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Fri April 11, 2014
University releases findings from the investigation in the death of MU swimmer Sasha Menu Courey
The University of Missouri System Board of curators held a press conference Friday afternoon to discuss the investigation report on Sasha Menu Courey. The investigation was performed by Dowd Bennett law firm based in St. Louis-- who found university officials should have acted on information they had back in November of 2012. President of the UM System Tim Wolfe issued this statement after the report's release.
"I want to thank the Dowd Bennett law firm and its well-qualified, experienced and diverse team for performing this independent investigation to determine whether university employees acted consistent with law and university policy regarding Ms. Menu Courey’s time at the university." Wolfe said.
Wolfe continued, "We will be examining these findings, and together with the recommendations of our sexual assault and mental health services task force and my recent executive order strengthening our Title IX reporting policy, will improve the way we serve people on our campuses in terms of sexual assault prevention, reporting and education and mental health service delivery in the future."
The report reveals that although the system isn’t at fault by law—the university failed to have Title IX policies in place for its employees, and that goes against the Department of Education's guidance regarding Title IX.
Wolfe addressed speculation of a cover-up by the university, reiterating that the investigation was done by an independent council in which none of the members were graduates or associated with any of the University of Missouri System’s four colleges. He also commented on the employees’ intention to keep Menu Courey’s requested confidentiality.
“Our university employees acted in good faith with the best interest of Sasha Menu Courey in this matter and there was no attempt to cover anything up,” he said
Wolfe said that he has made a new order mandating all employees to report all sexual assaults to the assigned Title IX coordinator. The report says there is no definitive conclusion that any university employee other than medical personnel knew of Menu Courey's assault while she was still alive.
"We have taken decisive action because the safety and security of the students, faculty and staff on our four campuses is an absolute priority,” he said.
The law firm also found Menu Courey’s personal documentation stating two football players assaulted her—however she did not include their names. Even though part of the investigation is over, Columbia Police Department continues its own investigation in finding the football players that assaulted Sasha Menu Courey.