University of Missouri

MU releases new statement regarding alleged rape of swimmer

Updated: 2014-01-29T05:30:57Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

The University of Missouri updated its response Tuesday to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” investigation into the alleged sexual assault of former swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, who subsequently committed suicide.

The statement — more of a “frequently asked questions” response — offers little new information, but it reiterates the university’s stance that it did not become aware of the allegation until late 2012 and that the school could not launch an investigation until new information was brought to light by the ESPN report.

“(T)he ESPN story included names of individuals who might have relevant information regarding the alleged February 2010 assault,” MU’s latest statement reads in part. “This was the first time that University officials had any concrete information on which to base an investigation. When the name of the man with whom Sasha had consensual sex and at whose residence the alleged assault occurred was revealed, the University checked its records and determined that the man had an off-campus address.”

MU turned over that information Saturday to the Columbia Police Department, which confirmed Monday that it had launched an investigation into the alleged sexual assault of Menu Courey.

Menu Courey died June 17, 2011, at McLean Hospital near Boston, where she was being treated for borderline personality disorder.

Before she died, Menu Courey mailed a tape of her alleged assault to Rolandis Woodland, a former MU football player and friend, according to Woodland. On Tuesday, Woodland gave a phone interview to the Sports on Earth website in which he said he was advised to ignore future media requests.

Woodland said he wanted to speak to explain why he decided to make public what he had seen in the tape. Woodland alleged to ESPN that more than one of his teammates had raped Menu Courey.

“I was scared because they’re my teammates, and I love those guys. I love all of those guys,” he told Sports on Earth. “They’re like my brothers. But this event occurred, and Sasha needed my help.”

Woodland told both ESPN and Sports on Earth that the tape has been misplaced.

In its statement, MU claims that no staffers, other than medical personnel who were legally bound to protect Menu Courey’s right to confidentiality, were aware of the sexual assault allegation until late 2012.

MU, which claims the mention of the assault allegation in a February 2012 story in the Columbia Daily Tribune was too vague to prompt action, also denies that Menu Courey was removed from the swim team.

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