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Taxpayers on Hook for $1.6M in Track Coach Defense

Andy Berg

Taxpayers are footing the bill for the legal defense of a former University of Arizona assistant track coach convicted of assaulting a student-athlete.

Craig Carter was convicted by a Pima County jury in March on two counts of aggravated assault, following his 2015 attack on former thrower Baillie Gibson. Gibson has since said she and Carter were in a non-consensual sexual relationship.

According to Tuscon.com, monthly lawyer fees for Carter's defense have gone as high as $70,000, with the total now hitting $1.6 million. Carter’s defense is covered by Arizona’s risk management system because he was a UA employee at the time of the assault. 

Carter and his wife have now filed counterclaims, alleging emotional distress and defamation due to a 2015 television interview in which Gibson’s lawyer said Carter’s relationship with Gibson was sexually abusive. Carter and his wife are paying for their legal counsel in the counterclaims.

Carter, 50, is currently serving five years in prison. He was convicted in the criminal case without taking the stand in his defense.

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