CU president, coaches sued by woman alleging abuse, cover-up

BOULDER, COLO. - A woman who accused a former University of Colorado assistant football coach of domestic violence is now suing the head coach and several university officials.

Pamela Fine is claiming they knew of the abuse and tried to cover it up.

Fine filed the lawsuit in federal court in Denver on Wednesday against head coach Mike MacIntyre and the others for their handling of her abuse allegations against former coach Joe Tumpkin.

The suit alleges negligence and civil conspiracy.

It also claims Tumpkin choked his girlfriend more than 100 times, threw her against walls, dragged her by her hair and once rammed a cell phone into her mouth so hard it dislodged a dental implant.

Fine, who has since been diagnosed with PTSD, is suing Tumpkin for assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

She notified MacIntyre about the abuse in early December 2016, according to the court filing, hoping to get Tumpkin treatment.

The lawsuit says MacIntyre initially told Fine he’d take appropriate action, but instead contacted CU Athletic Director Rick George.

CU President Bruce Benson and Chancellor Phil DiStefano were eventually briefed as well.

PREVIOUS STORY: Chancellor suspended, coach, AD reprimanded following Tumpkin investigation

The court documents say none of them reported the issue to police or the university’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, though the suit claims they were under obligation to do so.

Instead, a lawyer reportedly acted on behalf of Tumpkin and tried to convince Fine not to go to the police.

She filed a report with Broomfield Police on December 19.

Tumpkin was allowed to coach as interim defensive coordinator in the Alamo Bowl.

He was suspended after the media began asking questions on January 6.

Tumpkin resigned on January 27 and was criminally charged on January 31.

According to court documents, he's facing five felony counts of second-degree assault and three misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault.

The lawsuit doesn’t ask for a specific amount of money.

Tumpkin, MacIntyre, Benson, and DiStefano have 21 days from Wednesday to respond to the suit.

An independent investigation determined the university made mistakes, but there was no intent to cover up the allegations or break the law.

University spokesman Ken McConnellogue says the claims "are not well-founded factually or legally."

The university suspended DiStefano for ten days without pay. It ordered MacIntyre and George to pay $100,000 to domestic violence groups.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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