Student says MSU discouraged her from reporting alleged rape by basketball players

Posted at 11:44 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 08:56:21-04

Bailey Kowalski says she has a story to tell.

The Michigan State University student came forward today, the first time since she filed a federal lawsuit last April against MSU as a Jane Doe.

In it, Kowalski says she was raped by three MSU basketball players in 2015 after the Final Four, then was discouraged from reporting it.

Kowalsk said she was at an off-campus bar where she met three members of the 2014-2015 basketball team after they returned from a loss to Duke in the NCAA basketball tournament.

She was invited back to an apartment, according to her lawsuit, where she was told there would be a party.

“She soon realized that was not the case, that there was no party,” said Karen Truszkowski, the attorney for Kowalski. “And after that, these three individuals sexually assaulted her.”

She says when she disclosed that her attackers were basketball players, a counselor responded: "…if you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish."

Kowalski never filed a police report.

In an interview published today in the New York Times, Kowalski said, in part: “I don’t want any other girl who has gone through this or who God forbid may have to go through something like this to feel for one second that they should be too afraid to come out and do something.”

MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said today that the school could not comment on the case while it is still active.

“The university takes sexual assault and Title IX situations very seriously and is dedicated to making sure every student receives fair treatment and support when they need it,” she said.

Kowalski has not named the three players she is accusing of rape. They are no longer on the MSU basketball team.