losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com April 26, 2018


Suit accuses 3 Spartans of sexual assault

11 April 2018, 11:21 | Violet Powell

Lawsuit: 3 Michigan State athletes gang-raped student

Lawsuit alleges three Michigan State basketball players raped student in 2015

She also claims she asked for water and was given some because she was thirsty at the time.

The woman's attorney, Karen Truszkowski, told The Associated Press on Monday that she is reserving comment to give MSU "an opportunity to get up to speed and go over it".

USA Today reports that the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Southern Division.

"When I started out here, I did have confidence, but in light of recent events I would say that I've had a remarkably diminished view on how well our university's able to handle not only like cases of sexual assault on campus, but like cases of sexual assault just pertaining to our campus", said student Jacob Hoffman. None of the players were named in the suit.

Almost a year later the woman resumed classes at MSU, but to date her attorney claims that the university has done nothing. Earlier in the week, the team had been eliminated from the NCAA Final Four in a contest against Duke. "At no time did plaintiff indicate she had a romantic interest in any of the team members that approached her". She then accepted a ride to the party from two players - the party was at one of their off-campus apartments - and there was no party and her roommate was not there. After arriving, she said there was no party with "few people present" and realized her roommate was not there.

She agreed to go to the party, but upon entering the apartment, she found no party.

"Plaintiff was feeling discombobulated".

Music was playing from a laptop in the living room, and when the woman tried to load a song onto the laptop, she said she couldn't use her hands properly, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was left so "traumatized, depressed, and withdrawn" that she was admitted to Sparrow Hospital outpatient psychiatric day program for intensive psychiatric treatment.

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The woman, a journalism major who aspired to be a sports journalist, claims in the lawsuit that she was raped at a party by three basketball players, and that she believes one of the players gave her a drugged drink. Plaintiff was crying, she could not move, nor could she speak.

The lawsuit does not take the names of the three basketball players and instead focuses on Michigan State University and its toxic culture.

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 second player then invited her to his room to see basketball memorabilia, which she accepted as a sports fan.

She told Outside the Lines that a player bought her a Long Island iced tea and that shortly after she started to drink it, she began to lose control of her muscles - dropping that drink and another.

She was told it had happened with many other female students who were sexually assaulted by athletes, the lawsuit says.

After an initial assessment, the plaintiff told her counselor the perpetrators were basketball players, which allegedly led to an immediate demeanor change and an unidentified staffer to be brought into the room.

The freshman was "so discouraged by the representations made by the (counseling staff) she became frightened to the point that she decided she could not report the rape (s) to law enforcement". They did not advise her how to report the rape to the university's Office of Institutional Equity.

A message for the MSU athletic department was not immediately returned.

As FOX 47's Cryss Walker tells us, some students say they're not surprised.



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