Report says Missouri did not investigate alleged sexual assault of former swimmer who later committed suicide

Dr. Saturday

An ESPN Outside The Lines report reveals that, despite having knowledge of an alleged incident, the University of Missouri did not investigate an alleged February 2010 rape of an MU swimmer by one or more football players. The alleged victim, Sasha Menu Courey, committed suicide in 2011, about 16 months after the alleged incident took place.

Courey believed she had been raped by a football player but kept the alleged attack a secret for much of 2010. Later in the year, however, records show that she revealed the incident to a rape crisis counselor and a campus therapist. In the following months, “a campus nurse, two doctors, and, according to her journal, an athletic department administrator also learned of her claim that she had been assaulted,” the report said.

A December 2010 chat transcript between Menu Courey and a rape crisis counselor was saved in Menu Courey’s university email. In the chat, which was “gathered by Missouri administrators in late 2012,” she describes that the alleged assault took place after she had consensual sex with a man, later identified as former Mizzou running back Gil Moye.

A Missouri official told Outside The Lines that information from the chat was not enough to bring to law enforcement and that the University decided not to investigate the incident because it believes those were “the wishes of Menu Courey, who never reported the incident to police.”

"An important consideration in deciding how to address a report of a sexual incident is to determine what the alleged victim wants," athletic department spokesman Chad Moller wrote in an email. "In this situation, it is clear that Sasha chose not to report this incident to anyone at MU other than mentioning it to healthcare providers who were bound to respect her privacy."

Former Missouri receiver Rolandis Woodland says Menu Courey told him about the incident and he alleges that more than one of his teammates raped her that night. Woodland, a close friend of Menu Courey, also alleges that he saw videotape of the alleged incident and that there were three players committing the assault.

After the piece was published, an email correspondence between Outside the Lines and Missouri was posted on Missouri’s athletics website. When OTL asked Missouri why they had not taken any steps to investigate the alleged rape, Moller responded:

“If your story is going to suggest that MU officials should have known of the sexual incident while Sasha was a student because she had reported something about it to medical personnel employed at MU, we strongly request that you revisit the story and reconsider the approach. Obviously, we’re concerned that the story is going to unjustifiably cast MU in a bad light. I’ve already written to you in that general regard. But our concern on this issue goes well beyond that."

"If there’s a perception that medical personnel employed at universities should or must report sexual assaults to police or campus administration whenever a student discusses a sexual assault in seeking medical help, it could discourage victims of sexual assault from seeking treatment at the time of the assault or discussing it in connection with later treatment. That’s why university policies (like those noted above) make it a point to inform students that they can get treatment confidentially."

"MU officials did not try to obtain information from medical personnel who treated Sasha about any sexual incident she may have reported while seeking treatment. Medical personnel employed by MU have privacy and confidentiality obligations to their patients an MU respects those obligations."

"Sasha had not provided any authorization for MU officials to access her medical records in that regard, nor do MU officials have any such authorization from Sasha’s parents. As soon as MU officials became aware of this sexual incident while reviewing Sasha’s e-mail account in response to a records request from Sasha’s parents, they wrote to Sasha’s parents and asked whether they wanted an investigation to occur. Sasha’s parents have not responded.”

In separate incidents, star Missouri running back Derrick Washington was convicted in the sexual assault of a tutor in 2010 and Mizzou basketball player Michael Dixon was twice accused of sexual assault while at the school.

The investigation is also a reminder of the Lizzy Seeberg case. Seeberg was a student at St. Mary’s University who committed suicide after she alleged she was sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player.

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