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Former CU Assistant Coach sentenced to 30 days in jail for assaulting former girlfriend

Joseph Tumpkin pleaded guilty to attacking his former girlfriend between Feb. 27, 2015, and Nov. 20, 2016.
Joe Tumpkin

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A former University of Colorado assistant football coach will spend 30 days in county jail for the assault of his former girlfriend.

Joseph Tumpkin pleaded guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault in February. 

RELATED: Former CU Assistant Coach pleads guilty to third-degree assault

As part of his sentence, Tumpkin will also have 30 months of probation, must complete a domestic violence evaluation and program, must complete a substance abuse evaluation and must comply with a restraining order against the victim. 

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.

Fine asked in court for a 21-month jail sentence for Tumpkin, saying that it was because that is how long he abused her.

Additional charges against Tumpkin have been dropped as part of the plea arrangement. 

Tumpkin's plea came more than 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. 

RELATED: Judge accepts misdemeanor plea deal assault case involving former CU assistant football coach

RELATED: Former CU football coach's domestic violence case delayed

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.

RELATED: CU football investigation report expected

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.

RELATED: CU apologizes to victim in Tumpkin case, admits it should have acted sooner

“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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