LINCOLN — Nebraska running back Maurice Washington on Wednesday is expected to attend the first of what could be several court hearings in California on criminal charges tied to him allegedly texting a 10-second sex video.
At Wednesday’s Santa Clara County court appearance — set for 1:30 p.m. California time — Washington will enter a plea and the judge will review his bail amount. A limited participant in Nebraska’s spring football practices, Washington returned to California in early March to turn himself in. At the time, he was booked into the Santa Clara County jail, and the court date was scheduled. Washington’s bail was set at $35,000. He posted bail and was released.
Washington faces a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge that stem from his alleged sharing in 2018 of a video of a 15-year-old performing oral sex. The felony charge is possession of a video of a person under 18 engaging in or simulating sexual conduct. The misdemeanor charge is sharing a recording without the person’s consent.
The NU sophomore is accused of texting a 10-second video of the sex act to the girl who was in the video in March 2018. Washington was not in the video and did not record the video, which was recorded in 2016.
Washington and the girl had dated in ninth grade at a California high school, but last year had started communicating through Instagram.
She wanted to congratulate Washington — then at Trinity Christian Academy near Dallas — for signing to play football at Nebraska. According to a Santa Clara County sheriff’s investigator report, Washington then began making romantic advances, and the girl said she just wanted to be friends.
Washington then allegedly texted the video to the girl and wrote, “Remember this hoe.”
The Nebraska athletic department has said no athletic officials, including coach Scott Frost, were aware of the specifics of the investigation when authorities called to speak with Washington last fall. They introduced Washington to former Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning to represent him, and Bruning did so until Lincoln attorney John Ball took over in February. Bruning is a longtime friend of Frost and Matt Davison, an associate athletic director at NU.
Frost has said during spring practice he wanted to keep Washington’s daily routine as normal as possible while acknowledging Washington’s need to address legal issues that were more important. Frost said he’s also talked to his players about representing the university in all of their actions.
“Our guys at Nebraska need to understand they don’t just represent themselves, they represent their team, and the athletic department and the University of Nebraska,” Frost said in late February. “It’s disappointing to me anytime any of those — the team and the university — is represented in a bad light.”
Washington could be NU’s No. 1 running back next season but will face competition from Dedrick Mills, Rahmir Johnson and Ronald Thompkins, all of whom arrive this summer. This spring, sophomore Jaylin Bradley, redshirt freshman Brody Belt and, when healthy, senior Wyatt Mazour have received most of the work when Washington wasn’t participating. Two freshman slot receivers, Wan’Dale Robinson and Miles Jones, also played at running back in high school.
The World-Herald's Bob Glissmann contributed to this report.