Day in Court: No Charges in Julie Stene Case

March 2010

It took years for Julie Stene to seek prosecution after she was allegedly sexually assaulted as a high school student in 2000. It took several more years for her case to wend its way through the legal system. Now, she seems to have arrived at the end of the road, after the Colorado Supreme Court sided with the prosecutors, who declined to file charges against Riley McMurdo and Clyde Surrell, a University of Colorado football player who was caught up in a recruiting scandal involving alcohol and sex (via The Associated Press). The two men maintained their innocence, and when Stene asked the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office in 2004---years after her alleged rape---to pursue charges, it declined to proceed with the case. When Stene returned to prosecutors in 2007, officials again declined. However, last May, District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. called the prosecutors' decision "arbitrary" and "capricious," which paved the way for a special prosecutor to build cases against Surrell and McMurdo. But the Colorado Court of Appeals later overturned the order, saying prosecutors have discretion to decide which cases to pursue. The Supreme Court agreed. In June 2009, Stene told her story to Fox31 anchor Ron Zappolo.