Sexual assault charges against suspended ISU basketball player Bubu Palo have been dropped due to "receipt of additional evidence," according to online records.
On Sept. 7, Palo and Spencer Cruise, of Ames, turned themselves in on accusations of sexually abusing a woman in May. They both pleaded "not guilty" later in September. Charges were also dropped for Cruise.
The ISU athletic department, which had suspended Palo indefinitely, announced Monday evening the junior guard has been reinstated.
"Bubu Palo has been reinstated to the Iowa State men's basketball team after charges filed against him in September were dropped," the athletic department said in a statement. "Palo was suspended from competitions, per the athletic department's discipline policy, until his legal matter was resolved."
Palo's attorney, Matt Boles, told the Daily that the key piece of evidence was reportedly tampered with by the complainant in a fashion that did not fit her story.
"His shirt had been in her possession for five-and-a-half months and originally when she presented herself in the hospital that night, police did not seize the articles of clothing because they believed they did not have any evidence of value," Boles said. "That, specifically with the shirt, there was not a tear on the shirt. Over the course of two days of depositions, her story wasn’t making sense to us, and we asked her to physically draw us a picture."
Once the picture was drawn, she notified law enforcement at the county attorney's office that she remembered where she placed the shirt. Boles said the tear in the shirt was consistent with her testimony, but not consistent with physical evidence.
"We... sent that shirt off to a woman, who is one of the foremost fabric forensic people in the country, who anaylized the shirt and her analysis of the shirt which was a critical piece of what this girl said in this deposition, that 10 days after this alleged incident, she had gone to her mother’s house to launder the shirt," Boles said.
"So she had laundered the shirt. So our fabric forensic expert said, ‘Well, here’s the reality of it: Based upon my testing, the tear was not in the shirt when it was laundered. The tear occured in the shirt after being laundered.’ And we knew, definitively, from her deposition, that she had laundered the shirt days after the alleged incident."
Boles said the complainant's story was not matching up with the physical evidence of the case.
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Stephen Koenigsfeld and Alex Halsted contributed to this report.