The University of Arizona’s former pharmacy dean is facing new criminal charges and a civil lawsuit over allegations he brutally raped an unconscious woman at his Foothills home last fall.
Jesse Lyle Bootman, initially charged with sexual assault, sexual abuse and aggravated assault after a grand jury hearing in October, recently was indicted on additional charges of kidnapping and of drugging the alleged victim with a prescription sleep aid.
The new charges came from a second grand jury hearing held in March. Bootman’s defense team maintained the first grand jury wrongly indicted him last fall based on incomplete evidence.
But the second grand jury reaffirmed the three initial charges in addition to the two new ones, Pima County Superior Court records show. Bootman, 65, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
He is accused of giving the woman Zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, a drug commonly prescribed for insomnia, the new indictment says. If convicted, he stands to lose the pharmacist’s license he has held for more than 40 years.
The UA banned Bootman from campus in the wake of criminal charges and removed him as dean of the College of Pharmacy, a position he’d held since 1987. He remains on administrative leave, still collecting his $287,000 dean’s salary while the charges are pending, UA spokesman Chris Sigurdson said.
The alleged victim, a real estate agent in her 40s, told police Bootman invited her to stop by to see his home last fall and fixed her a drink when she arrived.
She said she blacked out soon afterward and woke the next morning bleeding and naked in Bootman’s bed with him naked beside her.
The woman sustained a broken nose and other injuries consistent with a violent assault, authorities said.
A few weeks ago, the woman filed a civil suit against Bootman and two of his former lawyers, Brad Roach and Bobbi Berry.
Roach and Berry held a news conference attacking the woman’s credibility soon after Bootman was initially charged.
They claimed she had “a significant criminal history” and had “financial motivations” for accusing him — statements her lawsuit says are “materially false.”
The woman’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for her “serious physical and emotional injuries.” It says she’s had two surgeries as a result of the attack.
Roach and Berry didn’t respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit. Joshua Hamilton, one of Bootman’s new defense attorneys, declined to comment on the civil case or the new criminal charges.
In related developments:
- Three different judges have overseen the Bootman case in the six months since he initially was charged. His lawyers have twice requested that presiding judges be removed and replaced. Court records don’t explain the requests, and the lawyers wouldn’t comment.
- Two of the three judges have given Bootman wide latitude to travel outside Arizona for business meetings and family visits while he awaits trial, despite objections from the victim and prosecutor. Superior Court Judge
- Scott Rash
- approved three trips to California since March. On Friday, Rash’s replacement, Judge
- Richard Nichols
- , approved another four trips to San Diego and Chicago between now and mid-June.
- Rash issued a gag order in March that prevents anyone involved in the criminal case from talking about it outside court. Bootman’s attorneys sought the order to limit further pretrial publicity, which they said could jeopardize his right to a fair trial.