11 April, 2018
The allegations were made in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of MI that claims three unnamed male basketball players raped her in the spring of 2015 after the Spartans were eliminated from the Final Four by Duke.
The suit says that when the counselor found out that it was basketball players who raped her, her demeanor changed.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Southern Division, does not name the woman, nor the three players, who are no longer at the school.
"JD1 pulled Plaintiff into a bedroom and told her 'you are mine for the night, '" court documents allege. He then allegedly raped her from behind while she cried, unable to move or speak, according to the lawsuit.
Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was recently convicted of sexual abuse, was a longtime employee at the university.
The woman was told that "if you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish", the complaint states, adding that the staffers did not advise her to seek STD or pregnancy testing and did not inform her of her option to report the incident to the school's Title IX office. Speaking with ESPN on condition that she not be identified, she said she anxious they would be charged with underage drinking, and counseling staff did nothing to ease those concerns. 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.
She claims that the unnamed counselors told her she would face an "uphill battle" and "unwanted media attention" if she reported the rape to police, and that she would be "swimming with some really big fish" if she made a decision to involve law enforcement. Three former football players pleaded guilty last week to reduced charges in the 2017 sexual assault of a woman in an apartment bathroom.
She was told it had happened with many other female students who were sexually assaulted by athletes, the lawsuit says.
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After the incident, she sought counseling through the university.
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 student did not reveal her name because she "fears revealing her identity publicly". Instead, it is focused "with the way she was treated by the university", the student's attorney, Karen Truszkowski, tells ESPN's "Outside the Lines".
The alleged victim received a refund of her tuition money after she explained the situation to university officials.
On April 20, 2015, JR2 took the alleged victim to MSU's Counseling Center, or MSUCC, where the alleged victim reported the rape to a counselor and completed an initial intake and assessment.
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".
She resume classes in January 2016, but changed her major because her dream of becoming a sports journalist had been destroyed, according to the lawsuit.
The victim stated that she had reported the incident to the Michigan State University Counseling Center, but they subjected her to a hostile environment and did not come across as understanding or helpful.