An independent report on the University of Missouri Columbia campus’ handling of the alleged rape of a former student athlete is critical of the University on four counts.
The Dowd Bennett report on the handling of the Sasha Menu Courey case says the University failed to have Title IX policies in place for its employees despite Department of Education guidance; the University should have acted on information it had in November 2012 about Menu Courey’s alleged rape; there is no conclusion that university employees knew about the assault while Menu Courey was alive; and a Columbia Tribune article published in February 2012 should have been provided to the Title IX coordinator.
“I think it was a fair and accurate and in-depth report,” says University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe. “The recommendations were spot-on. I wouldn’t prioritize one over the other. I think that they’re all … we’re going to get to work on them and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Wolfe says the University is conducting a “major self-assessment” based on the Dowd Bennett findings and the recommendations of a sexual assault and mental health services task force.
He says the University will work to, “improve the way we serve people on our campuses in terms of sexual assault, prevention, reporting and education as well as mental health service delivery.”
Wolfe highlighted an executive order he issued on Wednesday to strengthen Title IX policies at the University.
“My order mandates that all University employees have an obligation to report sexual harassment or sexual assault allegations in which the alleged victim is a student, to the appropriate Title IX coordinator.”
The Columbia Police Department is investigating the alleged 2010 assault.
The MU swimmer said she was sexually assaulted by one or more Mizzou football players in 2010 and claimed she told a University employee about the incident. The school never investigated or referred the incident to police, and Menu Courey committed suicide in a Boston hospital in 2011.
Matt Tarnawa, KSSZ, contributed to this report.