Kent State Softball Player Suing Over Covered Up Rape

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    Kent State Softball Coach

    Kent State University is under fire once again after a former Kent State softball player filed a lawsuit against the university for their roles in allegedly covering up her rape in 2012.

    The civil suit filed February 9th claims that the university and former Kent State softball coach Karen Linder pressured Lauren Kesterson in 2014 to drop her allegations of being raped by Linder’s son in 2012. Linder resigned from her coaching position in August. The alleged offender was also a member of the Kent State baseball team.

    The suit claims that Kent State Univeristy failed to act appropriately after Kesterson brought the allegations to authorities on campus.

    Here’s the timeline of events from the lawsuit as laid out by cleveland.com





    Fall 2012: Kesterson, of Washington state, was recruited to play softball and was given a scholarship to play at Kent State, where she started in fall 2012, the lawsuit says. Kesterson was the team’s starting shortstop.

    Dec. 7, 2012: She and Tucker Linder were in her dorm room when she consented to “minor intimacies,” the lawsuit said. He did not stop when she told him at least 10 times that she didn’t want to have sex, the suit says.

    Kesterson later went to the campus health center to tested sexually transmitted disease and for pregnancy, according to the lawsuit. She didn’t report the incident, her grades suffered, she lost weight and was distressed.

    Sept. 2013: Tucker Linder told Kesterson’s boyfriend, “Just so you know: I ____ your girl,” according to the lawsuit. Kesterson told her parents and close friends of the 2012 sexual assault. She received treatment and realized she needed to notify the university.

    May 2014: Kesterson met with Coach Linder and lodged a Title IX complaint with the university.

    The lawsuit states that Linder responded by asking who she had told, and then instructing her not to tell anyone else. Linder failed to report the rape as required by university policy.

    Days earlier, according to the lawsuit, Linder had reported another softball player’s rape allegation to university officials and escorted that woman to campus support services.

    Aug. 24, 2015: Kesterson reported her coach’s actions to deputy Title IX coordinator Erin Barton, the lawsuit says.

    Athletic Director Joel Nielsen intervened to prevent the filing of a formal complaint and no-contact orders, the suit says.

    Aug. 29, 2015: Linder resigned without discipline or formal discharge.



    The university issued this statement

    When we are formally served with the complaint we will answer accordingly. The university is strongly committed to Title IX and we take these matters very seriously. We follow all policies and procedures related to Title IX, taking measures above and beyond what is required to ensure all students, staff and faculty are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

    Lauren Kesterson is no longer a member of the Kent State Softball team, and mentioned she was “so miserable she had no choice but to stop playing softball.”

    You can find all of the documents from the civil suit here on cleveland.com