Lawsuit over handling of alleged rape dismissed against OSU, for - News, Weather & Sports

Lawsuit over handling of alleged rape dismissed against OSU, former coach Mike Riley

Oregon State University (FOX 12 file image) Oregon State University (FOX 12 file image)
Former OSU Beavers football coach Mike Riley (FOX 12 file image) Former OSU Beavers football coach Mike Riley (FOX 12 file image)

A lawsuit filed against Oregon State University and former Beavers football coach Mike Riley over their handling of an alleged off-campus rape in 1999 has been dismissed.

The $7.5 million lawsuit filed last September under Title IX claimed the freshman female student failed to finish school at OSU and was denied access to education after reporting a sexual assault.

The lawsuit alleges the student was approached at a party by a man with a beer in October 1999. After taking two drinks, the woman said she became "fuzzy-headed," then threw up and was taken to an apartment by the man who offered her the drink.

The woman said the next thing she recalled was being sexually assaulted by the man and unable to move her arms or legs to fight back, according to court documents. She described the bedroom as being decorated with football jerseys and team photos.

The lawsuit states when the plaintiff reported the assault to a counselor at OSU a few days later, the counselor suggested the woman had actually consented to sex, discouraged her from contacting police, suggested she shouldn't have been drinking and then gave her meeting times for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The lawsuit states the woman read of another alleged sexual assault at OSU involving two members of the football team in 1998. That story came to light in November 2014 after a John Canzano report for the Oregonian.

The woman who filed the lawsuit believed she was assaulted at the same apartment as in the previous case by the cousin of a football player named in that case, according to court documents.

The plaintiff's lawsuit claimed OSU and then-head football coach Mike Riley failed to take appropriate action in regard to the player's involvement in the 1998 case and that administrators and staff were "deliberately indifferent" and actively suppressed reports of sexual harassment and assault by football players to protect the school's reputation.

Riley, who left OSU to coach at the University of Nebraska in December 2014, issued a statement when the lawsuit was filed saying he is, "committed to a harassment-free culture in our football program and I am continually seeking ways to expand our student education program."

The lawsuit was dismissed on Feb. 22 for failure to state a claim. It was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be re-filed at a later date.

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