Lawsuit Charges Three Michigan State Basketball Players with Rape

AP Rod Sanford
AP Photo/Rod Sanford

A lawsuit charges that three Michigan State basketball players raped a woman back in 2015 after the Final Four tournament.

Filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Southern Division, the lawsuit claims that after the three players raped the unnamed victim, she was pressured not to report the attack by university officials., USA Today reported.

Attorney Karen Truszkowski says that the victim never reported the rape but would not comment further. “I think the complaint kind of speaks for itself,” she said.

The three players alleged to have committed the rape were also not named in the lawsuit as the case is against the purported coercion by the university, not against the players.

School officials would not comment on the filing.

The victim, an MSU student, claims that she was at Harper’s Bar when members of the Spartans basketball team arrived after midnight. The players began buying her drinks and then invited her to a party at a nearby apartment building. The woman, who at the time was a sports journalism major, also said that one of the players “lied” to her and said her roommate was also going to be at the party.

She agreed to go to the party, but upon entering the apartment, she found no party. She also then realized her roommate was not there. She alleges that one player pulled her into a bedroom and told her, “You are mine for the night.”

The filing adds that at that point the lights were turned off and several players held her down while they took turns raping her.

The victim said that she also thinks she may have been drugged as after the drink she began to feel “discombobulated.” Her state of sobriety added to her inability to fight off the rape, she claimed.

The lawsuit alleges that school officials pressured the victim to forget about the incident. The suit says the MSU Counseling Center staffers “made it clear to Plaintiff 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.” The staff also allegedly told the woman that fighting against “guys with big names” would be a losing proposition for her.

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

Ultimately, the victim alleges that she became “traumatized” by the attack and was later hospitalized at the Sparrow Hospital outpatient psychiatric day program for intensive psychiatric treatment.She also lost months of schooling and eventually changed her major.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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