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Lawsuit: Student says SMU didn't fully investigate accusation of rape by football player

"She was waiting on some sort of decision and some form of justice that she didn't get," said attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel.

A student at Southern Methodist University who says she was raped by a football player in her dorm room has filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming officials didn't properly investigate the assault. 

In the lawsuit filed Sunday, the woman and her attorneys say the incident happened in August 2019 when an SMU football player, a resident of her same dorm, entered her room, said "You know why I am here." 

The suit says the man "continued to force himself onto [the student], and raped her."

The lawsuit does not name the football player and the female student is identified as "Jane Doe." 

She claims the university "failed to adequately investigate the event" when she reported it to the school's Title IX office and met with a male SMU administrator, identified in the lawsuit as the school's Title IX investigator. 

An SMU spokesperson said the university "does not discuss pending litigation and any responses will be filed with the court." 

The spokesperson also shared the college's detailed processes for sexual assault investigations, available online for students and faculty.

According to the lawsuit, university officials did not relocate the football player to a different dormitory after the assault was reported and that he remained on the team. 

The student says her investigation lasted more than 100 days and ended after the football season was over and with investigators determining there was "insufficient evidence," the lawsuit says. 

The SMU Title IX policy states such investigations usually take 60 days.

Attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel said the student is "struggling." 

"This has been a hard road," Tuegel said. "She has not been heard or validated by the school that she loves and that she thought would protect her."

The attorney said the university did not do enough after her client reported the assault. 

The student says she was bullied, harassed online, and her car was vandalized. 

"She was waiting on some sort of decision and some form of justice that she didn't get," Tuegel said.

She also represented victims in the Baylor University football team sexual assault scandal.

"Universities do often protect their athletes," Tuegel said."And that has been a widespread problem at universities around this country."

SMU had not filed a response to the civil lawsuit in court as of 5 p.m. Monday. 

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