11.21.10

Tribune : Irish Aren’t Breaking A Sweat Over Alleged Football Rapist

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 1:01 pm by

(given the excellent judgment shown by both of these men this autumn, why would you suspect they’d protect a sexual predator?)

Hours after Notre Dame defeated Army, 27-3, in the first college football game contested at the new Yankee Stadium, the Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair and Todd Lighty reported a female student committed suicide last September, nine days after she told Notre Dame authorities she’d been sexually assaulted in a South Bend dorm room.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Seeberg, a freshman at neighboring St. Mary’s College who had battled depression, apparently overdosed on prescription medication in her own room during the third week of classes in September. The player, meanwhile, has remained on the field.

More than two months later, Notre Dame refuses to publicly acknowledge the case, and what actions university officials have taken to investigate her allegation remain largely unknown.

Campus authorities did not tell the St. Joseph County Police Department investigating Seeberg’s death about her report of a sexual attack, county officials said. Nor did they refer the case to the county’s special victims unit, which was established to handle sex offenses, according to prosecutors.

Notre Dame police could have turned the case over to the county’s special victims unit, which is trained to handle sex-crime investigations. However, officials did not do so, and a campus police log shows the matter was assigned within the department.

A spokeswoman for St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak said campus authorities have not asked the office to charge anyone in connection with the alleged sexual attack. She said she “couldn’t say” whether the office had been consulted on the case.

Seeberg was interviewed by Notre Dame police about the alleged attack, and a source said she provided two written statements and pointed out a player from his picture on a Notre Dame roster.

The Tribune is not identifying the football player because he has not been charged with a crime. He has not responded to e-mail messages seeking comment.

The university declined to make first-year coach Brian Kelly available for comment about the allegation against his player, saying any such incident “would be addressed institutionally, not by the football coach.”

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