Lake Delton Police Chief Tom Dorner explained Monday why he identified the six Green Bay Packers who were cleared of any wrongdoing in an ongoing sexual assault investigation after one Packer aired his discontent about being associated with the case.
According to a report by WISC, safety Khalil Jones said, "I don't like that my name is attached to something like that, but like I said before, I went down there to play in a golf tournament and played in a golf tournament and did very well."
"Especially in a case like this, people want to know who is involved," Dorner said. He added that the police report is a public record and the names would have been obtainable when the report is unsealed.
Releasing the players' names - Jones, backup quarterback Matt Flynn, guard Josh Sitton, fullback Korey Hall, linebacker Brad Jones and linebacker Clay Matthews - also helped clear their names, he said.
"It wouldn't have been long before people heard through the grapevine they were here (at the police department)," Dorner said.
Two women told police Saturday morning around 4:17 a.m. a Green Bay Packer raped them in a Wilderness Resort condo.
The player, whose name is being withheld by the police department, denies the accusation and says the sex was consensual.
The police department planned to forward the case to the district attorney Tuesday without recommending pressing charges, because of contradicting stories from the player and the two women, who also changed their stories about the alleged assault. According to news reports, the women first said they had been held down by players but then said only one player was involved.
"I think it's going to be a problem because there's too much information that contradicts between the alleged victims and the alleged suspect," Dorner said.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported that three unnamed sources familiar with the case say the player under investigation is second-year cornerback Brandon Underwood.
"At this point, we can't say whether it's totally credible or totally not credible," Dorner said about the story provided by the alleged victims. "If we really had good evidence against this person he'd be in jail right now instead of released."
The district attorney will decide whether criminal charges should be filed, he said.
He said he hopes Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett will make a decision on whether or not to charge the player by Friday.
Barrett declined to comment on the case.
Dorner said the women told officers they met the Packer at a local bar and returned to the condo with him sometime in the early morning hours. They allege the rape then occurred in a room within the condo.
"Originally, (the two women) alleged that there was more than one person involved in the sexual assault," Dorner said, adding that it is unclear why the two women now claim only one Packer was the perpetrator.
He said the women, ages 31 and 33, are from the Milwaukee area and were not guests at the resort.
The two women left in a vehicle after the alleged incident and pulled off on a side road to call 911, Dorner said. The 911 call was made from a residence, and handled by the Wisconsin Dells and Sauk County Dispatch centers, according to news reports.
Officers arrived at the Wilderness to find seven Packers staying in the condo, which has three floors and can sleep up to 20 people. Police say it appeared that all the players had been drinking alcohol, but it is unclear whether the two alleged victims were as well.
Dorner said all seven players were cooperative and came to the police department to be interviewed.
After the interviews, authorities immediately released six of the seven Packers who they do not suspect of any criminal activity.
The seventh player was interviewed a second time and then released. Police said he was still under investigation, and would not identify him.
"We don't want to give the player a bad name," Sgt. Gerald Grimsled said. "(Investigators) were comfortable with releasing him and continuing the investigation as is. It comes down to was it consensual sex? One side says yes, the other says no."
Dorner said trained nurses performed sexual assault exams on the two women and police collected evidence from the condo. He said DNA samples were taken from all seven Packers.
Wisconsin celebrities were at the resort Friday to play in the 13th annual McGovern Charity Golf tournament, which raises money for Tellurian's Teresa McGovern Center. The event was hosted this year by Matthews, the Packers' Pro Bowl linebacker.
A list of celebrities scheduled to play in the tournament that was posted on Tellurian's Web site, tellurian.org, includes 10 current Packers. Four of the six Packers who police do not suspect of criminal activity are on that list.
The other six Packers who were scheduled to play in the tournament are offensive tackle Chad Clifton, kicker Mason Crosby, running back Brandon Jackson, running back Kregg Lumpkin, offensive tackle Mark Tauscher and Underwood, the player identified by the Journal Sentinel. However, whether the Packer who police are investigating is one of those six is unclear.
Heidi Fendos, a spokeswoman for Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, declined to comment other than to say that the resort is cooperating fully with police.
Packers spokesman Jeff Blumb released a written statement Saturday that said, "We are aware of the reported incident and still are gathering facts."
The team has already dealt with its share of questions about defensive end Johnny Jolly, who faces trial on Monday in Houston. Jolly was arrested two years ago and charged with possession of a controlled substance that authorities later identified as codeine. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
-Events reporter Andy Steinke and the Associated Press contributed to this report.