Collins tests stalled at KBI

Possible evidence in an assault investigation involving a star Kansas University basketball player is currently being tested by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

The KU Public Safety Office sent the evidence to the KBI lab in Topeka on Oct. 22, 2007, officials with the two agencies said. The testing was requested because KU police were investigating an allegation a 35-year-old woman made against KU guard Sherron Collins, 21.

This is the second time the evidence has been tested by the KBI, director Robert Blecha said. The same evidence was sent for testing in June 2007. It took only a month to complete that testing and return the evidence to KU, Blecha said.

In October KU sent the evidence back with a request for a different type of examination, Blecha said. It has taken longer to process the evidence this time because of a backlog of cases to be tested, a situation made worse because of remodeling the laboratory, he said.

“The last few months we’ve been remodeling and refurbishing the lab area in the basement here,” he said. “We’ve had to move equipment and give ourselves some room to work.”

Neither KU police nor Blecha would say specifically what type of testing had been done or is being done now.

Blecha said he didn’t know when the results of the latest test will be known.

“They do a batch of examinations at the same time,” he said. “It’s not going to be months and months.”

The investigation was started more than a year ago when Jessica J. Brown, then an employee at Jayhawker Towers where Collins lived, told KU police Collins exposed himself and rubbed against her in an elevator. Collins has denied the allegation. No criminal charges have been filed.

Collins, however, failed to respond to the lawsuit filed against him in the 20 days after it was filed May 14 in Douglas County District Court. On Monday a judge signed a journal entry granting “judgment by default” because of Collins’ lack of response. A hearing to establish the amount of damages to be awarded in excess of $75,000 is set for July 8.

Collins said earlier this week he did not know what his legal responsibilities were under a civil lawsuit. He said he will work to correct the matter and to “prove that the allegation is not true.”