Grand jury won't indict Katina Powell, Andre McGee in UofL sex scandal

Grand jury won't indict Katina Powell, Andre McGee in UofL sex scandal
Andre McGee (Source: WAVE 3 News file)
Andre McGee (Source: WAVE 3 News file)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Jefferson County grand jury didn't return an indictment against Katina Powell or Andre McGee on Thursday following the presentation of evidence related to the sex scandal that rocked UofL's high-profile men's basketball program in 2015.

The investigation stemmed from events Powell detailed in her book "Breaking Cardinal Rules" in which she stated she had provided women to entertain UofL players and recruits. Powell claimed the women were provided at the request of McGee, then the director of basketball operations at the university. Powell also said McGee paid for the activities, which took place at Minardi Hall on the UofL campus, and were alleged to have included sex parties provided to the athletes.

The grand jury Thursday agreed with the advice of the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office that there currently is insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Powell or McGee.

According to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, law enforcement officials initially were concerned that Powell had used underage girls to entertain the recruits. Once it was determined that juveniles were not used, the investigation focused on prostitution, unlawful transactions with minors, and other possible criminal charges.

During the investigation, all of the women identified in Powell's book denied having sexual contact with any of the recruits or receiving payment for sex acts.

Prosecutors said interviews with recruits revealed instances of sexual contact with unknown women; however none of the recruits could confirm whether payments had been made to the women by McGee or anyone else. The recruits also could not identify any of the women with whom they had sexual contact.

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Prosecutors said Kentucky law requires that confession of a defendant, unless made in open court, will not support a conviction unless the confession is supported by independent evidence. The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office concluded the legally required independent corroboration of the allegations made in Powell's book did not exist.

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

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Christie Foster, who has led the case since 2015, said the other issue at the core of their evidence was Miss Powell's word. Foster told WAVE 3 News that Powell's inconsistencies in interviews, combined with dancers who don't back up her story, left them with little to worj with.

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WAVE 3 News asked Foster about the evidence of a wire payment made at a hotel.

"There was one wire transfer," Foster responded. "One wire transfer we don't feel, that it got us there."

Investigators can't compel anyone to talk. They said Powell's statements about whether her youngest daughter was or wasn't of age were also inconsistent.

"She's ecstatic because this is something she's been worried about," Powell's attorney Larry Wilder said of his client's reaction.

Wilder understands a lot of people wanted to see Powell prosecuted and he knows it's not necessarily over.

"There's no statute of limitations in Kentucky for a felony," Wilder said. "But as of today it was good news for Katina, and it's good news for the community."

As a result of Powell's bombshell book, UofL self-imposed a postseason ban in February 2016 in an effort to lessen whatever sanctions the NCAA might levy. But the NCAA, in its latest response, did not seem to indicate it would weigh that self-ban too heavily.

The NCAA has rejected claims that UofL men's basketball coach Rick Pitino did everything he could have done to prevent the sex scandal.

A decision for the University of Louisville from the NCAA's Committee on Infractions is expected to come in the next three weeks.

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