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Thursday, September 30, 2004
Updated: October 1, 2:06 PM ET
Report resulted in one indictment

Associated Press

DENVER -- A judge has rejected requests to unseal the grand jury investigation of the sex-and-booze scandal surrounding the University of Colorado football program, saying he could only release the report had no indictment been returned.

The sprawling investigation of the scandal resulted in a single indictment against a former football recruiting aide, Nathan Maxcey.

He is charged with misdemeanor solicitation and two felonies -- embezzlement of public property and theft, both related to allegations he used a school cell phone to call a dating chat line. Maxcey has said he used a university-issued cell phone to call an escort service but that the calls were to arrange liaisons only for himself.

The grand jury reportedly criticizes how Boulder campus chancellor Richard Byyny oversaw the athletic department and the climate athletic director Dick Tharp and football coach Gary Barnett created within the department.

The Board of Regents reportedly agreed to ask district judge Jeffrey Bayless to suppress the report because the grand jury called them "unqualified" to oversee the athletic department.

Attorney general Ken Salazar, whose office investigated allegations that nine women were assaulted by football players since 1997, has called for a release of the grand jury report.

Bayless, however, said state legal precedent was clear -- he could only release a report if no indictments are issued. Salazar promised an appeal.

"We believe the grand jury's investigation of Mr. Maxcey's activities was legally separate from its other investigation resulting in its report," Salazar said.

University co-counsel Tom Strickland said the judge was appropriately following the law.

"The grand jury did not have jurisdiction in this instance to issue a report," he said. "There are other parties and other interests, not just the university's interests."

The football recruiting scandal erupted early this year after depositions in a lawsuit against the school were released. Boulder County district attorney Mary Keenan said in a deposition in a lawsuit by Lisa Simpson that she believed the football program uses sex- and alcohol-fueled parties to interest recruits in attending CU.

Simpson is one of three women suing the school, claiming they were raped during or after an off-campus party attended by football players and recruits in December 2001.

No sexual assault charges have ever been filed, but the allegations led to investigations by an independent commission, university officials and the grand jury. The federal suits are still pending, and a May trial date has been set.