Michigan State University Discouraged A Student From Reporting An Assault & Now She’s Fighting Back

Michigan State University is finding themselves in the middle of yet another sexual assault case that they mishandled. A student from MSU has filed a federal lawsuit against the university this week alleging that she was raped by three of the school’s basketball players. After seeking campus counseling she was dissuaded from reporting the incident or taking any action against the student-athletes.

According to the complaint that was filed that BuzzFeed published,  the unnamed woman was raped by three unnamed basketball players on April 12, 2015. The woman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

MSU is at the center of the Larry Nasar case for not properly handling cases of assault. ESPN has reported that the school’s basketball and football programs have improperly handled sexual assault reports since 2007.

The suit states that when on April 11, 2015, the then 18-year-old freshman female was at Harper’s Bar near campus with her roommate. After midnight the three basketball players entered the bar. One bought her a drink and introduced her to his friends.

The suit states that the woman was having a hard time with her motor functions despite not drinking a lot and she believed she was drugged. There is no way of knowing because she didn’t have a toxicology report done in time. The suit also explicitly states that “At no time did Plaintiff indicate she had a romantic interest in any of the team members that approached her.”

The basketball players invited the woman back to their apartment because they said there was a party going on. They also told her that her roommate that she was at the bar with was already on the way to the party.

When the woman got to the apartment her roommate wasn’t there and there wasn’t a party only a few of the guys’ friends. While at the apartment the woman tried to text her friend but “was feeling discombobulated. She tried to send a phone text, but she could not control her thumbs to formulate a text,” the lawsuit states.

One of the basketball players asked her if she wanted to see basketball memorabilia and brought her to his room. According to the suit she was thrown on the bed face down, pinned and then raped. Then the two other athletes from the bar came in and raped her as well.

She doesn’t remember anything else, according to the lawsuit. She woke up on the couch hours later and got a cab home. Days after the rape she went to the MSU Counseling Center and reported the incident to a university counselor.

The suit says that when the counselor found out that it was basketball players who raped her, her demeanor changed. The counselor brought in another employee and according to the suit the two university employees “made it clear to Plaintiff that if she chose to notify the police, she faced an uphill battle that would create anxiety and unwanted media attention and publicity as had happened with many other female students who were sexually assaulted by well-known athletes.”

The counselors also failed to inform the student of other options and didn’t comply with Title IX requirement of providing women with equal protection.

After the assault, she dropped out of MSU for a semester and upon returning switched her major.

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