LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Office of the Commonwealth Attorney in Jefferson County, Kentucky, has begun issuing grand jury subpoenas in the case of the sex scandal involving the Louisville men’s basketball program, a source familiar with the proceedings told Outside the Lines.
A spokesman for Commonwealth Attorney Thomas B. Wine declined to comment when reached Friday morning.
“We don’t comment on investigations that we are doing,” spokesman Jeff Cooke said.
When asked if he would at least confirm that a grand jury will hear evidence in the case, Cooke responded: “No, I can’t. That’s the nature of the proceeding. I couldn’t comment on any case.”
A book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” published this month by self-described former escort Katina Powell, 42, details nearly two dozen stripping and sex parties from 2010 to 2014 inside Billy Minardi Hall, the on-campus dorm for athletes and other students named for Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s late brother-in-law.
Powell, who first spoke to Indianapolis Business Journal Book Publishing, has said that former Louisville graduate assistant Andre McGee arranged the parties and paid her $10,000 for supplying dancers.
“We have received a subpoena at IBJ Book Publishing and we are to appear [before the grand jury] November 5th,” publisher Patricia Keiffner Said Friday. Keiffner declined further comment.
“Kentucky grand jury proceedings are secret and Kentucky law prohibits anyone who has received a grand jury subpoena from commenting. However, as of this moment, Ms. Powell has not received any subpoena from the Commonwealth or any other government agency,” said Larry Wilder, Powell’s Jeffersonville, Indiana-based attorney.
The University of Louisville Police Department, the school, the NCAA and the University of Missouri Kansas City, McGee’s most recent employer, are all looking into the allegations Powell detailed in her book, which is based largely on her personal journals and phone records.
Earlier this month, five former University of Louisville basketball players and recruits told Outside the Lines that they attended parties at a campus dorm from 2010 to 2014 that included strippers paid for by McGee.
One of those former players said he had sex with a dancer after McGee paid her. Each of the players and recruits attended different parties at Minardi Hall, where dancers, many of whom stripped naked, were present. Three of the five players said they attended parties as recruits and also when they played for Louisville.
McGee’s Louisville-based attorney, Scott Cox, was not available for comment Friday.
McGee, was promoted to director of basketball operations for Louisville in April 2012. In April 2014, he left the Cardinals program to become an assistant coach at UMKC but last week McGee, who had been on paid leave since Powell’s allegations were made public, resigned from his coaching job.
“The university deserves a full-time assistant coach and I am not able to provide that to the basketball team while the false allegations against me are being investigated,” McGee wrote in a letter to UMKC athletic director Carla Wilson. He and his attorney have repeatedly declined to comment further.
John Barr is an investigative reporter in ESPN’s Enterprise Unit.