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Mizzou failure to pursue sexual assault - OTL

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18 replies to this topic

#1
WayzUp

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Haven't seen this posted yet....going to be on Outside The Lines on Sunday morning, 9AM

Quote

The University of Missouri did not investigate or tell law enforcement officials about an alleged rape, possibly by one or more members of its football team, despite administrators finding out about the alleged 2010 incident more than a year ago, an "Outside the Lines" investigation has found. The alleged victim, a member of the swim team, committed suicide in 2011....


http://espn.go.com/e...stigation-finds

Let me get this straight. We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and will be fined for if we don't, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts itself from it, signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese and financed by a country that's broke.

What could possibly go wrong?


#2
possumslayer

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Oops

#3
Mizzou_Fan

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I have somewhat skimmed the article because it is freaking long so correct me if I'm wrong but this does seem like a pretty good summary:


"Please actually read the article. The only MU staffer that was told about the rape that was able to report it of the victim wished was Anderson. The diary entry does not say she told her it was a football player. The coaches weren't told, the athletic director wasn't told. A football player was but even he didn't know if reporting it is what she wanted. And in her diary she said she didn't know if she could deal with a trial even after months of therapy. Many times victims feel more violated by recounting the story and being dragged through court, which are feelings she had. The rapists should be prosecuted and charged to the fullest extent of the law. But don't act like its a university, coach, athletic department, police cover up. None of them knew about it and when they did it was from an article not a complaint brought by the victim or her parents that they wanted prosecuted. The fact these players did this is sickening and they should be held responsible, but it is not a cover up or the same as Penn St or even Jameis Winston from the evidence shown as much as you and ESPN want a big Stroh."

#4
Mizzou_Fan

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http://www.mutigers....l-exchange.html

Nicole,
Thanks for the advance notice. After conferring with some folks, please see below for a response to your questions. Prior to doing that, I do want to re-address some concerns I’d voiced previously.

Based on your e-mail and other questions you’ve posed over time, we are concerned that your approach to this story is based on a predetermined perception that MU should have been aware of the sexual incident involving Sasha and done something regarding it while she was a student. We’ve pointed out repeatedly that Sasha did not report this to anyone to our knowledge and that MU officials didn’t otherwise have any knowledge of the incident until the chat transcript was found during the search of Sasha’s e-mail account in response to her parents’ Sunshine Law request – of which the discovery was more than a year after Sasha had passed, and more than two-and-a-half years from the alleged incident. You previously have stated that MU personnel were aware of the incident while Sasha was a student, but when asked to provide information on that point so MU could follow it up, you specifically refused to do so. That is until now, hours before you intend to post a story online.

We wish you would have provided this information earlier because we believe it reflects important misperceptions on your organization’s part and we think it warrants more attention than it’s likely to get in one afternoon. Still, this is important, so we’ll do our best to address the issues quickly.

You seem to be implying, if not suggesting, that because Sasha told MU medical personnel about a sexual assault while she was a student, that other MU officials should have been aware and taken some sort of action. That is simply wrong.
It is my understanding that when an adult student, such as Sasha, is seeking treatment from MU medical personnel and informs them about a sexual assault, those medical personnel have duties of privacy and confidentiality to the student under state law, professional rules, and HIPAA. They are not required, or even allowed, to report the sexual assault to law enforcement or campus administrators without the authorization of the student. You previously have mentioned the affirmative obligation of universities to address student sexual assaults. That obligation particularly arises from Title IX. While the U.S. Department of Education interprets Title IX to require most university personnel to report student sexual assaults, that doesn’t apply to information that medical personnel receive in the course of treating patients. Nothing in Title IX sets aside a health care provider’s duty of confidentiality to a patient or otherwise requires or allows university medical personnel to report sexual assault of a student patient without that individual’s authorization.

