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Abuse charge dropped against Iowa State's Palo

Abuse charge dropped against Iowa State's Palo

AMES, Iowa (AP) Prosecutors on Monday announced they had dropped a sexual abuse charge against Iowa State basketball player Bubu Palo, paving the way for him to rejoin the Cyclones.

Palo was suspended from the team in September after being charged with sexually abusing a woman he was driving home in May. But the Story County Attorney's Office said Monday that new forensic evidence on a blouse belonging to the woman clashed with her sworn testimony as well as sworn testimony from her mother.

``It's always been taught, innocent until proven guilty. And I felt like I didn't really have a chance to defend myself from people who would make these judgments against me.

``I would say that hurt the most. Especially since my whole life I'd been raised to do the right thing,'' Palo said during a news conference Monday evening at his attorney's office. ``I would never make a mistake to this level.''

The woman had told police that the blouse had been torn during the alleged assault. She handed it over to police on the weekend of Dec. 1, after believing it had been lost, and said she had washed it about 10 days after the night of the alleged assault, said Palo's attorney, Matthew Boles.

But a forensics expert found that the blouse was torn after it was washed, Boles said.

Another man, Spencer Cruise, of Ames, was also cleared of sexual abuse in the case.

Boles said the discrepancy with the blouse was the ``crowning piece of several inconsistencies'' with the woman's story.

``A dismissal is as close as vindication as you can get in a situation such as this,'' Boles said, adding that the blouse evidence ``really solidified that the story wasn't making sense.''

Iowa State released a statement later Monday saying Palo, a junior and a backup point guard, had been cleared to resume basketball-related activities with the Cyclones

Palo said he visited with coach Fred Hoiberg during practice following the announcement that the charges were dropped and that the pair shared a brief embrace.

Palo, 21, is a native of Ames who joined the Cyclones as a walk-on before earning a scholarship last season.

Palo emerged as a valued reserve at point guard, averaging 4.0 points and 1.5 assists in 2011-12. He was also a first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection last season.

Though he's immediately eligible to practice, Palo might have a tough time getting into good enough shape to contribute the Cyclones this season.

Still, Palo said ``the biggest weight'' had been lifted off his shoulders when he found out the charges had been dropped.

``To be able to go out in public and just be able to just breathe finally, and know that people aren't necessarily staring at me or whispering behind my back anymore ... (it's) mostly relief,'' Palo said.

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Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP

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Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson's two-point night including the shorthanded game-winner as the Capitals held on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday. The win was Washington's third on their six-game road trip, which concludes Saturday in Buffalo.

Here are four reasons Washington won.

1. Braden Holtby’s first period

After the first period, it looked like we were going to have a goalie duel. Frederik Andersen looked absolutely brilliant to start and the Caps needed Holtby to be equally brilliant to keep Washington in it. He was.

Holtby made 12 of his 40 saves in the opening frame, including an absolute beauty to rob Patrick Marleau. Andersen robbed Michal Kempny and Nicklas Backstrom on one end of the ice and Toronto picked up the puck off the rebound for a quick 2-on-1 counter. Kasperi Kapanen fed Marleau beautifully, but Holtby stretched out to make the spectacular save with the blocker. A few minutes later, Holtby made a quick pad save on a William Nylander backhand, then recovered just in time to deny Connor Brown on the rebound attempt.

Because of Holtby’s efforts, both teams went to the locker room locked in a 0-0 tie.

2. Alex Ovechkin draws a penalty, scores the power play goal

Morgan Rielly does not take many penalties. Heading into Thursday’s game, Rielly had taken only two minor penalties all season, which is pretty remarkable when you think about a top defenseman averaging 22:43 of ice time per game.

In the second period, however, Ovechkin managed to draw a hold on Rielly. When you get a team’s top defenseman in the box, you need to take advantage. The Caps did just that off a quick play off a faceoff.

T.J. Oshie won the draw back to John Carlson. As soon as the draw was taken, Ovechkin backed away towards the top of the opposite faceoff circle. Toronto was slow to setup the defense, so when Carlson fed Ovechkin for the one-timer, he had an open shooting lane on net. Ovechkin delivered a fadeaway one-timer from above the circle and beat Andersen glove side.

3. A key forecheck by Tom Wilson

Brett Connolly made a nice play in front of the net to deke around the stretched pad of Andersen and backhand the puck into the open goal. Wilson made that play happen, however, with a great forecheck.

Jake Gardiner went to recover the puck behind the goal line in the defensive zone, but Wilson came streaking in like a freight train and knocked Gardiner off the puck. Lars Eller pounced on the loose puck and fed Connolly in front of the net. He did the rest.

4. The Tom Wilson shorthanded exclamation point

Washington carried a 2-0 lead into the third period and looked to be the better team, but a goal form Andreas Johnsson put the Maple Leafs right back in it. The ice was definitely tilting in Toronto’s favor and less than 90 seconds after Johnsson scored, John Carlson took a hooking penalty.

With the game on the line, however, the penalty kill delivered.

Holtby made a kick-out save and two Leafs went after the rebound, but Brooks Orpik made a key stick lift on Mitch Marner and Eller beat Johnsson to the puck and had a lane for the breakout. Wilson turned on the jets and hustled out of the zone to try to catch up with Eller for the 2-on-1. He got there just in time and Eller delivered the pass to him just past the blue line. Wilson took aim and fired a wrister past Andersen to end any hopes for a comeback.

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Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

To watch the entire video, click "play" in the video player above.

Capitals fan Greg Christian and his late wife, Dona, made a plan to watch their favorite team at every NHL arena. Greg finally achieved that goal.

Gred attended the Caps' tilt with the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 23, taking with him a picture of Dona sporting a Hockey Fights Cancer jersey.

Greg and his wife were long-time Caps fans, and spent road trips talking about hockey and sports. They were soon inspired to follow the Caps on the road and make it to every possible venue to watch them play.

However, those plans would be interrupted in April 2017, when Dona was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The two made it to 34 NHL venues together before she passed away in November, last taking in a Caps game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, according to the Washington Post.

The two have now seen Washington play at 36 venues, including two past arenas and three stadiums. And once Seattle gets an NHL franchise, Greg told WUSA9 he plans to be in attendance.

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