Lawsuit Alleges 3 MSU Basketball Players Raped Female Student in 2015


The university is under investigation by state and federal agencies over its handling of the Nassar case.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court on Monday, an unidentified woman claims she met multiple members of the men's basketball team at Harper's bar in East Lansing on April 11, 2015, days after the team played in the 2015 Final Four.

Neither the woman nor the players are named in the suit, which claims Michigan State failed to comply with Title IX requirements and "created an unwritten, official policy that created a culture in which male MSU athletes felt entitled and emboldened to commit sexual assaults without outcome". "I'm thinking to myself, 'If only you could look at them like I have to".

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

The suit states that "MSU has fostered a culture in which female victims are discouraged from reporting sexual assaults when those assaults are perpetrated by male athletes, thus protecting the university, the male athletics programs, and the male athletes at the expense of the female victims".

Photo by Derrick L. Turner of MSU Communications and Brand Strategy office.

The basketball players invited the woman back to their apartment because they said there was a party going on.

She also felt "discombobulated" and "she thought she might have been drugged".

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The staffers then advised the woman they had seen many cases with "guys with big names", and that the best thing for her to do is "just get yourself better" - implying it was not in the woman's best interest to report the incident to authorities, according to the complaint. The woman says in the suit that she was taken to an apartment where the players took turns raping her in a bedroom.

The alleged victim was crying, could not move or speak and did not consent to the sexual activity.

The first player then pulled her into a bedroom and told her "you are mine for the night".

The woman said she doesn't remember anything else until she woke up on the couch a few hours later, according to the lawsuit.

When she arrived at the apartment, she realized her roommate was not there. The roommate, the lawsuit states, had been looking for the woman.

The victim said she was gang-raped by MSU basketball athletes and that school counselors discouraged her from seeking justice against her attackers.

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.

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.

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The counselors also failed to inform the student of other options and didn't comply with Title IX requirement of providing women with equal protection.

"Plaintiff was expressly told by MSUCC staff that 'if you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish, '" the lawsuit alleges.

However, after the alleged victim disclosed the three alleged rapists were from the men's basketball team, the counselor announced she needed another person in the room.

By October, she had become so "traumatized, depressed, and withdrawn" that she was admitted to an outpatient psychiatric day-program and stopped attending her classes, she said in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Michigan State has not been transparent in dealings with investigators about the sexual assault incidents.

The report also says the school has changed a number of policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment and assault since Nassar's 2016 suspension from MSU.

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.

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