MU’s Title IX website informs student victims of sexual assault that they can get treatment confidentially and without making a police report: http://equity.missouri.edu/titleix.php. This is not just MU’s interpretation. In a quick Google search, right away I found other universities that emphasize how students can get confidential treatment from school medical personnel. I’m sure there are more, but here are some examples that popped up on the first page of my Google search:
Nothing in what you’ve provided suggests that Sasha asked or authorized MU medical personnel to report a sexual assault. We’re not otherwise aware of any information to that effect.

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.

Nicole, your organization could contribute to some real harm here if the story gets this wrong. 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.

Secondarily, it’s not right – and is possibly defamatory – to run a story that states or implies that the health care providers who treated Sasha did something wrong by not reporting information of her sexual incident to police or campus administrators. Those people have professional and legal obligations of confidentiality and shouldn’t be faulted for abiding by them.

These considerations are important in addressing the second question you’ve posed. You essentially imply that because of questions Tom asked in the interviews, MU Athletics should have gone to mental health care providers who treated Sasha and questioned them about information she may have provided to them. How would it have been appropriate for MU Athletics staff to do that without authorization? I recognize that Sasha’s parents provided your organization with an authorization to get health records, but they have never provided anything like that to us. 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.

So, to respond to your second question: 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.
Their lack of response is pertinent to your first question as well and it points to what we believe may be another misunderstanding on your organization’s part. Several of your questions and statements over time suggest that ESPN is under the impression that a university must launch an investigation whenever it receives any information about a sexual assault involving a student. If that is your organization’s understanding, it represents an overstatement of what Title IX requires. The U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on Title IX allows a university to take into account a student’s request for confidentiality in deciding how to respond to a complaint. (This is addressed at page 5 of the following document: http://www2.ed.gov/a...ague-201104.pdf.) This is not even a situation in which a student is making a complaint but requesting confidentiality. Instead, it is clear that Sasha chose not to make a complaint about this incident or report it to anyone at MU other than mentioning it to health care providers. The guidance from the Department does not address this situation but it seems as though this circumstance would warrant at least as much respect for Sasha’s apparent desire for confidentiality as a situation in which a student makes a complaint. That is partly why in this situation MU officials reached out to Sasha’s parents to ask whether they wanted an investigation to occur. I say “partly” because, aside from any analysis under Title IX, it seems like the right and respectful thing to do after her passing to ask Sasha’s parents what they want.

We still do not have any response from Sasha’s parents indicating that they want an investigation and we are not aware that they have made any complaint to law enforcement. We recognize that your organization has been in contact with Sasha’s parents, but we are not aware that ESPN speaks for them or acts as their agent – nor would that seem appropriate for a news organization. So we don’t see that you’ve made a request for an investigation on their behalf.

As to whether there is an independent reason or basis for an investigation apart from the wishes of Sasha or her parents, you have not added anything to the picture. All you have done is indicate that Sasha discussed the incident with health care providers. That does not provide any further information about the incident itself or risks on campus.

So, to respond to your first question: An important consideration in deciding how to address a report of a sexual incident is to determine what the alleged victim wants. 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.

I’ll close by restating what I had communicated in my previous letter to you in December. Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to Lynn and Mike for their tragic loss. We believe that they did everything they could to try and help Sasha, as we did here at Mizzou. We are hopeful that the overall focus of your piece is to help raise awareness about the challenges related to the issue of mental illness, and if there are things we can do from our position of leadership at Mizzou to assist, please consider us as willing to do so.
Best wishes on the feature.

Edited by Mizzou_Fan, 24 January 2014 - 04:33 PM.


#5
A10Rebel

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and now we'll never know since the star witness is dead.

#6
CCRider

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Speaking from a fan base that has seen many star players suspended for critical games for things like cheating at Monopoly, taking too many ketchup packets from the self help station at the Chick-fil-A, eating with their elbows on the table, coloring outside of the lines in their coloring books, and not replacing the toilet paper roll....rape and murder are the only two things that you have to come down on and come down on hard.

