University of Missouri on the defense after ESPN reports swimmer’s alleged rape, suicide

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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Missouri is launching an independent investigation into allegations that several football players raped an MU swimmer.

That swimmer, 20-year-old swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, killed herself three years ago, but a recent report airing on ESPN initiated new calls into investigation.

Mizzou officials are upset with ESPN's report, which suggests the University should've done more to investigate these allegations of rape.

Mizzou officials said there was no cover up. They simply did not know about the allegations since the alleged victim only shared the information with a counselor and never went to police.

Mizzou defended the counselor for not going to police, saying on its athletic website, "Victims of sexual assault need to know that they can seek medical care without the concern that reports will be made to police or campus officials without their consent. Otherwise some victims will be deterred from seeking medical care."

Courey went to the MU psychiatric ward in the spring of 2011 and was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She told the counselor a football player raped her in February of 2010. And a football friend of hers says he saw video of at least three football players assaulting her.

After ESPN's report on Outside the Lines Friday, Mizzou officials sent three releases to defend its lack of action.

Mizzou officials said they have forwarded all information to Columbia, Mo., police since the alleged assault happened off campus. Missouri University has put some of the blame on Sasha's parents, saying, "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."

Sasha's parents told ESPN they didn't trust Mizzou officials since the University was slow to react to their request for information after their daughter's death.

Regardless, an investigation is now underway to see if the University reacted the right way and discover if Sasha was raped.

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