How Mizzou Failed An Alleged Rape Victim Who Killed Herself

An Outside the Lines investigation into the alleged rape and subsequent suicide of former University of Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey has raised some serious questions about the university's role in letting Menu Courey slip through the cracks. Everything about this story will make you feel like shit.

Before committing suicide in June of 2011, Menu Courey claimed that she was raped by a member of the Missouri football team. According to documents uncovered by OTL, Menu Courey had consensual sex while under the influence of alcohol with a former football player named Gil Moye. Afterwards, another football player allegedly entered the room and raped Menu Courey. In an online chat with a rape crisis counselor, she described the attack:

"[We] were falling asleep & then i heard the [door] open & some other guy walked in & locked the door & i couldnt really see who it was & i never saw a face the whole time.... but i remember just sitting upright in bed at the sound of someone walking in. & i just remember feeling really scared thinking that the two guys had planned this or something. so my first thought was figure out who this other person was in case so that if i needed the informaton i would have it later... the guy told me his name & then he pulled down his pants & put on a condom & just knew i was screwed ..."

[...]

"… I started to panick & as i still on the phone trying to reach one of them tears start going down & the guy just lift up my dress & next thing i knew he inserts from behind. by that point tears were falling more but i wasnt loud & didnt anything. and then i just snapped and kind pushed him away & yelled no! and then he just left."

A friend of Menu Courey's and a former wide receiver on the football team, Rolandis Woodland, claims that Menu Courey was actually raped by several football players, but wasn't aware of that fact because she was drunk. (Woodland claims to have seen a video of the alleged rape.)

According to OTL's report, at least six campus medical officials and a Missouri athletics department staffer knew about Menu Courey's alleged rape while she was still alive. The administration was also made aware of a Columbia Daily Tribune article about Menu Courey published after her suicide, which mentioned a diary entry of hers describing the alleged rape. And yet:

Under Title IX law, a media account is considered relevant to the Department of Education in determining whether officials were notified of possible sexual violence involving a student. No details were offered in the article, but Courey's parents and reporter David Briggs say no one at the university asked for more information after it was published. On the contrary, Mike Menu and Lynn Courey say, Rhodenbaugh began to cut off all contact with them. Further, they say, when they attended an on-campus memorial service, they were bothered that no Missouri officials had asked about the alleged assault mentioned in the article.

As of Thursday, the university had not taken any steps to investigate the alleged rape of Sasha Menu Courey. When asked by OTL why this was the case, university spokesman Chad Moller responded via email:

"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," he wrote in an email. "Medical personnel employed by MU have privacy and confidentiality obligations to their patients and 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."

In April of 2011, Menu Courey tried to kill herself in a motel room by slashing her wrists. Police responded, and had to pepper spray and taser her in order to get the razor out of her hand. While she was struggling with the officers she yelled, "The system failed me! The system failed me!"

[OTL]