Welcome to the South tip #4,234 for our new Yankee cousins:  Don't rape people.
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If we continue to humor these Missouri Yankees they will start to actually believe they are really in the SEC.  Ppffffftttttt.....Yankees in the SEC....that'll be the day!

#7
PuddingTime

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Fun fact: We don't take kindly to rape.
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#8
possumslayer

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View PostPuddingTime, on 24 January 2014 - 05:03 PM, said:

Fun fact: We don't take kindly to rape.
unless...


#9
Neil Caudle is Superman

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Hey guys, nobody is allowed to comment or have an opinion on this until they've done a detailed study of every police report, interview, and news clip on the subject. They must then complete a 55 page research paper.

After that, it's fine to post.

#10
GatorUnvrsty

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Oh man, is this one going to get ugly. As the law stipulates, the university must initiate an investigation even after the death of a victim; and plenty of UM officials knew of it by 2011-12... this is 2014.

Additionally, I don't know the law in Missouri, but in nearly every other state I'm familiar with, the law states that even health care professionals MUST report evidence or claims of a sexual assault or rape to the regular law enforcement authorities; those laws typically supercede any and all privacy laws and claims of health care confidentiality.

Also, unlike other recent cases, there are witnesses (including another football player) and even a videotape of this one, as well as an admission by one of the participants...

The basics of Menu Courey's account are supported by a former Missouri football receiver, who alleges that more than one of his teammates raped her that night. Rolandis Woodland, a receiver with the Tigers from 2008-12 and a friend of Menu Courey's, was not at the scene but said the morning after the incident she was distraught and crying, confiding to him that something bad had happened to her without saying exactly what.

Later, after she died, he said he saw a videotape of three players in a dark room assaulting her in a drunken state.

"You could see her saying 'No, no,' hysterically crying," Woodland, who had dated Menu Courey briefly, told "Outside the Lines." "She uses the name of [redacted player] when she tells him to get off of her, and he says, 'It's only me.' They dim the lights and you could see them switching [assaulting] her but you cannot see who was switching because the lights were dimmed. About three minutes into the tape, she pushed whoever was on her off of her and ran out of the room."

Woodland said he believes Menu Courey didn't realize, because she was intoxicated, that multiple players took part. The video was sent to him, he said, by Menu Courey, who mailed the package just before she killed herself in June 2011. He said Menu Courey had told him she received the tape from a former girlfriend of one of the players. Woodland said the tape was inadvertently misplaced by one of his family members, and he has been unable to find it.

Woodland attributes the discrepancy in his account and Menu Courey's to her intoxication. He stands by his account that she was raped by teammates and said he angrily confronted three of them shortly after her death. He said that after being pressed, one of them admitted being with her sexually -- that he took advantage of the situation -- but denied it was against her consent.


http://espn.go.com/e...stigation-finds

Edited by GatorUnvrsty, 24 January 2014 - 07:08 PM.

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#11
RamboMizzou

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Looks like ESPN posted this way too early. So many holes and the university response shows that the reporting of this incident was terrible. Prayers to the family and may this be resolved but I don't see how this was in any way a problem that the university of Missouri should be punished for when hippa laws regulate those in the medical field to be hush hush. Such a sad story though..
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#12
adfalcon

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Mizzou's gonna get punished for this it looks like, at least they should.
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 BulldawgFan, on 18 August 2014 - 06:22 PM, said:

What makes you think Bama is head and toes above MSU?
Formerly known as #ThisisMULLENSstate

#13
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View Postadfalcon, on 24 January 2014 - 07:13 PM, said:

Mizzou's gonna get punished for this it looks like, at least they should.

Why would the university be punished? You punish the criminals.

#14
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This is going to be problematic:


Timeline of Events


August 2009: Sasha Menu Courey arrives at University of Missouri.

