Grand jury declines to indict Andre McGee, Katina Powell in sex - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Grand jury declines to indict Andre McGee, Katina Powell in sex scandal case

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Photo from "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," from Indianapolis Business Journal Book Publishing. Photo from "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," from Indianapolis Business Journal Book Publishing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Jefferson County grand jury Thursday declined to indict Katina Powell or Andre McGee on criminal charges in connection with the sex scandal that engulfed the University of Louisville men’s basketball program.

The Commonwealth's Attorney’s office determined there was not the “legally required independent corroboration of the allegations” made in Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” to justify recommending an indictment.

In a statement, Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine said that "in the final analysis there is not sufficient credible evidence assembled to support bringing criminal charges against these individuals."

In a press conference, Wine told reporters that while additional information may develop, "we don't see that on the horizon right now."

Wine's office began issuing subpoenas in October 2015. McGee, a former U of L player, was the team's director of basketball operations when he allegedly paid Powell to provide strippers and dancers for parties at the men's basketball dormitory, where deals were then brokered for sex with players and recruits. 

“We are very happy that the grand jury decided not to indict so Katina Powell can move forward with her life and the community at large and university can move forward," said Bart McMahon, an attorney for Powell, "We’re just happy to put the matter to rest."

Powell still faces a civil lawsuit. 

Scott C. Cox, McGee's attorney, declined to comment. 

Powell has claimed she hosted 22 stripping and sex parties from 2010 to 2014 inside Billy Minardi Hall, the on-campus dorm for athletes. She alleged that McGee arranged the parties and paid her $10,000 for supplying dancers.

Wine said there was no question that recruits were having sex with women, but police and prosecutors were unable to prove that there was an exchange of money. All of the recruits and the alleged prostitutes were of legal age, he added. 

In addition, Wine said, the recruits said they did not pay the women any money and were unable to identify any of the women allegedly involved. 

"We couldn't show the prostitution angle of this," he told reporters. While Powell's book indicated that one of her daughters was under age when she had sex with a recruit, Wine said that information turned out to be false. 

Prosecutors recommended jurors not indict Powell or McGee and the "grand jury agreed with our assessment," Wine said. 

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Christie Foster said Powell was the key witness against McGee and she was not reliable as her story often changed during interviews with the media. 

"We can't prosecute Ms. Powell just based on this book," Foster said. 

Both Foster and Wine noted that the bar is much higher for an indictment than that of a civil case or NCAA investigation. 

Powell did not speak with police and McGee offered "very little" information, Foster said. Wine said investigators had proof of "one wire transfer" of money but it was not enough to build a solid case. 

IBJ Book Publishing, which published "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," received a subpoena to appear before the grand jury on Nov. 5, 2015.

Wine had said the allegations from the book cause "grave concern to me and this community."

"If my office receives credible evidence of sexual abuse or other criminal activity involving minor children, we will vigorously prosecute those responsible for those crimes."

The Commonwealth's Attorney's office released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

After a thorough investigation by the University of Louisville Police Department and a comprehensive review by three prosecutors in the Office of the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney into possible criminal charges arising out of events documented in Katina Powell’s book, Breaking Cardinal Rules, a Jefferson County grand jury has declined to return an indictment against Katina Powell or Andre McGee. Following a presentation today of the evidence that authorities had been able to compile regarding potential crimes, the grand jury agreed with the advice of the Commonwealth’s Attorney office that there is currently insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against either person.

In Powell’s book, she stated that she had provided women to entertain high school basketball players being recruited by the University of Louisville basketball program.  She stated that these women were provided at the request of McGee, the director of basketball operations at the University of Louisville.  The activities, which took place at Minardi Hall on the University of Louisville campus, were alleged to include providing sex to the recruits.  Powell further alleged that all of the activities were paid for by McGee.

Upon publication of the book, law enforcement authorities were originally concerned that Powell used under-aged girls to entertain the recruits.  Once it was determined that no under-aged girls were used, the investigation focused on Prostitution, Unlawful Transactions with a Minor, and other possible criminal charges.  During the investigation, all of the women identified in the book denied having sexual contact with any of the recruits or receiving payment for sex acts.  Interviews with recruits revealed that there were instances of sexual contact with unknown women.  However, none of the recruits were able to confirm any payments had been made to the women by McGee or anyone else.  Nor could the recruits positively identify any of the women with whom they had sexual contact.

After reviewing all of the interviews and evidence, the Commonwealth Attorney’s office concluded that there simply was not the legally required independent corroboration of the allegations made in Powell’s book to justify recommending that Powell or McGee be indicted and to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.  Kentucky law requires that a confession of a defendant, unless made in open court, will not support a conviction unless the confession is supported by independent evidence.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine stated:  “We strongly commend the University of Louisville Police Department for their commitment to investigating whether criminal activity had occurred on the University of Louisville campus during the recruitment of these high school basketball players, but in the final analysis there is not sufficient credible evidence assembled to support bringing criminal charges against these individuals.”

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