A female student is suing Michigan State University after she says the school mishandled her allegations of sexual assault against three Spartans basketball players in 2015.
“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,” the lawsuit states, according to a story written by ESPN’s Paula Lavigne.
The student did not reveal her name because she “fears revealing her identity publicly.” The players, who are no longer at the school, were not named in the ESPN story. Michigan State had no comment when ESPN’s Outside the Lines reached out on Monday.
The student’s attorney told ESPN she is not naming the players in the lawsuit because she wants to focus “with the way she was treated by the university.”
The student outlined the 2015 incident as the following:
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 said she left the bar with some of the players after being led to believe her roommate had gone to a party at an apartment belonging to one of the players. Once at the apartment — and realizing her roommate wasn’t there — the lawsuit states the woman felt “discombobulated” and “tried to send a phone text, but she could not control her thumbs to formulate a text.”
She said in the interview that one of the players said to her, “You know you’re mine for the night?” to which she said she responded that she was just trying to find her friend. When another player later invited her into his bedroom to look at his sports memorabilia, she said she went willingly because, as an avid sports fan, “I thought it was pretty cool,” she told Outside the Lines. She remembered being incredibly thirsty, and she was given a glass of water, the lawsuit states, and she was “drinking the water when the room went dark.”
She said in the lawsuit that she was thrown down on a bed, held down and was unable to move or speak while three of the players took turns raping her. “I was crying. I was trying to push myself up, and I couldn’t move,” she told Outside the Lines. “At no time did she consent to the sexual activity,” the lawsuit states.
Michigan State has been in the news for sexual assault-related reports steadily since ESPN published an investigation into the school’s football and basketball programs in January. Current Spartans basketball player Brock Washington was charged with assault last week.