Fall 2009: Sasha earns a 4.0 GPA her first semester, but is sidelined due to an NCAA eligibility issue.

February 2010: Alleged sexual assault occurs.

April 2010: Sasha checks herself into campus hospital and stays one night. Team doctors and other campus doctors start filling prescriptions for an antidepressant and sedative.

May 4, 2010: Greg Rhodenbaugh becomes swimming coach.

July 2010: Menu Courey starts regular counseling at Student Health Center.

August 2010: In her "Yearly Medical Appraisal" Menu Courey tells athletic department about her April hospitalization for a "major depressive disorder." Also notes back injury.

December 2010: Menu Courey contacts an online rape crisis hotline and saves transcript of her conversation in e-mail account.

Dec. 28, 2010: Menu Courey tells her university therapist for the first time about the alleged sexual assault. She discusses it in subsequent sessions. His two superiors sign the psychotherapy records where the rape is mentioned.

January 2011: Menu Courey no longer attends swimming practice and team activities after a meeting with her coach.

March 21, 2011: Menu Courey checks herself into the on-campus psychiatric center. The next day, in a nursing assessment, she tells the nurse she was raped by a football player. Two doctors are aware of the alleged assault.

April 3, 2011: Menu Courey attempts suicide at local motel.

April 6, 2011: Athletic staffer Meghan Anderson presents a University Withdrawal Form while Menu Courey is in hospital on a 96-hour involuntary commitment. She is transferred via ambulance to Kansas City that evening.

April 26, 2011: Menu Courey is admitted to McLean Hospital in Boston.

May 12, 2011: Menu Courey writes in her journal that she called Anderson and told her about the alleged rape. Phone records confirm a call. (Anderson denies she was told of assault.)

May 24, 2011: Missouri's student financial aid director sends Menu Courey a letter saying she is no longer eligible for financial aid. (Missouri officials say this was an automated letter sent to 1,472 students, and it did not refer to her athletic scholarship.)

June 17, 2011: Menu Courey dies after ingesting 100 Tylenol.

Feb. 21, 2012: The Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune publishes an article about her in which her parents mention she wrote about an alleged sexual assault in her journal. Athletic Director Mike Alden and other athletic administrators receive the article via e-mail.

August 2012: Lynn Courey and Mike Menu submit a records request to university for all records pertaining to their daughter.

Fall 2012: Rape crisis hotline chat transcript is discovered by the University Records Custodian in Menu Courey's e-mail account.

January 2013: Missouri fulfills initial records request, providing thousands of e-mails, documents, text messages and other records.

February 2013: Courey and Menu receive letter from Missouri regarding chat transcript.

HIPAA privacy laws are completely irrelevant in this case; those are for the patient and forbid their health information from being shared... except in cases where a crime is suspected to have been committed; then there's an obligation on the part of health care professionals to report it to the authorities, depending on state and circumstance. And of course, the patient can waive the privacy by simply signing a form, after given the options and disclosures by hospital staff.

In some states, under certain circumstances, if a rape or assault has been committed and the victim/patient is in the hospital, the hospital must report that to the police, even if the patient doesn't want it reported.

Edited by GatorUnvrsty, 24 January 2014 - 08:05 PM.

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#15
GatorUnvrsty

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View Postbulldawg28, on 24 January 2014 - 07:30 PM, said:



Why would the university be punished? You punish the criminals.

Are you serious? Because the university failed to initiate an investigation, as prescribed by law, and a student eventually killed herself over it. Failing to start that investigation is against the law, i.e. somebody is a criminal.

Additionally, if the state of Missouri is like many others, the failure to report the rape to the authorities is also against the law and an argument could be made that they were criminally negligent for not doing so.

Some states provide the ability to get a rape kit and report anonymously, so there's no privacy laws broken... it's called a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Report, and victims are identified by a number, not by name.

Edited by GatorUnvrsty, 24 January 2014 - 08:12 PM.

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