USC’s Josh Shaw won’t be charged after domestic violence investigation

USC's Josh Shaw celebrates after recording a tackle against Boston College in September 2013.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

USC cornerback Josh Shaw, who has been suspended all season for fabricating a story about how he suffered ankle injuries, will not face charges in connection with an August incident at his apartment, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said Monday.

Shaw, a senior and team captain, was the subject of a domestic violence investigation after police responded to a call about a loud argument between Shaw and his girlfriend. Shaw jumped from a balcony to avoid officers.

“There is insufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Shaw assaulted the victim in any manner,” deputy district attorney Michael Gargiulo wrote on the charge evaluation worksheet.

Shaw initially told USC officials he injured his ankles after leaping from a balcony to save a young relative in distress in a swimming pool during a family party in Palmdale. A few days later, after the school received calls from people questioning the veracity of Shaw’s story, he admitted to school officials that he made up the story.


USC officials have said they would wait until the police investigation was complete before the school conducted its own investigation.

An athletic department spokesman said Monday the school would now begin its investigation. He gave no timeline for its completion.

Neither Shaw nor his attorney immediately responded to inquiries seeking comment.

The charge evaluation worksheet, dated Nov. 13, said Shaw and his girlfriend were involved in a “heated argument” at their apartment on Aug. 23 and that two neighbors called 911. Shaw was on the balcony and saw Los Angeles Police Department officers arrive. Shaw panicked and ran along the balcony. “He climbed over the railing, hung by his hands, and fell approximately 20 feet, injuring his ankles,” the worksheet said.

Shaw’s girlfriend initially told officers she had been working out at the apartment complex gym at the time of the incident, but later admitted that she and Shaw were in the apartment. She denied that he had physically or sexually assaulted her on that or any other date.

Two days later, Shaw initially denied to police that he was at the apartment at the time of the incident, saying he was in Palmdale. He later recanted and said he was at the apartment with his girlfriend but denied he had ever assaulted her.

Shaw told The Times’ Bill Plaschke last week that he hoped to return to the team. The Trojans have two regular-season games remaining, on Saturday against UCLA and Nov. 29 against Notre Dame.

The Trojans also are in contention for a spot in the Pac-12 Conference championship game on Dec.5 and have already qualified for a bowl game.

“I hope every day that I can play again this season,” Shaw said. “If my number is called today I’d be ready.”

Shaw said he was medically cleared to play after the Sept. 13 Boston College game, and has kept in shape by working out in three different places. He said he has been running at Pasadena Muir High, working at Jay Glazer’s training facility in West Hollywood, and also training in Arizona at a center in the Phoenix area.

“I’ve been working out all over town,’' he said. “This incident won’t define me.’'

Shaw said he has been in regular contact with Coach Steve Sarkisian and feels the coach has wanted him to return for several weeks.

“Sark brought me in his office prior to the B.C. game . . . and said, ‘Josh, I feel like you have far exceeded your punishment at this point,’” Shaw said. “Sark has been very supportive. Sark has been fighting for me.”

Shaw also said that he has made peace with his teammates, who he also claims want him to return.

“When the incident happened, I went from house to house, apartment to apartment, to apologize to all my teammates in person,” Shaw said. “They were like, ‘You made a mistake . . . but it’s not that bad. We want you back.’”

Quick hits

USC tight end Bryce Dixon, who was suspended from last week’s game against California, was dressed for practice Monday as USC began preparations for Saturday’s game against UCLA. Dixon, a freshman, did not attend the Cal game because of an unspecified “student conduct issue,” Sarkisian said Thursday night after the Trojans’ 38-30 victory. Coaches and players were not available to the media after Monday’s closed practice. USC players had been off since Friday, so Monday’s full-pads workout was an extra practice for the Trojans, who followed a similar schedule going into the Cal game after an open date. . . . Linebacker J.R. Tavai, who had been sidelined since suffering a knee sprain against Utah on Oct.25, also returned to practice. . . . Nelson Agholor was selected as a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the top receiver in college football.

Twitter: @latimesklein

Times columnist Bill Plaschke contributed to this report.