MU Athletic Director addresses school's failure to act after 2008 sexual assault allegation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The University of Missouri Athletic Director admitted Friday to not knowing all the rules and regulations when it came to investigating an alleged 2008 sex assault involving a former star football player.

“There are many of us that are much more aware of reporting requirements here on our campus now. But back in 2008, I was not aware of those types of procedures and how they took place,” Mike Alden said in a news conference Friday afternoon in Columbia, Mo.

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Alden made the admission following the release of an ESPN report alleging former running back Derrick Washington raped a fellow student in her campus dorm room in 2008.

A court convicted Washington in 2011 for a separate sex assault in 2010. In that incident, Washington sexually assaulted a former athletic department tutor in her off-campus apartment.

The alleged victim in the 2008 case eventually reported the incident to police. According to ESPN, the detective filed a report stating he believed there was probable cause to believe a rape occurred. But prosecutors did not file any charges.

Despite this, the law requires all universities to independently review all claims of sex assault on campus. MU failed to conduct this investigation in this case.

“I think today, what we would do in a situation like that, if we became aware of it, we certainly recognize that we need to have that reported immediately to the Title IX coordinator on our campus,” said Alden.

Washington denies the allegations surrounding the 2008 incident.

In June, MU announced new steps to ensure the University completed these types of investigations. Alden says the University constantly educates its staff about the Title IX rules.

“We have to constantly be reminding. We have to constantly be reinforcing the messages of our core values,” Alden said. “We talk about what's appropriate and what's not appropriate. We also discuss how do you report and how are you supposed to handle particular situations."

The new rules MU put in place came after another report from ESPN in January. That report alleged MU did not follow federal laws when dealing with the alleged rape of Sasha Courey.

In 2010, Courey accused an MU football player of rape. One year later, she committed suicide. Following the ESPN report, MU said it did not know about the rape allegations until after the suicide.

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