Lawsuit alleges three Michigan State basketball players raped a woman in 2015
Apr 11, 2018, 11:16
She caught a taxi back to her dorm room and contacted university Counseling Center staff about a week later.
Karen Truszkowski, an attorney for the plaintiff, said Tuesday that she had no further comment about the suit. A spokesperson with that office did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday evening.
The lawsuit comes as another federal lawsuit involving the women who say they were sexually abused by former MSU sports doctor and convicted serial molester Larry Nassarmoves toward mediation.
They said, in effect, "we have had many other students in the same situation who have reported, and it has been very traumatic for them.".
The allegations were made in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of MI that claims three unnamed male basketball players raped her in the spring of 2015 after the Spartans were eliminated from the Final Four by Duke. Speaking with ESPN on condition that she not be identified, she said she anxious they would be charged with underage drinking, and counseling staff did nothing to ease those concerns.
One of the players bought the woman a drink and introduced her to his teammates.
She did not file a police report or a no-contact order against the players through MSU, claiming in the suit that she was never informed of that option.
The woman said she was crying, she couldn't move and couldn't speak.
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The woman says that she felt "discombobulated" and could not control her hands as she tried to text on her phone, after one of the players, John Doe 2, invited her to his room under the pretext of showing her his basketball memorabilia. Her state of sobriety added to her inability to fight off the rape, she claimed. The young woman blacked out and woke up on a couch in the apartment hours later. The incident happened at an off-campus apartment, and the victim alleged that she was potentially drugged before being gang-raped by the athletes.
"When plaintiff disclosed to the counselor that the three attackers were notable MSU athletes on the basketball team, the counselor suddenly announced to the plaintiff that she needed another person in the room with her and the plaintiff". Allegedly, the counselor's demeanor completely changed.
The woman also says university Counseling Center staff made it clear to her that if she reported it to police "she faced an uphill battle that would create anxiety and unwanted media attention". She alleges that one player pulled her into a bedroom and told her, "You are mine for the night".
The student's attorney told ESPN she is not naming the players in the lawsuit because she wants to focus "with the way she was treated by the university".
The lawsuit accuses Michigan State of failing to comply with Title IX requirements by not providing the woman with equal protection under the law and says the school "created an unwritten, official policy that created a culture in which male MSU athletes felt entitled and emboldened to commit sexual assaults without outcome".
Last week, three ex-football players pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the 2017 sexual assault of a woman in an apartment bathroom.
Monday's lawsuit alleges MSU has "actively sought" to hide the names of athletes in student records and allowed its former athletic director and coaches to investigate complaints behind closed doors rather than follow "normal reporting and investigative procedures".
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