NASCAR driver Kurt Busch will not be charged criminally in the domestic violence case involving his former girlfriend, the Delaware Department of Justice announced on Thursday.
Busch was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR last month after a Delaware court ruled "it is more likely than not" that he committed an act of abuse against Patricia Driscoll. In addition, Chevy announced that it was suspending its partnership with Busch.
Driscoll had filed a criminal complaint with Dover police.
"The Delaware Department of Justice has carefully reviewed the complaint made of an alleged act of domestic violence involving Kurt Busch in Dover on September 26, 2014, which was reported to the Dover Police Department on Nov. 5, 2014 and investigated," the department said in a statement. "After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the September 26th incident.
"Likelihood of meeting that high burden of proof is the standard for prosecutors in bringing a case. For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case."
Busch released a statement on Thursday.
"I am grateful that the prosecutors in Delaware listened, carefully considered the evidence, and after a thorough investigation decided to not file criminal charges against me," Busch said. "I wish to thank my family, friends, fans, and race team who stood by me throughout this nightmare with their unwavering support. Thanks also goes to my legal team for making sure that the truth got out and was fully provided to the prosecutors. As I have said from the beginning, I did not commit domestic abuse. I look forward to being back in racing as soon as possible and moving on with my life."
NASCAR also released a statement, saying Busch remains suspended but is currently participating in a reinstatement program.
"NASCAR is aware of the Delaware Department of Justice announcement today regarding driver Kurt Busch. As we disclosed Monday, he has accepted the terms and conditions of a reinstatement program and is actively participating in the program. Kurt Busch's eligibility for reinstatement will continue to be governed by that program and the NASCAR Rule Book, though the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges certainly removes a significant impediment to his reinstatement."
Last month, the Delaware court issued a year-long protective order against Busch. Under the conditions of the order, Busch must remain away from ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, except "at NASCAR races and related events where closer proximity is required." Busch also "will be required to be so evaluated by a licensed mental health professional and to comply with any recommendations of the evaluator for counseling or treatment."
Busch reportedly agreed to NASCAR's recommendations to be eligible for reinstatement after losing two rounds of appeals for reinstatement prior to the Daytona 500. During Busch's absence, Regan Smith has driven the No. 41 Chevrolet. On Monday, Stewart-Haas Racing said there was no timetable for when Busch would meet NASCAR's terms for reinstatement.
BREAKING: Delaware DoJ announces they're not pursing criminal charges against Kurt Busch.— Drew Lawrence (@by_drew) March 5, 2015