Family Says University Of Missouri Failed To Investigate Rape Of Collegiate Swimmer By Football Players

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The Canadian family of a University of Missouri swimmer says the school and its athletic department failed to properly investigate the off-campus rape of Sasha Menu Courey, who killed herself 16 months later.

Courey’s parents say she was raped by as many as three football players in February 2010.

School officials insist they were unaware of the incident until Menu Courey committed suicide 16 months later in a Boston psychiatric hospital, where she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Her family claims she spoke with a rape counselor, a campus nurse and a campus doctor about the attack, but an investigation was never opened.

The school says school officials can’t open a rape investigation without the victim’s consent.

"There are many resources out there, but there's not really any [sense] that she was provided with those resources," said Zachary Wilson, development director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "It's difficult for sexual assault survivors to go at it alone."

In the end the university found a transcript of Menu Courey’s conversation with the rape counselor and turned it over to her parents with a letter asking if they wanted the incident investigated by the University of Missouri Police Department.

The family did not respond.

"We continue to believe that the University did the right thing in trying to be respectful of Sasha's parents and determine their wishes,” the university said in a statement. We think it is strange and inappropriate for the University to be criticized for not undertaking an investigation when Sasha's parents chose not to respond to our request for their input. If they wanted an investigation, they simply could have responded or made a report to law enforcement.”

"We did not feel supported in this letter. This letter was a check-the-boxes letter and, really to be honest, it did not deserve a response,” said her father, Mike Menu.

The investigation has been turned over to the Columbia Police Deparment.

"Our detectives will do the best they can with the investigation. It was not reported to us until now and we are almost four years behind," Sgt. Joe Bernhard, a spokesman for the department, told CNN.

"We lost our daughter and we cannot bring her back, but we can make a difference for others," said her mother, Lynn Courey.

Sources: MSN News, CNN