MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday he will not file any criminal charges against any of the 10 Gophers football players who have been suspended indefinitely from the team.
Freeman said University of Minnesota’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action report on the actions of the players regarding an alleged sexual assault on Sept. 2 did not show any new, significant evidence that would enable him to bring charges against any of the players.
“That report shined a light on what can only be described as deplorable behavior,” Freeman said in a statement. “And while the university’s investigation included a handful of new interviews, the information elicited was not significantly different from the information presented to this office following a thorough investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department.”
Freeman said his initial decision not to bring charges against any of the players remains unchanged. In order to charge the players, Freeman said he would have needed proof beyond a reasonable doubt -- a lower standard than the University of Minnesota adhered to when they decided to suspend the players.
"We respect the County Attorney’s decision. As he notes, the University’s athletic suspension decision rests upon different standards and different policies," the U of M said in a statement.
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The Hennepin County Attorney's office declined to comment further because the university's process is continuing with appeals.