COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A former Xavier University women’s basketball assistant coach who was accused of groping a player was acquitted of misdemeanor charges on Monday.
Bryce McKey was found not guilty of sexual abuse and unlawful transaction with a minor in a bench trial in Covington. The 29-year-old ex-assistant coach pleaded not guilty last year.
The woman’s attorney said he was saddened by the decision.
“No one should have to endure sexual assault in the first place but in particular when the perpetrator is a person in a trusted position,” attorney Walter Madison said.
A message left for McKey’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned.
A Xavier player who McKey coached said he asked her to go to his Covington home to help him prepare to move on May 2, 2015, and repeatedly touched her inappropriately.
The player, who was under 21 at the time, said McKey gave her shots of a dark alcohol several times, hugged her and touched her. She also testified that he placed his hand on her thigh as they drove back from a restaurant.
But Kenton County District Court Judge Ann Ruttle questioned whether the player’s accusations rose to the level of sexual abuse, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (http://cin.ci/1qEB2b9 ).
“If she truly was uncomfortable about what was going on … why didn’t she leave?” the judge said.
The judge also said that there were too many times when the woman didn’t object. She found that there was no evidence that McKey knew the woman was under 21.
Xavier, a Jesuit, Catholic university in Cincinnati, said McKey wasn’t employed there at the time.
McKey had accepted an assistant coach position at the University of Maryland but resigned after he was charged.
The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify people who say they have been sexually abused.