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State to meet with MSU for confidentiality discussion after releasing student information

Posted: 10:18 AM, Jun 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-10 14:18:50Z

The Michigan Health and Human Services Department will be on campus at Michigan State University next week looking at its confidentiality policies and procedures.

It’s because MSU went public with details about a woman’s interaction with the university counseling department after filing a lawsuit. The woman claims MSU counselors discouraged her from going to police after three basketball players raped her in 2015.

Details were made public in an April 2018 statement released by the university.

"I was certainly concerned for my client because that was difficult for her,” said Karen Truskowski, the attorney representing the woman.

Truskowski says this gets at the heart of the sex-assault problem with the administration.

“Obviously confidentiality is a big issue and that is kind of the crux of what has been happening is that people are afraid to talk about what has happened to them and that makes it really difficult when people see that that reaction is possible," said Truskowski.

The Detroit Free Press reports MSU Interim President John Engler helped come up with the response to the woman's lawsuit.

Victim advocates and the state lambasted MSU for giving out information that could be used to identify her.

The state could pull some of the university's “Victims of Crime Act” funding from the federal government, depending on the investigation which is something Truskowski does not want to see.

"I just want them to use the money appropriately and to follow the guidelines that they are given as a condition of the grant," said Truskowski.

The Michigan Health and Human Services Department is not aware Engler will be present for Wednesday’s meeting.

The department plans to meet with MSU staff who are directly involved with providing services to sexual assault victims.