Lawsuit: 3 Michigan State athletes gang-raped student

Lydia Fleming
April 11, 2018

A woman is suing Michigan State, alleging the university talked her out of reporting to police about an alleged rape involving three members of the basketball team, according to Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.

Her attorney Karen Truszkowski says they have proof of that visit.

MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In 2015, the federal Office for Civil Rights determined MSU's handling of some Title IX cases had created a "hostile environment" for individuals who complained about relationship violence or sexual misconduct and found there was confusion in MSU's athletic department about who should report sexual assault allegations to the university's investigation office.

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

The suit alleges JD1 bought her a drink, introduced her to other MSU basketball players at the bar and that she was ultimately invited to a party. After arriving, she said there was no party with "few people present" and realized her roommate was not there.

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The lawsuit asserts the woman "was feeling discombobulated" and believed she may have been drugged. 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.

Shortly afterwards, the victim was taken into a bedroom where each player took their turn in raping her.

The alleged victim was crying, could not move or speak and did not consent to the sexual activity.

Truszkowski joined host Al Martin on Tuesday's Current Sports, detailing what the last three years have been like for her client, as well as clarifying the lawsuit against MSU. When she woke up on the couch a few hours later, she called a taxi and went back to her dorm room.

All three men raped the woman, the lawsuit contends.

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". After seeking campus counseling she was dissuaded from reporting the incident or taking any action against the student-athletes. 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. She was told the best thing for herself to do was "get herself better".

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Additionally, the counseling staff did not tell her of her option to report the rapes to the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) nor did they notify her of her Title IX rights, protections and accommodations, the suit says.

"Plaintiff was expressly told by MSUCC staff that "if you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish", the suit says".

MSU students are sounding off about the latest scandal and some say student athletes are protected and victims are intimidated.

The victim stated that she was under the impression that by raising the issue with Michigan State University Counseling Center, she had made an official compliant.

According to the lawsuit, the woman in October 2015 "had become so traumatized, depressed, and withdrawn to the point that she was admitted to the Sparrow Hospital outpatient psychiatric dayprogram for intensive psychiatric treatment".

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