Lawsuit Alleges 3 MSU Basketball Players Raped Female Student in 2015
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Southern Division, alleges three players (named John Doe 1, 2 and 3) took the student home from an East Lansing bar between the late evening of April 11 and the early morning of April 12, according to the Detroit Free Press. She accepted a ride from the players under the guise of a party being thrown at an off-campus apartment belonging to the players.
Once there the student, labeled as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, claims she was having trouble holding her glass and “was feeling discombobulated”. She tried to send a text but could not control her thumbs properly, she believed at this point she may have been drugged. John Doe 1 then reportedly told Jane Doe "You are mine for the night”.
John Doe 2 took Jane Doe into another room when she asked for some water and to see some memorabilia, it was there that the lights went out and the three players took turns holding her down and raping her, according to the lawsuit.
Jane Doe's attorney, Karen Truszkowski, said her client never reported the assault to police but she did report it to a counselor on April 20, 2015 at the Michigan State University Counseling Center. She claims this interaction led to a conversation where she was told by a counselor at MSUCC that reporting the assault to police would not be in her "best interest".
According to the lawsuit, the counselors made it clear that Jane Doe was "fighting 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." She was told the best thing for herself to do was "get herself better".
Jane Doe was also not advised by the counselors to get a physical exam, seek medical treatment or have STD or pregnancy tests. The lawsuit also alleges she was not notified of her federal Title IX rights, protections, and accommodations. She was not at any point referred to the Title IX office.
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.
Truszkowski said the players are not being named because the focus of the lawsuit is on how her client was treated by the University. Jane Doe was also worried 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.
Jane Doe was so traumatized from the assault that she withdrew from classes that semester and told MSU officials that she was suffering from trauma after being raped. She was admitted to the Sparrow Hospital outpatient psychiatric day program for intensive psychiatric treatment. She resumed her classes in January of 2016 and a month later started private psychiatric treatment.