A development in the Marcus Coker saga:
Former University of Iowa running back Marcus Coker played in as many as five games after UI officials became aware he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation, an investigation that concluded last week.
Iowa City Police Lt. Doug Hart said Wednesday that UI officials were notified about the investigation either Friday, Oct. 28 — the day the unnamed victim reported the assault — or the following Monday. However, UI officials refused to disclose Wednesday when they learned about the investigation or who was first notified.
The case was recently closed without charges being filed.
A university spokesman declined to discuss Coker leaving school, citing federal privacy laws. The university also wouldn’t discuss why Coker was suspended for the Insight Bowl – or whether it was related to the investigation and, if so, why he was allowed to play five games after the investigation began.
Additional details on the investigation and why charges were not pursued:
According to an Iowa City Police Oct. 28, 2011, Incident Report obtained by the Press-Citizen in an open records request, an unnamed woman reported to police at 4:53 a.m. that she was assaulted by Coker. The assault allegedly occurred between 1:15 and 1:30 a.m. at Coker’s residence at 618 Iowa Ave. An incident synopsis notes the responding officer was called to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for a sexual assault.
Iowa City Police Lt. Doug Hart, head of the department’s investigations unit, told the Press-Citizen on Friday that Coker was investigated for an assault, but the Johnson County Attorney’s Office ultimately decided not to prosecute. Hart said the alleged victim did not wish to go forward with the case.
On Wednesday, Iowa City Police Sgt. Denise Brotherton said the department conducted a “thorough investigation” that concluded Jan. 3. The case could be reopened within five years, Brotherton said, but noted that without the alleged victim’s involvement, there was little the police department could do.
“There’s nothing more for us to do until something else changes,” she said. “Everything just kind of stopped. We can’t have a sexual assault investigation without the victim.”
Coker has been released from his scholarship.