TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County officials have handed over a 2015 sex-crimes case against a former University of Arizona dean to a prosecutor outside Tucson.
The Arizona Daily Star reported Sunday that the Pima County Attorney’s Office sent the case against Jesse Bootman to a prosecutor in Maricopa County. The move comes after Bootman’s lawyer claimed local law enforcement appeared to be in favor of the alleged victim, who had been a key witness in a high-profile criminal case in the past.
Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall says she believes her office has acted appropriately, but decided to forward the case to Maricopa to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
Bootman, 66, was dean of the UA College of Pharmacy for nearly 30 years before the university removed him from the post and banned him from campus in the wake of criminal charges. He has pleaded not guilty to several charges that include sexual assault, aggravated assaulted and kidnapping.
Bootman is on paid administrative leave and is being paid a $253,000-a-year professor’s salary.