April 21, 2018

Ex-Mich. St. hoops players sued for rape

11 April 2018, 11:16 | Darrell Baldwin

Student claims 3 Michigan State basketball players raped her in 2015

Lawsuit: 3 Michigan State athletes gang-raped student

A woman is suing Michigan State University after she says three members of the school's men's basketball team raped her in 2015 and the school's counseling office coerced her into not reporting the incident to police.

The Title IX lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of MI, does not name the three basketball players or the counselors who allegedly deterred the female student from contacting police. She began to think that maybe she had been drugged. "At no time did she consent to the sexual activity", the lawsuit states.

Michigan State has suffered tremendous damage to its reputation in recent months as the Larry Nassar case grabbed the headlines after it came to light that the sports doctor had abused over 140 students during his tenure.

The Associated Press left messages Monday seeking comment from the school.

As FOX 47's Cryss Walker tells us, some students say they're not surprised.

According to the filing, the then-18-year-old student said she was studying to be a sports journalist at MSU when she and a roommate went to a bar in East Lansing, where the campus is located. One bought her a drink and introduced her to his friends. After telling a counselor the assault involved three members of the basketball team, the staffer brought in another person into the room and they told her she could file a police report but she "faced an uphill battle that would create anxiety and unwanted media attention", the complaint said.

The MSUCC staff told the alleged victim her only options were to file a police report or deal with the aftermath on her own.

She was told the they had seen many cases involving "guys with big names", and the best thing to do was to "just get better yourself", according to the lawsuit. The three players are not named.

She was told it had happened with many other female students who were sexually assaulted by athletes, the lawsuit says.

According to MSU's policy on relationship violence and sexual misconduct, counselors generally are not permitted to report allegations of rape or relationship violence to the Title IX office or police.

Michigan State went 27-12 that season, finishing third in the Big Ten and reaching the Final Four as a 7-seed in the East Region before getting knocked out of the tournament by eventual-national champion Duke.

The lawsuit does not name the three members of the basketball team accused of rape. The woman's attorney, Karen Truszkowski, said the victim reported the assault to the university's counseling center.

The student said she was so discouraged by the MSUCC Counseling staff she became frightened to the point that she decided she could not report the rape (s) to law enforcement.

In October 2015, the alleged victim was admitted to the Sparrow Hospital outpatient psychiatric day-program for intensive psychiatric treatment after becoming traumatized, depressed and withdrawn.

Neither the woman nor the players are named in the suit, which claims Michigan State failed to comply with Title IX requirements and "created an unwritten, official policy that created a culture in which male MSU athletes felt entitled and emboldened to commit sexual assaults without outcome".

The lawsuit accuses Michigan State University of fostering a culture in which female victims are discouraged from reporting sexual assaults committed by male athletes, protecting the university's athletic programs at the victims' expense.

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