A judge dismissed all remaining criminal charges against former Notre Dame assistant Ryan Ayers on Monday, and is now moving to hold prosecutors in contempt in court, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Ayers was charged with three counts of voyeurism and a count of domestic battery after two women said that he recorded them either naked or while having sex without their consent. One woman said Ayers hit her in the face during an altercation in his car, per the South Bend Tribune.
Prosecutors in the case moved to dismiss the charges against Ayers on Monday after one of the women said she will not testify in front of Judge Jeffrey Sanford — as she feels “disrespected, demeaned and degraded” by comments he had made.
Sanford allegedly made inappropriate comments about the accuser and evidence in the case after a hearing last month, which prosecutors said "appeared to suggest this judge was looking forward to seeing 'pornographic' photos" of the woman, per the report.
The accuser filed a complaint against Sanford, and they tried to get him to recuse himself from the case. Sanford declined and got into a heated exchange with the prosecutors.
On Monday, prosecutors then moved to dismiss all remaining charges.
“The State of Indiana believes it would be demeaning and degrading for this witness to have to testify before this judge as to photos and videos of a highly personal nature … with the thought in the back of her mind that this judge has previously objectified her,” prosecutors wrote in the motion, via the South Bend Tribune.
Ayers left Notre Dame’s staff last September to pursue “other opportunities,” the school said. He played at Notre Dame from 2005-09, and averaged 6.85 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He returned to the program as an assistant in 2016.
"Ryan is extremely pleased that this nightmare is now behind him," Ayers’ attorney said in a statement, via the South Bend Tribune. "He has maintained his innocence throughout and is pleased that the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office has finally dropped its charges against him. While the last year has been painful for Ryan as he fought to clear his name, he is gratified to have been vindicated and he looks forward to rebuilding his life."