Michigan State University's athletic department helped a former football player return to campus despite an order banning him after he violated the school's relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy, a newly filed lawsuit claims.
The Title IX discrimination lawsuit was filed in federal court Sunday by a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by former Michigan State football player Keith Mumphery in 2015. The woman is identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit. Mumphery, who never was charged in criminal court, played for the Spartans in 2011-14.
"MSU’s response was to protect Mumphery and to assist (Mumphery) in securing travel arrangements," alleges the lawsuit, filed in federal court Sunday.
The lawsuit also says the university only took proper action after the federal Office of Civil Rights forced them to reevaluate cases and after the player — Mumphery — had expired his playing eligibility at the school.
"MSU just became aware of the lawsuit this morning," spokesman Jason Cody told the Free Press. "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.
"While MSU does not comment on pending litigation, we will continue work to improve how MSU prevents and responds to sexual assault as we defend against this lawsuit."
The suit is just the latest in a long string of complaints filed by female students against Michigan State over their handling of sexual assault allegations. Those range from a large number of athletes suing the university over their handling of complaints against Larry Nassar; to last off-season's complaints against football players to a federal investigation of the overall handling of sexual assaults.
The feds and Michigan State signed a resolution agreement in late 2015 that mandated the university re-evaluate how it handled several sexual assault allegations, including the one in the most recent lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, on Jan. 22, 2016, a review panel convened and determined Michigan State investigative office made both procedural error and arbitrary and capricious findings when investigating the sexual assault complaint.
The investigative office was directed to reopen the investigation to clarify its findings and to remedy the procedural errors.
On March 21, 2016, a full year after the assault was reported, investigators found that the victim had not given “consent” as defined in MSU’s Policy on Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and that Mumphery violated the policy by sexually assaulting Plaintiff.
"After (Michigan State) determined that Mumphery had sexually assaulted Plaintiff, the Defendants again did not provide Plaintiff with any Title IX information regarding academic accommodations, counseling services, a no-contact order, or relocation accommodations," the lawsuit says. "After the second OIE decision, it took another three months for sanctions to be issued against Mumphery. Sanctions were finally issued June 7, 2016."
According to the lawsuit. Mumphery was notified he was banned from campus June 7, 2016.
"Eight days later, on June 14, 2016, MSU sent out tweet on Twitter stating that Mumphery was invited to and would be attending a MSU sponsored football camp to be held June 18, 2016," the lawsuit says.
"Mumphery was also invited to attend a MSU sponsored golf outing scheduled for June 17, 2016.
"The Defendants invited Mumphery back to the MSU campus after Mumphrey had been found in violation of the Defendants’ own policies regarding sexual assault and violence, and he had been prohibited from using or visiting University facilities."
The lawsuit claims Mumphery appeared at the golf outing.
"No attempt was made to notify Plaintiff that Mumphrey was present on the MSU campus, to verify that Plaintiff was safe and in a secure location, or inform Plaintiff that Mumphery had been removed from the campus," the suit says. "During that June weekend, Plaintiff was terrified when her friends notified her that Mumphery had been spotted on campus and around East Lansing. Plaintiff began calling campus authorities but received no information and was merely shuffled from department to department."
The suit seeks to have the victim compensated for her mental anguish following the situation.
Mumphery played for the Spartans in 2010-14 and caught the final touchdown in their win over Baylor in the Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 1, 2015, his last game at MSU. He has played two seasons with the NFL's Houston Texans, but was waived before the start of this season.
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