Carl Granderson, a former star University of Wyoming defensive end, was charged this week with sexual assault and sexual battery in Albany County Circuit Court.
The University of Wyoming publicized the charges against Granderson in a press release despite a state statute that bars public employees from releasing the names of any “alleged actors” of sexual assault before those defendants are charged in district court.
According to UW’s press release, Granderson has been charged with third-degree sexual assault.
Third-degree sexual assault involves “sexual contact … without inflicting sexual intrusion on the victim and without causing serious bodily injury to the victim.”
The public terminal at circuit court, however, indicates Granderson is charged with second-degree sexual assault, meaning Granderson allegedly inflicted sexual intrusion through “submission of the victim by any means that would prevent resistance by a victim of ordinary resolution.”
If Granderson were convicted of third-degree sexual assault, he would face up to 10 years imprisonment.
A second-degree sexual assault conviction requires a prison sentence of 2-20 years.
UW released Granderson’s name without consulting the Albany County Attorney’s Office.
And despite state statute, Granderson’s name and the charges filed against him are also publicly searchable on Albany County Circuit Court’s public terminal.
Jennifer Beeston, clerk of the circuit court, told the Laramie Boomerang that Wyoming statute bars court records in Granderson’s case from being released until he is charged in district court.
In fact, Wyoming statute does not bar circuit court from releasing Granderson’s court records.
Rule 5.1 of the Wyoming Rules Governing Redactions From Court Records states that “each circuit court in the State of Wyoming shall put into place an order establishing policies and procedures governing redaction and access to court files” regarding sexual assault to “ensure that the proceedings of the Courts of the State of Wyoming are open to the public.”
Furthermore, state rules require such orders to “be in the form of the order” that’s included in the rule book.
That sample order states that all files regarding sexual assault should remain open to the public, but attorneys should provide the court with two versions of all documents. One version should have the defendant’s name unredacted. The other version should have the defendant identified by initials and can be provided to the public.
Under current practice in the county, Albany County attorneys do not provide the circuit court in sexual assault cases with versions of documents that redact the names of the accused.
According to UW, the allegations stem from an incident following the conclusion of the 2018 football season and the end of Granderson’s athletic eligibility.
Circuit court records indicate the assault took place Nov. 25, the day after UW’s last game of the season.
UW’s press release said the Department of Athletics cannot suspend him, which is the usual course of action for student-athletes when felony sexual assault charges are filed against them, under university policy.
“The sexual assault charges recently filed against Carl Granderson are serious, and the allegations are troubling,” Bohl said. “I want to assure the people of Wyoming that we hold our young men to the highest of standards, and this alleged behavior is unacceptable. We have coached hundreds of student-athletes in our football program during my five years at Wyoming. During that time, we have a record of taking decisive action in suspending student-athletes from our program in the few instances when they have faced charges involving violence or sexual assault, and we will continue to do so.”
Athletic director Tom Burman said UW strives “to have our student-athletes represent our athletics department and the state of Wyoming in a manner that we can all be proud of.
“But when charges such as those that were filed against former football player Carl Granderson are made, we deal with them directly and in accordance with University of Wyoming policies. These alleged actions will not be tolerated,” Burman stated in the release. “We appreciate the manner in which Coach Bohl has worked with our athletics administration in dealing with this incident. We have been and will continue to be committed to educating our student-athletes and our staff on ways they can help prevent sexual assault, and we are committed to providing a safe environment for our student-athletes.”
The Laramie Police Department handled the investigation, because the alleged incident took place off campus. The UW Police Department has cooperated with local law enforcement in the case.
Granderson is no longer a student at the university, having graduated Dec. 15.
Granderson was regarded as one of the nation’s top defensive ends entering his senior season.
Granderson ended up with 40 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and three sacks this past season.
Granderson played in the Senior Bowl following the 2018 season and several NFL draft projections had Granderson being drafted in the middle rounds.
As a junior, Granderson was a first-team All-Mountain West selection and named to the Ted Hendricks Award final watch list after recording 77 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, a team-high 9.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Granderson also scored a touchdown on a 58-yard fumble recovery against Central Michigan that season in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Granderson played in six games as a sophomore with 19 tackles and four sacks before suffering a season-ending injury. As a freshman Granderson played in all 12 games for the Cowboys with 36 tackles.
It comes amid a troubling series of incidents involving UW athletes accused of committing crimes of a sexual or violent nature in recent months. In November, suspended UW football player Youhanna Ghaifan was accused of trying to force himself on a hotel employee before an Oct. 26 game Fort Collins. Suspended UW basketball point guard Nyaires Redding is facing simple assault and simple battery charges in Albany County Circuit Court for allegedly punching and pushing women in a Laramie bar in December.