Former student suing OSU, coach Mike Riley over alleged 1999 rap - KPTV - FOX 12

Former student suing OSU, coach Mike Riley over alleged 1999 rape

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A former student at Oregon State University filed a lawsuit against the school and former head football coach Mike Riley over a sexual assault that she said took place off-campus in 1999.

The lawsuit makes claims under Title IX, stating the woman, who failed to finish school at OSU, was denied access to education because of how the university handled the rape claims.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the woman was a first-year student at OSU when she attended a party at an off-campus apartment on Oct. 9, 1999.

The lawsuit claims the woman was approached by a man who said he was visiting from Portland. He offered her an open can of beer and after taking two drinks, the woman said she started feeling "woozy and fuzzy-headed."

After the woman threw up, she said the man took her to an apartment nearby on Northwest 20th Street, the lawsuit states.

The next thing the woman recalled, according to court documents, was waking up in a bedroom with football jerseys and team photos on the walls. She said the man who offered her the beer at the party was sexually assaulting her and she was unable to move her arms or legs to fight back.

The suit claims she woke up the next morning in the same bedroom, alone and naked. She quickly dressed and left the apartment.

The lawsuit states when the plaintiff reported the assault to a counselor at OSU a few days later, the counselor suggested the woman had actually consented to sex, discouraged her from contacting police, suggested she shouldn't have been drinking and then gave her meeting times for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

In November 2014, the woman read of another alleged assault at OSU involving two then-members of the football team.

Brenda Tracy claimed four men, including OSU athletes Calvin Carlyle and Jason Dandridge, raped her at an apartment on Northwest 20th Street on June 24, 1998.

The lawsuit claims the alleged 1998 assault occurred in the same apartment where the plaintiff was allegedly raped about 16 months later, and she recalled seeing the name Carlyle on one of the jerseys in the room. The woman said she later learned the man who allegedly assaulted her was Calvin Carlyle's cousin.

The plaintiff's lawsuit claims OSU and then-head football coach Mike Riley failed to take appropriate action in regard to Carlyle's involvement in the 1998 case and that administrators and staff were "deliberately indifferent" and actively suppressed reports of sexual harassment and assault by football players to protect the school's reputation amid falling enrollment.

Because of how the university handled her case, the plaintiff said she was discouraged from pursuing any further action and was unable to finish school.

Mike Riley, who is now the head football coach at the University of Nebraska, issued a statement through the university Wednesday saying he is unable to comment on the case:

“Yesterday, I was made aware of a complaint filed in the State of Oregon concerning a previously unknown incident to me in October 1999.  I cannot comment on any matter in the legal process.  However, I am committed to a harassment-free culture in our football program and I am continually seeking ways to expand our student education program.  Sexual assault is a horrendous crime and has no place in our society."

The lawsuit seeks a total of $7.5 million in damages and demands a trial by jury.

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