BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Former University of Colorado assistant football coach Joseph Tumpkin on Friday pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor third-degree assault of his former girlfriend.
Tumpkin was initially charged with five felony counts of second-degree assault and three misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault for a series of alleged attacks on his then-girlfriend, Pamela Fine, between Feb. 27, 2015, and Nov. 20, 2016, in Broomfield.
Among the allegations are that 47-year-old Tumpkin repeatedly choked Fine.
Additional charges against Tumpkin have been dropped as part of the plea arrangement. Sentencing is set for April 25 in Broomfield District Court.
Tumpkin's plea today comes more than just over a month after the case was delayed while a judge considered the deal and to give Fine a chance to be present in court. On Jan. 22, the judge accepted the plea deal.
Tumpkin was forced to resign his position as defensive backs coach after the allegations became public.
An internal investigation found that school officials mishandled the case after it was brought to their attention.
As a result of the investigation, Chancellor Phil DiStefano was suspended for 10 days without pay and issued a letter of reprimand.
Then-football coach Mike MacIntyre and Athletic Director Rick George were ordered to make a $100,000 donation to a domestic violence education program, as well as receive one-on-one training in how to handle future allegations of misconduct.
CU acknowledged that MacIntyre and George learned of the violence allegations in "mid-December” 2016 but waited until Jan. 6, 2017, to suspend Tumpkin because no criminal charges had been filed and officials had not seen documentation of the allegations.
Fine filed a report with the Broomfield Police Department on Dec. 19, 2016, and applied for a restraining order the next day. That restraining order application includes her detailed allegations of violence she alleged at the hands of Tumpkin.
“He came home around midnight intoxicated on that Friday night,” the woman wrote. “When I tried to end our relationship, he became angry and started jabbing his finger in my face. He then pinned me against the wall & choked me. The night after the game, he sat on my back & pulled me back by my hair. He threw me into the wall, on the ground & choked me. He finally pulled me out of the leather chair by the roots of my hair & dragged me across the dining room to the door where he told me to ‘get the f--- out.’”
The woman also alleged that she was first assaulted by Tumpkin on Feb. 27, 2015, at an area hotel.
“Joe grabbed me & threw me against the wall,” she wrote in her application. “He also threw me on the bed when I tried to leave. He wouldn’t let me leave. I had bruises on both wrists and forearms, as well as my legs.”
“In addition to throwing me against walls, to the ground, & onto the bed, he would get on top of me & choke me,” the woman wrote. “He would also bite my face during these attacks. Afterward, he would text that he was sorry & that it wouldn’t happen again (but it always did). He also assaulted me in Michigan at my home, in Tampa, Chicago & Colorado Springs.”
After MacIntyre and George learned of the allegations against Tumpkin but before they became public, CU’s defensive coordinator, Jim Leavitt, resigned to take a similar position at the University of Oregon – and MacIntyre named Tumpkin to call the defensive signals when the Buffalos played in the Alamo Bowl.
This story draws on previous reporting from 9Wants to Know reporter Kevin Vaughan.
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