COLUMBIA, Mo. – On Tuesday (Nov. 27), local beat writer Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star wrote an article that reports Missouri senior guard Michael Dixon Jr. was accused of forcible rape on Aug. 20. In the aftermath of a strenuous investigation by the Columbia Police Department, no charges were filed. Tracy Gonzalez of the Boone County Prosecutor’s office cited insufficient evidence as the reason and the case was subsequently closed on Nov. 16.
“Based on (the police) review … it was determined that the evidence was not sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury,” said Gonzalez to the KC Star. “That’s how all of our cases are handled, and this wasn’t treated any different than any other investigation that comes through our office.
“If additional evidence were presented, we could always review (the case) in its entirety and make a charge at that point as well, which is why I can’t get into specifics of the case. But it was a thorough investigation.”
Dixon has been suspended from the team since October. No timetable has been set for his return. There are reports claiming the university’s student board is seeking to have him expelled.
Anyway, yours truly had knowledge of the rape accusation several weeks ago. I didn’t report the story because I saw no need to drag Dixon’s name through the mud without proper charges being filed or a conviction.
These are certainly hard times for newspapers because bloggers like yours truly are kicking their asses. Still, Paylor’s article is irresponsible and reeks of desperation. If he had a son, would he really want a journalist publishing something detrimental about him based on an allegation lacking supportive evidence?
This past weekend, the female claimant posted a series of tweets that have since been removed. After former MU player Kim English sent out tweets last Friday in defense of Dixon by calling the student board a “joke,” the woman responded by saying: “The student board is not a ‘joke.’ it wasn’t students it was adults. Dixon is a rapist and I know this because im the victim.”
Later she wrote: “I dont care if you or anyone in the school doesnt believe me. Please do no ever say he did nothing wrong. because he did,” and then this: “Yes, I said it. Michael Dixon sexually assaulted me. That’s why he is suspended. You call can call me names, but I know what he did.”
Dixon posted the following message on his Twitter account that night after the game: “Our team fought hard. I wish I could b out there helping them. I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG!”
Without charges being filed, the only person who did anything wrong was Paylor.
Shame on you KC Star.
Wayne Hodges II, an MBA from St. Mary , is the Blogger-in-Chief of MassAppealNews.com. He’s also a business columnist for Madame Noire, YourBlackWorld.com, and he’s a political blogger with rootshed.com.