The MSU community must speak out against rape and sexual violence. We must demand that the Prosecutor and MSU Administration take this issue seriously and work to ensure the safety of all people on campus. Join us in our fight for justice.
August 29th 2010, a Michigan State university student reported being raped by two MSU basketball players in their Wonders Hall dorm room.
Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III initially concluded that there was not enough evidence to convict the accused rapists of a crime. He has since declared that “no crime was committed”.
According to the survivor, in a police report obtained and released by a local news outlet, the students played a game of strip miniature basketball, where each student would remove an article of clothing when a shot was missed. The survivor agreed, explaining in the police report that she was wearing a tank top under her t-shirt. After removing her t-shirt, the survivor refused to take off any more articles of clothing, explicitly telling her assailants “no”. The assailants then purposely missed shots and kept removing clothing until they were fully nude.
One of the assailants, nude, then walked towards the door and cornered the survivor, blocking any possible escape. His size, proximity and body language suggested she was not free to go, and the survivor reported feeling trapped. One of the assailants later told police that he could understand how the survivor felt she was not free to leave. The survivor was told to take her clothes off. She told police she was afraid for her safety if she did not. Her underwear was removed by the assailants, she was grabbed by the forearm and forced on the floor, where the assailants next took turns assaulting the survivor in various positions. She responded to questions like “how does it feel” and “how do you want it” with the responses “I don’t want it”, “stop”, and “don’t”.
One of the assailants corroborated the survivor’s account of coercion, informing the police that she had told them “I’m done”. According to the survivor, the assailant said “you don’t want this?” the victim replied “no, I don’t want this.”
On two separate occasions, the survivor stood up and tried to put her underwear back on before it was forced back off and she was pulled back down to the ground.
Prosecutor Dunnings claims that “force” and “coercion” did not occur, and that therefore no crime was committed.
Entering a room with two males is not consent. Being held down by one assailant while the other penetrates you is not consent. Telling the assailants “stop”, “I don’t want it”, “don’t” and “I’m done” clearly and without a shadow of doubt indicates that the survivor was not consenting. Repeated attempts to get dressed clearly indicate unwillingness on the part of the survivor and the continued, forceful removal of the survivor’s underwear is coercion. A rape survivor does not need to physically fight back her rapists in order to demonstrate non-consent, though the survivor does report freeing one of her hands that was being held down in order to smack one of the assailants.
After “what felt like forever”, the assault finally stopped. The police who responded recommended charging the assailants with Criminal Sexual Conduct 1, the highest level of criminal sexual offense.