A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre and other school officials by a woman who accused a former Buffs assistant football coach of domestic violence.

By Emily Caron
July 20, 2018

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by Pamela Fine that accused Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre, athletic director Rick George, chancellor Phil DiStefano and President Bruce Benson of failing to properly handle the accusations of domestic violence against former Buffs assistant coach Joe Tumpkin.

As detailed in a 2017 SI.com story, Fine said she called MacIntyre in December 2016 and alleged extensive abuse by Tumpkin, her ex-boyfriend, over a phone call with the head coach. Tumpkin, who resigned as assistant coach in January 2017, was soon charged with five counts of felony second-degree assault. MacIntyre and the CU officials were accused of failing to report the alleged abuse to the proper authorities. From the SI story:

After hearing about the alleged abuse on Dec. 9, 2016, during an emotional, 34-minute phone conversation with the alleged victim, MacIntyre responded by informing his athletic director, Rick George, of the allegation; by blocking the alleged victim’s number from his phone; by sharing the allegation with the alleged abuser, safeties coach Joe Tumpkin; and by giving Tumpkin the phone number for the football program’s go-to defense attorney. “[The alleged victim] told me [Tumpkin] needs to get help—that was her thought,” MacIntyre told investigators. “My whole thing was to get a lawyer.”

Last September, Fine filed a lawsuit against Tumpkin in U.S. District Court in Denver, alleging assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional affliction of emotional distress. She filed a second suit against MacIntyre, George, DiStefano, and Benson for negligence.

This second suit filed by Fine against MacIntyre and CU administrators was dismissed by U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez on Wednesday. Martinez issued a ruling stating that the university did not have a legal obligation to Fine as she was not affiliated with the school.

In the ruling, Martinez wrote that the, "defendants' alleged failure to follow the university's rules and policies did not increase the risk of harm to (Fine) given that, as someone with no affiliation with or connection to the university, she was not within the group of individuals that the policies were designed to protect."

He also added that "Tumpkin could have engaged in the exact same conduct regardless of his affiliation with the university... The university and (defendants) provided neither access nor cover for Tumpkin's alleged conduct."

CU spokesman Ryan Huff issued a statement on the ruling and said they "believe that Judge Martinez correctly recognized our employees did not violate the law and that there was no legal basis for the claims against them."

Fine's lawsuit against Tumpkin remains in place.

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