The case against Chad Washington, CC '15, the Columbia Lions defensive lineman who was arraigned in May 2013 for allegedly assaulting and using racial slurs against an Asian student, was dismissed after Washington completed 10 days of community service prior to October 11, according to a document from the New York Criminal Court Clerk’s office.
According to the document, the case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal in late August. Washington was assigned 10 days of community service, which the record shows he has now completed. The case will be dismissed today and the records sealed.
Washington had been released on recognizance, without bail, on May 8, a day after his arrest.
The process by which Washington’s case was resolved, known as an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, or ADC, is a legal procedure — distinct from parole or conviction — in which a judge will delay a case for a certain period of time (in this case, six months). If the defendant does not commit a crime during this time, the case will be dismissed unless there is an objection by the prosecution. It is common for a judge to assign community service as a condition of receiving an ADC.
According to Michael Kramer Law, ADCs are typically offered for misdemeanors with many extenuating circumstances, such as shoplifting, marijuana possession, assault, and aggravated harassment cases. Washington was intially charged with 2nd degree aggravated harassment and 2nd degree harassment, both misdemeanors.
Kramer Law describes the ADC as a useful middle ground between complete dismissal and bringing a weak case to trial:
It’s a wonderful means of resolving a case. This is because even if you feel you have a great defense, but the district attorney does not feel that they can dismiss it based on your representation of this defense, so that you have to go to trial, an ACD provides an option for a district attorney to say “Well, I hear what you’re saying and I kind of believe you, but I can’t give you a total dismissal. Instead, I will offer an ACD.”
Due to university policy not to comment on legal matters, we did not ask Columbia or Columbia Athletics for comment.
Authors: Sean Augstine-Obi and Jake Davidson
Conor Skelding contributed reporting.