The University of Missouri Board of Curators has approved the hiring of an outside independent counsel to investigate allegations of rape against former swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, they announced after their board meeting on Wednesday evening.
“Ms. Courey’s story is very tragic and sad, and our sympathy and prayers are with her family, friends and teammates,” said University of Missouri Board of Curators Chair Don Downing. “The board wants to take an independent look at what happened here. Separately, our chancellors are promptly reviewing their campus policies and procedures concerning the prevention and reporting of sexual assaults and availability of mental health services, and President Wolfe has rightly committed to devoting additional resources to the extent those policies and procedures are found to be lacking.”
“Sexual assaults are all too common on college campuses across our country, as President Obama emphasized last week,” Downing continued. “We need to do all we can do to address these issues at the University of Missouri, and provide appropriate assistance to those who are victimized.”
The board has not decided on who the outside firm will be, but that once selected, will expect a report by their April 11th, 2014 board meeting.
The statement from the board says specifically that the independent legal counsel will investigate how the university addressed matters related to Courey’s accusations of rape against a football player, but does not mention any investigation about whether any sexual assault actually occurred.
This story has recently become headline news after an Outside the Lines report done by ESPN that discusses if the university should have done more for Courey. The university has responded that they believe that all applicable laws were followed, and say that the accusations were told to counselors and medical professionals in confidentiality, and weren’t more widely known until after her suicide. The university also says they have received no response from Courey’s parents as to whether they would like the allegations investigated, and that “it seems like the right and respectful thing to do after her passing to ask Sasha’s parents what they want.”