for Jan. 10. The reason? Washington’s attorney was unable to get hold of his client to appear remotely before the judge.
At the January hearing, Washington will be required to appear in person. “Previously Washington had been allowed to appear in court remotely,” the World-Herald wrote.
Appearing in a Santa Clara County (Calif.) courtroom in April, Washington was arraigned on a pair of charges, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor, in connection to a situation whose genesis was nearly two years ago. In mid-February, a Santa Clara County judge signed a warrant filed a couple of days earlier that sought the arrest of the then-Nebraska running back for alleged violation of that state’s revenge-porn law. It’s alleged that Washington sent a sexually-explicit 10-second video, recorded two years prior by someone other than Washington, involving a then-15-year-old female and two other boys, neither of whom was Washington, to that same female in early March of 2018. The female has claimed she is being sexually assaulted in the video, which allegedly shows the teenager performing oral sex on one boy while another masturbates.
Washington is facing a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of posting a video or photograph of a person engaging in or simulating sexual conduct without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress. Washington had dated the alleged victim prior to the video being recorded.
In late July, Washington’s preliminary court appearance was pushed back to the morning of Sept. 3, after Nebraska’s opener. That appearance had originally been scheduled for mid-June before it too was pushed back. The September appearance was canceled and rescheduled, as was the one in mid-October.
After some academic uncertainty throughout the offseason, Washington was cleared to join the Cornhuskers football team in early August of last year. As a true freshman, and despite the off-field cloud hanging over him from the start of the season, Washington rushed for 455 yards and three touchdowns, numbers that were both good for third on the team. His 24 receptions were also third-best, while his 221 receiving yards were fourth.
In the first seven games this season, which included a pair of half-game suspensions unrelated to the California court case, Washington ran for 298 yards and a touchdown on 50 carries. He also had 12 catches for another 162 yards and two more touchdowns.
Those would be the only stats he would record on the season as, on Oct. 21, Scott Frost announced not a part of the Cornhuskers’ plans “in the immediate future.” A couple of days later, the head coach left the door open for Washington’s return.
A spokesperson for the university, which is in the midst of finals this week, told the World-Herald that Washington is still enrolled in classes.