History behind the headlines: Vance Joseph calls sexual assault allegations "false"

Joseph was never interviewed in either case
History behind the headlines: Vance Joseph calls sexual assault allegations "false"
Posted at 5:57 PM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 19:57:24-05

DENVER -- Countless stories have been penned since the Broncos made the decision to move forward with Vance Joseph as head coach. Some were optimistic, however others sought to remind Broncos fans of the coach's past brush with the law -- a history for which the coach was never charged. 

The reports brush on a darker time in University of Colorado Boulder's past -- ranging back more than a decade. The university faced allegations of sexual assault, rape, questionable recruitment policies and more.

Vance Joseph attended CU, playing quarterback for the team from 1990 through 1995, then returning to the team in a coaching role in 1999. 

He would keep that role until 2004, when under questions by the university, he was suspended. He then took another football job at a different college out of Colorado. 

The questions surrounding his time at CU have bubbled up to the surface with his high-profile promotion to head coach. Reporters recalled two incidents in which Joseph is named. 

-- The deposition --

In 2004, Elizabeth Hoffman, the then CU President, spoke in a deposition in a larger civil suit brought to court by two women who claimed the school's environment led to their rape by players. 

In the public deposition, Hoffman mentioned Joseph -- a coach at the time -- by name, saying he was under investigation for two "incidents." 

The incidents included, "Having sex with a trainer in the steam room and the other was picking up two trainers at a bar and taking them home with him." 

Hoffman went on to say the university had "no reason to believe that it was not consensual, but since since he is a coach, we consider that it was probable or possible sexual harassment, so we followed our sexual harassment protocols." 

The protocols called for Joseph to be suspended pending an investigation, however he left the university before further action.

Joseph never had an opportunity to be interviewed in the deposition or respond to those claims. 

-- The Boulder Police investigation -- 

In 2004, Boulder police investigated a reported sexual assault, naming Vance Joseph as the suspect. That case was exceptionally cleared, however it remains on the public record. 

The criminal investigation led police to talk with two women -- one who declined to be interviewed -- but the other who claimed Joseph acted inappropriately when both women slept over at his house after a party in 2002. 

Before even speaking with police, the woman who spoke said she did not want to press charges. She then detailed the night that fall, when she claims Joseph attempted to get into bed with her and her friend while naked. 

She said both she and her friend rebuffed Joseph in different ways -- she pretended to be unconscious and her friend verbally rebuffed Joseph. In her account, Joseph left both of them alone after that. 

Joseph was never interviewed, and police never charged him with a crime. 

-- Joseph in the present -- 

The Broncos went forward with Joseph full-well knowing his history. They were aware of the past allegations, and he has told the team the sexual assault claims are false. 

The team told Denver7 it spoke with Joseph on multiple occasions and is prepared to move forward with Joseph in his current role. 

In his only comments publicly about the allegations since his promotion, Joseph told the Denver Post the sexual assault claims "are false." 

He also touched on the civil case, which surfaced during his time as a coach in a position of authority.

He told the Post, "That was resolved a long time ago. For myself, for my family, for the Denver Broncos, I'm disappointed and embarrassed. I was a young guy and it showed to my immaturity and irresponsibility in my life when I was younger." 

Joseph also told the Post he has moved forward as a person, growing significantly since 2002. 

"Everyone who knows me knows that I try to live my life the right way, and I regret that my name is even associated with this," Joseph said. 


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