Woman's lawsuit: 3 Michigan State basketball players raped her in 2015
(WJBK) - Three Michigan State University basketball players are accused of raping a student in 2015, according to a new lawsuit.
The woman said that university officials pressured her into not going to police to report the rape. The sexual assault of the 18-year-old student is said to have happened a week after the Final Four loss to Duke.
The basketball players have not been named in the lawsuit identified as John Doe 1, 2 and 3, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Southern Division.
The woman did report the assault to a counselor at the Michigan State University Counseling Center, according to her attorney Karen Truszkowski.
According to documents, the woman was warned about unwanted media attention and publicity that would come with naming well-known athletes in a sexual assault, based on the staff member's experience with other cases.
"The MSUCC staff 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.
"'Comments were made by MSUCC staff to the effect of "we have had many other students in the same situation who have reported, and it has been very traumatic for them.'"
"Plaintiff was told by the MSUCC staff that they had seen a lot of these cases with "guys with big names" and the best thing to do is to "just get yourself better" implying to the Plaintiff that it would not be in the Plaintiff's best interest to report the incident to law enforcement."
In the suit, the woman alleges she was at Harper's Bar when the MSU basketball team arrived after midnight. One of the accused players bought her a drink and offered to introduce her to "some of the guys."
She claims that she was invited to a party at one of the player's apartments, and was lied to that her roommate was already there. At some point she said in the lawsuit that her glass was difficult to grasp although she had not had much to drink.
She accepted a car ride to the party from John Doe 1 and 2 which was at an off-campus apartment. After arriving, she said there was no party with "few people present" and realized her roommate was not there. She then said she felt extremely hungry and thirsty.
She began to feel discombobulated and tried to send a phone text, but could not control her thumbs to formulate a text. John Doe 1 then told her "you are mine for the night" and led to a bedroom.
The student had not shown any romantic interest in any of the John Does, she said, and was able to back out of the bedroom. She then said she felt drugged and tried to load a song on the laptop which was playing music, but could not manipulate her hands.
John Doe 2 offered to show her his basketball memorabilia, the woman was then given a drink of water. The room then went dark and she was allegedly thrown face down on the bed and held in place, unable to move. Although she did not consent to sexual activity, all three John Does then took turns raping her while she was held down, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit states the woman was advised by a MSUCC staffer to not seek STD, pregnancy testing, have a physical exam or seek medical treatment.
"Plaintiff was expressly told by MSUCC staff that "if you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish," the suit says.
The student said she was so discouraged by the MSUCC Counseling staff she became frightened to the point that she decided she could not report the rape(s) to law enforcement.
She also alleges she was never advised she could report the rape(s) to the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) nor did they notify her of her Title IX rights, protections, and accommodations.
This is a developing story, stay with FOX 2 for more information as it becomes available.