The Memphis Police Department is investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by former Amateur Athletic Union director Bobby Dodd. But police investigators have not yet heard from the two men who claimed in an ESPN documentary that they were sexually abused by Dodd in the 1980s while they were teenagers.
Until or unless they make direct contact with authorities, the investigation is in a very preliminary stage, said Memphis Police Deputy Chief Dave Martello.
“We will go with the facts as they come to us,” Martello said, confirming that AAU officials called the police department Friday, Dec. 9, to report the allegations.
Neither he nor MPD Col. Mike Ryalls would say how many allegations AAU officials reported to them. They declined comments on particulars, saying it is an ongoing investigation.
But Martello said for the criminal investigation to move into a phase where charges are possible, someone would have to come forward and say they were sexually abused.
Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said her office frequently investigates cases in which allegations are made years after the alleged offense occurred.
But she added there is a complex set of laws governing the statute of limitations for not only sexual abuse crimes but other offenses.
“It’s a very technical area,” Weirich said, citing at least half a dozen changes in the laws over recent years.
At some point, police investigators may approach the two men seen in the ESPN documentary series “Outside The Lines.” But he also added that police could not force someone to file a criminal complaint.