MSU Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo accused of contacting witness

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EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Michigan State Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo contacted a witness in a sex-assault case involving one of his players before that witness talked to police, according to a police report.

The report said the incident happed after a woman accused then-freshman Brock Washington of forcibly groping and kissing her back in August of 2017.

Campus police said MSU student Brayden Smith told them Coach Izzo, along with assistant coaches Mike Garland and Dwayne Stephens, contacted him about the alleged assault and had asked him what he had seen.

Smith is the son of former Michigan State All-American Steve Smith and has known the coaches for years.

An MSU spokeswoman told ESPN that is why the university's Office of Institutional Equity determined Coach Izzo and his assistants did not violate a policy against interfering with an investigation or conducting one of their own.

The August 2017 incident was the first of two sexual assault cases involving Washington. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault the next year.

Washington was accused of raping a woman in January. The Ingham County Prosecutor's Office said they chose not to file charges, releasing the following statement to News 10:

"It was the consensus of our prosecution team that the case could not be proven in court as required under law. As the county prosecutor, ultimately I am the official who reports directly to the people of Ingham County. I have determined that the case does not meet the burden of proof that we must present to a jury," said Prosecutor Carol A. Siemon said.

The case has been passed along to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's Office.

News 10 spoke with the woman accusing Washington of raping her back in January. She told detectives she blacked out and doesn't remember what happened, so she tried to piece together what happened the next day.

"Everything I saw was that I was completely out of it. I was basically when I was unconscious when I was laying in the room. I was not aware of my surroundings. There was no possible way I could give consent," the woman told News 10.

The police report said she woke up, not knowing how she got home and realized she didn't have underwear on and couldn't find them.

The underwear was later found at Washington's apartment while police executed a search warrant.

"I could've found out the next day and I didn't. I think that's what hurts me the most. Finding out from a detective I always felt so far behind," the woman said.

Washington initially denied the allegations during an interview with detectives, said he didn't leave the kitchen when he got to his apartment with the woman and her roommate.

The police report outlines Washington's story changed as detectives asked more questions.

Washington eventually told detectives he did have sexual encounters with the woman but stopped when he noticed the accuser wasn't alright.

Then, MSU police sent the case to the Ingham County prosecutor, who decided to not file charges.

"Her main thing was just dropping it. It seemed like it was so easy for her. The decision was done, it was made, that was that kind of thing. It was I was too intoxicated," the accuser said.

News 10 reached out to Coach Izzo for a comment, but he has not responded.

MSU Athletic Director released the following statement regarding Coach I to News 10:

"Tom Izzo has been a beacon of integrity in his profession for nearly four decades, including a quarter-century as head coach. Michigan State's Office of Institutional Equity has gone on record to say that no policies were violated in regards to any actions taken by the men's basketball staff during a Title IX investigation into a student. There's nothing to support any claims that any member of the men's basketball staff conducted their own investigation, or interfered with any ongoing investigation. Any insinuation to the contrary is nothing more than an attempt to smear a coach, a program and an entire university."

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