A grand jury has indicted the University of Arizona’s dean of pharmacy on felony sexual assault charges after what the sheriff described as a “brutal” attack on a woman.
Jessie Lyle Bootman, dean of the College of Pharmacy since 1987, was arraigned Wednesday in Pima County Superior Court and pleaded not guilty. His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 30.
Bootman, , is charged with sexual assault, sexual abuse and aggravated assault, a charge laid when a victim suffers “temporary but substantial” disfigurement or impairment.
The UA responded to the criminal charges Wednesday by putting Bootman on paid administrative leave from his $287,000-a-year dean’s job. Bootman, a 1974 graduate of the UA, has been on personal leave since Oct. 16.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department said the attack occurred Oct. 2 on a woman in her 40s.
The victim was “brutally assaulted,” said Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos. She is recovering from her injuries, he said.
Nanos said the victim had a business relationship with Bootman. He would not elaborate on what type of business it is, or if it is associated with the University of Arizona.
The two “had not seen each other for close to a year,” Nanos said. He said the victim said that while she was at Bootman’s house “she lost consciousness through the night.”
Nanos said the woman reported the assault the following morning when “she woke up and immediately recognized she needed medical attention, and she got to a clinic, and then a hospital.” When the victim left the home, Bootman was at the house, Nanos said.
Detectives from the sex crimes unit served a search warrant at Bootman’s residence and found incriminating evidence, the department said.
Bootman’s attorney, Brad Roach of Tucson, said his client “absolutely denies any wrongdoing.”
The dean has a global reputation in the pharmacy field and “is shocked and saddened that anyone would make claims against him or his conduct,” Roach said in an email statement.
Roach said Bootman is “confident that he will be exonerated of any allegations of wrongdoing.”
Bootman is recently divorced from his wife of 30-plus years.
The sex charges are his second brush with the law since September 2011, when he was charged in Phoenix with aggressive driving, impaired driving and making an unsafe lane change. Bootman pleaded guilty to aggressive driving, and the other charges were dismissed, online court records show.
Deputy Ryan Inglett, a sheriff’s spokesman, said Bootman was not taken into custody or booked into jail on the sex charges.
After his court hearing Wednesday, Bootman was released on his own recognizance on condition he surrender his passport and that he not have contact with the victim, her family or anyone under 18. Bootman is also not allowed to administer drugs while his case is before the court, the conditions of release said.
Nanos said if there are other victims, they should come forward by calling 911 or by contacting the Sheriff’s Department at 351-4900 to file a report.