CU Buffs

Alleged victim in Tumpkin domestic abuse case files lawsuit against group of CU employees

BOULDER - In a press release sent on Wednesday from Peter R. Ginsburg Law LLC, Pamela Fine, the alleged victim in the Joe Tumpkin domestic abuse case, announced that she will be taking legal action against the University of Colorado and the athletic staff.

The suit, which named several individuals associated with Colorado football, is entitled Pamela Fine v. Joseph M. Tumpkin, Mike MacIntyre, Rick George, Philip DiStefano and Bruce Benson.

The lawsuit asserts multiple counts, including claims of assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Tumpkin. It also names MacIntyre, George, DiStefano, and Benson in claims of negligence and civil conspiracy.

The statement from Fine, who is no longer going under a pseudonym "as a show of strength against past intimidation" is as follows.

On December 9, 2016 when I reached out to Coach MacIntyre, it was out of fear for Joe, myself, other women, the players, and the community of Boulder because Joe had become very dangerous to himself and others.

I didn't want to publicly hurt Joe, the coaching staff and their wives, and all the Colorado football players who had worked so hard to get to their first bowl game. I wanted to protect my abuser and the people around him. I finally picked up the phone to tell my truth to a trusted leader whom I believed would help Joe.

Instead, I unintentionally walked into a world that I had read about but did not believe. For that, I apologize to every survivor whom I secretly questioned in my head as I read their stories of being marginalized and re-victimized by the machine of college athletics.

So, this is no longer about protecting the man who abused me and the powerful men who decided not to do what they were morally, contractually, and legally required to do. I am no longer protecting the men who silence victims in the name of winning football games.

I am now standing up for the young women who sit in my office, where I am a Dean in a large, public high school, every day getting ready to go off to college. They deserve to be safe. They deserve to be heard. They deserve a different future than the women who came before them. My voice is now for them.

The statement was included in a press release that was sent out by Fine's legal representation. The release includes details into the case that's being made by Peter R. Ginsberg law.

The filing of this action against several current and former University representatives – specifically, a former Assistant Men’s Football Coach, the Head Men’s Football Coach, Athletic Director, Chancellor and President – is a remarkable act of courage by a person dedicated to helping others who are abused and then ignored by the very people who should be trusted. Our client – who has made a difficult decision to proceed using her identity rather than a pseudonym as a show of strength against past intimidation – suffered repeated and violent abuse at the hands of former Assistant Football Coach Joseph M. Tumpkin.

More from the release:

Initially, our client had no intention of pursuing a lawsuit against these people. Only when it became clear to her that the University had no intention of taking the matter seriously and that the criminal justice system had become mired in inactivity for inexplicable reasons, she realized she had to rely on herself to right the wrong she has endured and to do her best to make sure no one else would endure such abuse again.

This comes a few months after the WilmerHale law firm released the findings of multiple external reports regarding the university's handling of the domestic violence case.

The investigation concluded that the university had three stand out failures but that there was no intent to cover up or break the law on behalf of CU.

In that case, the alleged victim indicated that she filed a claim against CU, seeking damages in the amount of an estimated $3.7 million, or $5,000 per day for the duration of the domestic violence.

In the lawsuit filed this morning, no amount was stated. The release instead indicated that the plaintiff would seek "damages in an amount to be determined at trial for the pain, suffering, and distress caused by the Defendants, individually and collectively."

UPDATE 9/6/17 5:20 p.m.:

In a statement from the University of Colorado, Ken McConnellogue, Vice President for Communication, said:

"The claims in the lawsuit are not well founded factually or legally and we will defend our employees aggressively."

This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.

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