A newly released Phoenix police report includes new details, including a witness account, into sex-abuse allegations made against former Arizona Wildcat and NBA star Mike Bibby by a Shadow Mountain High School teacher.
In a restraining order served to Bibby in late February, the teacher claimed that in February 2017, Bibby lifted her by the waist and pulled her into his car on school grounds, rubbing his genitals against her and groping her until she was able to get away.
Phoenix police investigated and did not find probable cause to recommend charges against Bibby, a spokesman confirmed in April.
Investigators wrote in the police report that while several Shadow Mountain employees referenced the incident, "There are no witnesses to the actual sex-abuse allegation. There is no evidence based on the fact that this was not reported until 2019."
An employee at the school told police investigators she witnessed Bibby pull a teacher into his car in 2017, but thought the interaction was friendly, according to the report.
The report adds new layers to the case, which made national headlines and cost Bibby his coaching gig at Shadow Mountain, where he was a volunteer coach.
Police interviewed Shadow Mountain employees who heard the teacher's allegations two years ago, long before they were reported.
What happened 2 years ago?
Bibby's attorney, Michael Piccarreta, said Thursday his client cooperated with Phoenix police during the investigation. The attorney, who said he had not yet seen the police report, said that the investigation demonstrated that Bibby did not behave inappropriately in 2017 or at any other time, but did not deny that some kind of interaction occurred between Bibby and the teacher.
He would not directly address whether the incident occurred.
"There's a big line between interactions between people in general, and the crime of sexual abuse," Piccarreta said.
Police interviewed several Shadow Mountain employees. The teacher making the allegations identified two staffers as possible eyewitnesses. One, an assistant to the school's athletic director, said she recalled seeing the teacher and Bibby go in for a hug one day two years ago when the coach picked her up and placed her in the driver's seat of his car.
The assistant told police she heard the teacher laughing and thought they must have a friendly relationship.
"She thought (the teacher) waved at them and may have said something to the effect of 'Get me outta here,'" states the report.
The other possible witness, an employee at Shadow Mountain, said he did not remember seeing the specific incident but that he did remember hearing about it from the teacher in 2017.
The employee said that the teacher making the allegations did not want him to report the Bibby incident because she didn't want students affected by an investigation.
Two other Shadow Mountain employees told police investigators that the teacher had confided in them about the incident in 2017. One, whose classroom was across from the teacher's, said she saw Bibby around the teacher's classroom one more than one occasion.
Another employee, who coached with Bibby on the boys' basketball team, denied to police ever hearing about the incident.
How the allegations came to light
The report also clarifies why the accusations were reported in 2019, two years after the teacher said Bibby sexually abused her.
According to the report, the teacher was planning to resign and pack up her classroom when she told another colleague, a school counselor, about her interaction with Bibby.
The teacher was under distress, according to the report. That colleague told her she had to report the allegation immediately, even though the teacher did not want it reported.
The colleague told the school's police officer, which set off an investigation.
In April, more than a month before the Phoenix police report was released, Bibby sat down with The Republic to talk about the abuse claims. He said, "Anything that was said is nothing like me.”
Becky Kelbaugh, a spokeswoman with the Paradise Valley Unified School District, wrote in an email that Bibby is still suspended from volunteering at the school.
"PVSchools received a copy of the police report yesterday and resumed its internal investigation. The behaviors described of Mr. Bibby in the police report would not be considered appropriate for volunteers and employees," the statement said.
Bibby as a high school student in 1996 played on Shadow Mountain's first state championship basketball team. He went on to the University of Arizona, where in 1997 he led the Wildcats to their only national championship.
He played for five teams over 12 seasons in the NBA.
In February, Bibby led Shadow Mountain's varsity boys basketball team to its fourth consecutive state championship. During his six years at Shadow Mountain, the team won five state titles.
Republic reporter Richard Obert contributed to this story.