UM president heartbroken over swimmer's death

COLUMBIA, Mo. - On Wednesday, the University of Missouri made its first public response to allegations it mishandled the alleged rape of a former Mizzou swimmer.

Sasha Menu-Courey committed suicide in 2011, 16 months after the alleged attack. Her story was documented in an ESPN Outside the Lines investigation that aired Sunday.

Wednesday afternoon, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe faced a room full of reporters. He wouldn't talk about the specifics of how Mizzou administrators handled Menu-Courey's rape allegations. But many of his comments focused on how school leaders can learn from this experience.

"We are very concerned with how we respond to students who have been sexually assaulted or how we help with students who have mental issues," said Wolfe.

According to the ESPN report, Sasha Menu-Courey lived with both. The report also claimed the University of Missouri system failed Sasha. After the alleged attack Menu-Courey checked herself into the campus hospital, where she reportedly told nurses and doctors she was raped.

But Wolfe maintains privacy laws prohibited the hospital from sharing that information with the university.

A statement released Sunday says the school learned of the claim in 2012 but Menu-Courey's parents didn't respond when asked if they wanted the university to investigate.

Wolfe said Wednesday an independent investigation will take place to identify any missteps and how the school can improve moving forward.

"It's important to note the independent council that is selected reports to the board of curators. That council has free reign in terms of looking at everything, including me," he said.

Wolfe couldn't give a timeline of when the independent investigation would start or how long he thinks it might take.


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