The alleged victim in the February 2018 incident involving former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt initially wanted to press charges. Now, 19-year-old Abby Ottinger simply wants to be left alone.
A comprehensive review of the situation conducted by ESPN’s Outside The Lines included an effort to speak to Ottinger. A member of her family told ESPN on Wednesday that “the whole incident has been very difficult for her and that all she wants now is her privacy.”
This means that Hunt most likely won’t face criminal charges. Ottinger’s lack of cooperation, however, won’t keep the NFL from taking action against Hunt, because the evidence of what Hunt did appears on a video that the NFL was unable to obtain, but TMZ wasn’t.
Some league insiders have speculated that Hunt and Ottinger reached a settlement. However, Hunt’s explanation from a Sunday interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters created the impression that Hunt doesn’t know much if anything about Ottinger, making a settlement unlikely (unless it was handled largely if not exclusively by Hunt’s lawyer). Others have suggested that Ottinger had a change of heart once she realized that the facts of the case would include an allegation that she directed racial slurs at Rayshawn Watkins, a friend and former teammate of Hunt’s.
Regardless, the account from ESPN creates a clear impression that management at the hotel where Hunt had leased an apartment was motivated to protect Hunt, and that police weren’t motivated to do much of anything, other than defer to hotel management. 29-year-old Derek Szeto, a bystander who sensed that the hotel wasn’t taking the situation seriously and “was acting weird,” was detained by police after using his phone to record video of his interactions with hotel officials and refusing to surrender it to police.
At a time when the NFL has absorbed plenty of criticism for its investigation of the situation, it’s clear based on the ESPN report that the hotel and police didn’t seem to be all that inclined in getting to the truth, which necessarily made it much harder for the NFL to figure out what had transpired.