TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County officials have handed over a 2015 sex-crimes case against a former University of Arizona dean to a prosecutor outside Tucson.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office sent the case against Jesse Bootman, 66, to a prosecutor in Maricopa County, the Arizona Daily Star reported (http://bit.ly/2st01QL) Sunday. The move comes after Bootman’s lawyer, Joshua Hamilton, said local law enforcement appeared to be in favor of the alleged victim, who had been a key witness in a criminal case in the past.

“She worked hand-in-glove with detectives while the case was being investigated and while it was prosecuted,” said the defense complaint.

Hamilton has also asked the court to keep the alleged victim from testifying against Bootman. He says that she lied about her previous relationship with Bootman.

The court has not ruled on that motion.

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall said she believes her office has acted appropriately, but she decided to forward the case to Maricopa to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

The former pharmacy dean is facing charges for sexual assault, sexual abuse, aggravated assaulted, kidnapping and drugging the alleged victim with a prescription sleeping aid. Bootman has pleaded not guilty.

Bootman had been with the university for 30 years before he was removed the position following criminal charges filed in 2015, the report said. He is also banned from the campus.

Bootman is on paid administrative leave while his case is pending. He is paid $253,000 a year, according to the report.

If convicted, Bootman could also lose his pharmacist’s license.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com