Medicine

Ex-Mich. St. hoops players sued for rape

Ex-Mich. St. hoops players sued for rape

Three unnamed Michigan State basketball players are accused of raping a female student in April 2015, one week after losing to Duke in the Final Four, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Monday.

On the evening of April 11, 2015, the student and her roommate were at a bar in East Lansing when members of the basketball team walked in, the suit alleges. A player offered to buy her a drink and asked her if she wanted to meet other guys from the basketball team at a party.

"They do have it and they have reviewed it", she said of the lawsuit. While at the apartment the woman tried to text her friend but "was feeling discombobulated". There, her roommate told her she did not know about a party.

The woman maintains she didn't remember anything until waking up on a couch the next morning. The alleged victim agreed and asked for water, as she was incredibly thirsty. The woman, who was a sports journalism major, alleges one of the players then invited her to a party at an apartment and one player "lied" and told the woman her roommate was on her way to the party. Jane Doe was also anxious that if she reported to police she could be cited with underage drinking charges, as she had used a fake ID to enter the East Lansing bar where she encountered the players.

The freshman was uncomfortable and was able to exit the bedroom and make her way back to the living room where she felt amusing and suspected she had been drugged. She then realized something was wrong and she might have been drugged.

"At no time did Plaintiff indicate she had a romantic interest in any of the team members that approached her", the lawsuit states. "I think the complaint kind of speaks for itself", she said. According to the lawsuit, the woman said she was forcefully thrown face-down onto the bed and held so she could not move while the second player raped her from behind.

The lawsuit alleges that the university has a practice of silencing victims who have accused male athletes of sexual assault, and has thus created a culture that has "emboldened male athletes and has given them unwritten permission to commit acts of sexual assault without outcome", according to Reuters.

The lawsuit doesn't list the names of the three basketball players because she never went to police and no criminal charges were filed. The woman reportedly had "no intention of having any physical contact with any of the people present at the party".

"Comments were made by MSUCC staff to the effect of 'we have had many other students in the same situation who have reported, and it has been very traumatic for them'".

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The freshman took that to mean the staff was implying it would be best not to go to police, and was told "if you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish", the lawsuit said.

The woman felt discouraged and frightened and decided not to report the rape to law enforcement. She said she would see her attackers at the Brody Dining Hall, causing panic and flashbacks, according to the lawsuit. She sought private psychiatric care in February 2016 and remains on prescribed medication, according to the lawsuit.

After the incident, she sought counseling through the university.

The lawsuit states the student became so traumatized and depressed by that exchange, she dropped out of MSU even explaining to officials she had been raped and had been suffering emotionally ever since.

Truszkowski is also the attorney for the alleged victim of sexual assault in the Michigan State football sexual assault case, involving former players Josh King, Donnie Corley Jr., and Demetric Vance.

The suit claimed that MSU failed to comply with Title IX requirements when it created "a culture in which male MSU athletes felt entitled and emboldened to commit sexual assaults without effect".

Emily Guerrant, MSU's vice president and university spokesperson, said the university does not comment on pending litigation.

At the time of the lawsuit's filing, Michigan State is also under investigation by the Michigan attorney general, the NCAA, the Michigan Legislature, U.S. House and Senate, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Education Federal Student Aid Division.

Michigan State University students are speaking out on a lawsuit filed by one of their own.