Lawsuit Charges Three Michigan State Basketball Players with Rape

Lawsuit Charges Three Michigan State Basketball Players with Rape

A federal lawsuit filed Monday alleges three Michigan State basketball players raped a female student in 2015 and the university failed to offer her the proper resources for help.

The complaint states that the three players - identified only as John Doe 1, 2 and 3 - took the woman from an East Lansing, Mich., bar in April 2015. There, her roommate told her she did not know about a party. The woman, who at the time was a sports journalism major, also said that one of the players "lied" to her and said her roommate was also going to be at the party. They arrived at an off-campus apartment, and there was no party and very few people present, the lawsuit says.

Before she left the bar she was already having a hard time holding on to her glass, the lawsuit stated, even though "she had not had a lot to drink".

Later, after being given water because she was "incredibly thirsty" and thinking "she might have been drugged", the lights went out. The basketball player allegedly threw her on the bed, pinning her face down so she could not move. The woman was crying and could not speak, her lawsuit claims, and she did not consent to the activity.

Two of the basketball players allegedly drove the woman to an off-campus apartment, at which point she realized her roommate was not there and no party. The woman claims she does not remember anything until waking up on a couch a few hours later, then called a taxi back to her dorm. "At no time did plaintiff indicate she had a romantic interest in any of the team members that approached her". She claims she often saw one or all of the alleged attackers in the building.

From the Detroit Free Press report on this story, 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.

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. "The counselor's demeanor completely changed", the lawsuit reads in part.

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Another MSUCC staff member was brought into the room and the alleged victim was not made aware why the staff member was brought in.

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 said she was so discouraged that she decided not to report the rapes to law enforcement, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit states the woman was advised by a MSUCC staffer to not seek STD, pregnancy testing, have a physical exam or seek medical treatment. The woman was eventually admitted to an outpatient psychiatric program as a result of the incident. An "Outside the Lines" report in January accused the school of covering up a series of sexual-assault claims involving the athletic department.

"Plaintiff changed her major as her dream of becoming a sports journalist had been destroyed", documents also note. Those three players incidentally are no longer with Michigan State. According to the lawsuit, this traumatized the alleged victim again. She was not at any point referred to the Title IX office.

The lawsuit was filed by Jane Doe and lists defendants MSU and "Unidentified Roes", who are described as employees or counselors of the MSU Counseling Center and "acting as agents of the Defendant".

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

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