Lawsuit alleges MSU violated policies during sex assault investigation
MSU is being sued regarding its handling of a sexual assault report from 2015. The lawsuit, filed Sunday by "Jane Doe," alleges MSU mishandled her sexual assault complaint against former MSU football player Keith Mumphery.
The lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred on March 17, 2015, where the plaintiff alleges Mumphery sexually assaulted her in her dorm room. The plaintiff was a freshman at the time of the incident. She filed a report with MSUPD on March 17, 2015, and filed a complaint with MSU's Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, or I3, on March 18, 2015.
The incident occurred before MSU's Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE, was created. At the time, MSU's Title IX office was known as the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. MSU's OIE office was created in April 2015. It was I3 that started the investigation into the alleged sexual assault and OIE continued and completed it.
According to the lawsuit, OIE completed the investigation nearly six months after the assault was reported, which violated MSU's policy that all investigations would be completed within 90 days.
At the conclusion of the lawsuit, Mumphery had already graduated from MSU and could not be dismissed. Mumphery was banned from stepping foot on campus until the end of 2018. He was also banned from re-enrolling at MSU in any capacity. Violations of either of these sanctions will result in Mumphery's arrest.
On an alternative timeline, the case was forwarded to Ingham County Prosecutor's Office in late March 2015. MSU police requested third-degree sexual conduct charges, but assistant prosecutor Steve Kwasnik declined to press charges because the case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the police report.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff states MSU failed to put required protections — which could include no contact orders, no trespass orders, housing rearrangements, interim suspensions, counseling, academic support and facilitating class changes — in place.
During the investigation, the plaintiff worked in the same building that housed OIE. She said MSU offered her no protections and did not notify her when Mumphery would be in the building. She quit her job because she was fearful of running into Mumphery or of him retaliating against her.
"Plaintiff was afraid every day after the assault. Plaintiff did not know who knew about the assault or who might retaliate against her. She was fearful that she would see Mumphery, his friends, or his fellow football players. Plaintiff constantly looked over her shoulder and became withdrawn," according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The lawsuit also alleges MSU invited Mumphery to an MSU sponsored football camp and an MSU sponsored golf outing, both to be held in June 2016. Despite the sanctions in place, Mumphery appeared at the golf outing. The plaintiff alleges MSU did not notify her of his presence on campus.
Days after news broke of the alleged sexual assault, Mumphery was waived by the Houston Texans due to "off-the-field issues." This occurred at the end of May 2017.
MSU is facing a dozen of other lawsuits, nine of which are related to ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
On Nov. 20, another lawsuit against MSU, this one related to Title IX proceedings, was given the go-ahead to proceed, despite a motion from MSU's attorneys to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs in the case allege MSU did not follow Title IX procedures or Michigan's Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and they also allege their constitutional right of due process was violated.