Woman sues OSU and former Coach Mike Riley, says she was raped in '99
CORVALLIS, Ore. - A woman is suing Oregon State University for $2.5 million. She said she was raped in 1999 when she was a freshman at the school.
The woman said OSU's former football Head Coach Mike Riley and the school's administration failed to take action on her case. The alleged victim claims she was raped just one year after the widely-known rape case involving Brenda Tracy in 1998. She filed a new lawsuit in federal court Monday accusing OSU of failing to take responsibility.
"I cannot state enough how sad we are when we are made aware of a sexual assault," said Steve Clark, a spokesperson for OSU.
Court documents say the school did not address a sexually violent culture among the school's football team. The alleged victim's lawyers said this culture contributed to four men raping her in 1999.
In that incident, one of the accused was a player whose cousin is named as the attacker in a separate 1998 lawsuit.
Clark said the previous rape case filed in '98 against the school did not contributed to this current case.
"The university disagrees and refutes this claim that the university's actions in the 1998 matter of sexual assault led to this assault a year later," he said.
In this current case, the lawsuit claims the unreported rape happened at an off-campus apartment. Dennis Erickson was head coach that year, but his name is missing from the latest case.
Instead, former Head Coach Mike Riley is named in the lawsuit, even though he was the head coach the year prior.
"As people, and as administrators of this university, we are committed to prevent sexual violence," Clark said.
A reporter reached out to Mike Riley who now coaches at the University of Nebraska.
In a statement he said, "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. Sexual assault is a horrendous crime and has no place in our society."
One of the ways OSU is trying to curb sexual assaults on campus is by hiring Brenda Tracy, the rape victim in the 1998 case.