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MSU student suing university over sexual assault

Posted at 10:06 AM, Nov 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-28 08:30:46-05

A woman has filed a Title IX gender discrimination lawsuit against Michigan State University in regards to a 2015 sexual assault by a former MSU football player.

The woman, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, says she was assaulted in her dorm room on St. Patrick's Day of 2015 by former MSU football player Keith Mumphery. The lawsuit states she went through all the requirements to report the assault to the university, and that the university failed in its investigation and did not support or protect her.

After reporting the assault, it took MSU six months to complete a Title IX investigation, violating its own policy which states such investigations were to be completed within 90 days. The lawsuit also claims MSU did not put any measures in place to protect the victim, including no contact orders, counseling and interim suspensions. The lawsuit says during the investigation, Mumphery was allowed to roam the campus completely unrestricted.

The woman says the lack of support from MSU caused her mental and emotional distress, including flashbacks, nightmares and depression. Her grades also suffered and she quit her job, because she worked in the same building as Title IX investigators and feared running into Mumphery.

The university's Office for Institutional Equity eventually found that Mumphery had not violated MSU's relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy. However, a separate review of MSU's handling of sexual violence cases by the U.S. Department of Education found MSU was in violation of federal guidelines and was ordered to review handling of prior complaints, including Jane Doe's complaint against Mumphery.

Another investigation into the case found that the woman did not give consent and Mumphery had violated MSU's policy by sexually assaulting the woman, a full year after the assault occurred.

Sanctions were eventually issued against Mumphery, but by this time, he was no longer a student. MSU banned him from the campus until December 2018 and could be arrested if found in violation. Mumphery was notified of the sanctions on June 7, 2016. However, eight days later, MSU sent out a tweet saying Mumphery was invited to and would be attending an MSU sponsored football camp on June 18, as well as an MSU sponsored golf outing the day before.

The lawsuit claims no attempt was made to notify the woman that Mumphery was present on campus at that time and when she learned from friends that he had been spotted on campus and around East Lansing, police and the university made no attempt to protect her.

The lawsuit says the woman has since been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by the stress of dealing with rejection and failures of the university to help her, as they were required to by law. The lawsuit is accusing the university of fostering an atmosphere of failure to address sexual assault overall and the athletics department specifically.

The woman is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages, as well as requiring the university to take effective steps to prevent sex-based discrimination and harassment in all its programs and activities.

FOX 47 News spoke with the woman's attorney, Karen Truskowski, Monday morning, who gave us the following statement: "Until the defendants are served with the complaint, I don't have any comment. Please respect the privacy of my client."

MSU spokesman, Jason Cody, issued a statement on the lawsuit, saying “MSU just became aware of the lawsuit this morning. Sexual misconduct in all of its forms is an issue our leaders take very seriously. We have taken and continue to take significant steps to increase campus resources and revise campus policies to hear complaints in a timely and fair manner."