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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Lawsuit accuses Michigan State of covering up rape accusation against basketball players

Michigan State

A Michigan State student was raped by three basketball players in 2015 and coerced by the university into not reporting it, according to a new lawsuit.

According to Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press, the suit accuses three unnamed basketball players of raping a student in April 2015, one week after the Spartans lost to Duke in the Final Four. The woman’s attorney, Karen Truszkowski, said the victim reported the assault to the university’s counseling center.

The woman said she met the team at a bar and one offered to buy her a drink. She was invited to a party with the team and began to feel “discombobulated,” leading her to believe she may have been drugged. She said she was taken into another room, forced down on a bed, and raped by three basketball players.

When the woman reported the rape to the Michigan State University Counseling Center on April 20, 2015, the female counselor helping her shifted upon learning that the alleged rapists were basketball players. She was then told 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” and was advised to “just get yourself better” instead of pursuing legal action. At no point was she informed of her Title IX rights, protections, and accommodations.

The woman did not go to police and the lawsuit states she eventually sought “intense psychiatric treatment” stemming from the rape and remains on prescribed medication.

It is unclear if Tom Izzo or anyone at the Michigan State athletic department was ever informed of the allegations.

The lawsuit comes at a time when the athletic department and university as a whole are under heavy criticism for allegedly covering up assaults by basketball and football players. An incident such as this one would most certainly constitute further evidence that those allegations are true.

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