Report: MSU Football Title IX Findings Could Mean No Criminal Charges Against 3 Players
Michigan State’s Title IX investigation finding violations of student conduct policy could lead to no criminal charges against the three unnamed Michigan State football players, according to a former federal prosecutor.
A former federal prosecutor and counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, Shannon Wu tells the Detroit News that because there was a violation found in the Title IX investigation and a possible punishment is looming, the prosecutor’s office might feel less inclined to press charges.
The logic for the argument is that if the school comes out and does the punishing, the prosecutor’s office might not press charges because there was already action taken against the football players that they deem just. Basically deferring to the school’s decision being enough for the incident in question if a strong enough punishment comes about.
Wu told the News:
“Campus sexual assault cases involving athletes bring added scrutiny and pressure for universities and prosecutors, Worried about being accused of either treating athletes too harshly or too leniently, universities and prosecutors may feel more pressure to punt to one another when they really should be working together.”
The News goes on to report that the Title IX report on the situation is very unlikely to ever be released and the only time it would be reviewed is in university-wide audit procedures. If the student-athletes were to be suspended or expelled through the student conduct review process there is an exception to privacy laws that could lead to the names being released.
Wu again speaking with the Detroit News:
“There is a public safety exception built in, meaning if the school needed to release information because there was a danger to the community or public safety they could do that, But relying on that exception to release the report just to justify what they did, they would be probably averse to doing that and worry about taking that risk.”
The alleged sexual assault incident is now over four months old and has been in the hands of Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Simeon for over two months in a review process. Wu goes on to say this sort of timeline is not “uncommon” to build a case should charges be filed.