Associated Press
Friday, May 8, 2020

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A University of Michigan track and field female athlete is suing the university in federal court, accusing school officials of failing to protect her from a teammate she alleges sexually assaulted and stalked her.

In the 62-page sex discrimination lawsuit, the athlete says her male track teammate sexually assaulted her while she was sleeping in her dorm room in fall 2016. The lawsuit says the athlete’s teammate admitted to her in spring 2017 that he sexually assaulted her after she had fallen asleep during their study sessions.


The lawsuit filed Thursday is the latest legal action against the UM athletic department related to sexual misconduct. Hundreds of former athletes and others have settled sexual abuse allegations against the now-deceased Dr. Robert Anderson who worked at the university for decades.

The complaint is against the UM Board of Regents, Athletic Director Warde Manuel, track and field head coach Henry and several Title IX and academic officials, The Detroit News reported.

The woman wants the university to pay unspecified damages, reinstate her student-athlete benefits and enforce a no-contact order designed to separate her from her former teammate, who works on campus.

University and team spokesmen declined to comment Thursday.

The athlete is specifically accusing Henry of cruelly responding to the allegations. The coach declined to keep the person who allegedly assaulted her away from her, the lawsuit said, despite a no-contact order issued by the university.

“Instead, defendant Henry callously responded that several female track athletes had disclosed being sexually assaulted to him over the years and most were unable to ‘handle’ being on the track team afterwards,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that university officials failed to enforce the no-contact order, which triggered panic attacks for the woman when she attended a class with the person who allegedly assaulted her. The woman’s grades declined, and she couldn’t attend team events. Henry cut her off the team in November 2017, the lawsuit says.

An internal investigation concluded in 2018 that the woman’s teammate was responsible for sexually assaulting her, and he was placed on probation, according to the lawsuit.


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