Mizzou and ESPN Make Comments on Alleged Rape

4 years 3 months 4 weeks ago Friday, January 24 2014 Jan 24, 2014 Friday, January 24, 2014 12:59:00 PM CST January 24, 2014 in Mizzou Xtra
By: Ashley Colley, KOMU 8 Sports Producer

COLUMBIA - According to a report that surfaced Friday from ESPN's Outside the Lines, the University of Missouri did not investigate an alleged rape possibly committed by one or more members of the football team. In 2010, the alleged victim, Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey she believed she was raped.

The timeline of events, provided to ESPN, says the alleged rape occurred in February 2010 but Menu Courey didn't report the incident until December 2010. Before she reported the incident, the report says she went to the hospital and began receiving prescriptions for an antidepressant and sedative from team and university doctors in April 2010. In August 2010, Menu Courey submitted her yearly medical appraisal where she told the university about her April hospital visit which was for a "major depressive disorder".  She then turned to an online rape crisis hotline before telling a university therapist of the alleged incident on December 28, 2010.

The report continues to say in January 2011, Menu Courey stopped participating in swim team practices or activities. Then in March 2011, it says she checked herself into the on-campus psychiatric center where a nurse and two doctors were made aware of the alleged assault. On April 3, 2011, Menu Courey attempted to commit suicide at a local hotel. Three days later on April 6, a University Withdrawal Form was presented by Mizzou athletic staffer Meghan Anderson on Menu Courey's behalf to leave Mizzou during her 96-hour involuntary commitment to a hospital. Later that night, she was transported to Kansas City and admitted to McLean Hospital in Boston on April 26. On June 17, 2011, Menu Courey died after she ingested 100 Tylenol.

Mizzou spokesperson Chad Moller sent a letter in December 2013 to ESPN's Tom Farrey and Nicole Noren, who conducted the report for Outside the Lines. It stated: "After witnessing the tone of the visits, and the nature of the countless subsequent follow up questions, it gave me concern about the underlying angle of the piece. Much of the questioning seemed based on a presumption that Mizzou bears fault in Sasha's tragic situation, and I'm concerned about the balance of the piece....Another important thing to note is related to a sexual incident during Sasha's freshman year. No one on the coaching staff (the previous staff was here in February of 2010), and no one in our administration nor any staff members, were to the best of our knowledge, ever told about this event while Sasha was alive. Had Sasha told any of our staff that she felt she had been assaulted, we expect that our staff would have reported it immediately to the proper authorities."

On Thursday, ESPN notified Moller and Mizzou the Outside the Lines story would be released. In the email, Noren asked: "does the Univ. of Missouri have any plans to open an investigation into the alleged sexual assault of Sasha Menu Courey or/and share this information with law enforcement?"

In response, Moller told Noren: "When Student Life asked Sasha's parents if they wanted an investigation conducted, they did not respond, as I'd indicated to you in my December letter...In this situation, it is clear that Sasha chose not to report this incident to anyone at MU other than mentioning it to health care providers (who were bound to respect her privacy). Nonetheless, 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 and we are not aware that they have taken any other action to prompt an investigation, such as filing a complaint with law enforcement. We continue to believe that MU has done the right and appropriate thing in asking Sasha's parents about their wishes. We also continue to believe that questions about an investigation should be addressed between MU and Sasha's parents. ESPN's reporting on this issue has not changed our view on that matter."

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