March 13, 2004
DENVER (AP) -- The Sports Illustrated writer who reported former University of Colorado place-kicker Katie Hnida was allegedly raped by a teammate had learned weeks earlier of an alleged assault at his own home.
Rick Reilly, whose column criticized Colorado football coach Gary Barnett for failing to monitor his players, said he was not home at the time of the incident involving teenagers and high school football players. No charges were filed.
Reilly did not return a call Friday. But he told the Rocky Mountain News whatever happened at his home Dec. 18 occurred while he was out for dinner. He said he checked with his children once an hour, and when he returned, only his son, his daughter and her friends were there.
"When I came back, everybody seemed fine," he said. Reilly said he never saw any evidence football players had been at his house or that anyone had consumed alcohol or had sex.
He said he learned of the allegation Jan. 9, the day one of the girls reported it to police.
According to a police report, a 14-year-old girl reported being sexually assaulted by two high school football players during a slumber party at Reilly's suburban Denver home after she had alcohol.
"The victim stated that she was taken advantage of sexually by both suspects during a period when she was unable to comprehend what was happening to her," the officer wrote in the report.
Prosecutors decided not to file charges because there were conflicting statements from the teenagers involved and not enough physical evidence to determine who was telling the truth, said Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver district attorney's office.
In his Feb. 16 column, Reilly first reported Hnida's allegation of rape while she was on the Colorado football team. He also said Barnett should have known about alleged sexual assault and harassment involving his players.
Reilly said he didn't believe it was appropriate or necessary to refer to the incident at his home in the column.
Seven women have said they were raped by Colorado football players or recruits since 1997. No charges been filed, but the state attorney general and a Board of Regents panel is investigating.
Three of the women have sued the school saying they were raped at or just after an off-campus party attended by football players and recruits in 2001. One of the woman said she was intoxicated and "in and out of awareness" when she was assaulted.
Hnida, who played only the 1999 season in Colorado, joined New Mexico in 2002 as a walk-on. As a Lobo last season, she became the first female player to score in a Division I game -- kicking two extra points.