This week police at the University of Missouri handed over details of a rape case to local police for investigation. Sasha Menu Courey, a member of Missouri’s women’s swim team, alleged that several unidentified football players raped her. Under any circumstances it is a horrid story, but this one even more so because it has been four years since the alleged rape took place and only now is anything being done about it. It is too late: Menu Courey committed suicide in 2011.
The details, as told in an articulate ESPN story, are even muddier than they sound. Menu Courey battled mental and emotional instability, including an attempted suicide in high school after a break-up with a boyfriend. In 2010, while a junior at Missouri, she claimed to have been raped while drunk by at least one football player and possibly more. In the months that followed the assault, she told medical personnel and counselors her story. But, being under confidentiality agreements, such personnel are not always required to report rape cases. She told friends but demanded they keep her secret. Reports indicate that her accusations even made it to officials in the university athletic department, but they also did nothing.
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Almost nothing in this story is clear. We know few details of the alleged crime, or even if there really was a crime. We do not know the identities of the alleged attackers. We don’t have anyone to point fingers at or hold accountable. But that is inconsequential next to what we do know: Sasha Menu Courey needed something she did not have.
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