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Alleged victim in Oregon rape case criticizes athletic department

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

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The alleged victim from the case that led to Oregon dismissing three of its men's basketball players from the team has chosen to speak out -- and criticize the university.

Through an attorney -- John Clune, who represented Kobe Bryant's accuser during the infamous 2004 rape trial against the Lakers star -- the alleged victim in this case submitted a public letter to the Daily Emerald, the school's student-run newspaper.

The letter goes after Oregon's athletic department for its course of action throughout March, April and early May. There are multiple incidents tied to the police report that details many alleged sexual acts taking place between the female student and three other Oregon players in the early hours of March 9. The case has since been dropped, citing a lack of evidence, and no charges were upheld.

When the case went public and police report was released in early May, Oregon came under heavy criticism for the timeline it laid out regarding the incidents. The school's action, or immediate lack thereof, prompted on-campus protests after it was clear Ducks coach Dana Altman would face no discipline. Altman did not know the nature of the case nor who specifically was involved at first, as the information was supposedly kept from him as the details of the case were said to be sorted out.

This happened before Oregon's appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Players went on without punishment until many weeks after the end of the season.

They are no longer on the team but still enrolled at the university, according to the Oregonian.

The letter in full reads:

The past few months have, undeniably, been the hardest and most challenging time in my life. This is such an overwhelming experience and one that I hope that no other student on campus ever has to live through. Given what has transpired on campus recently, I have at times wondered whether I ever should have told anyone about what had happened.

I know a lot of people are angry. I am angry, too. I am angry with the culture that appears to exist in our athletic department that prioritizes winning over safety of our students. I cannot fathom how our basketball coach recruited someone who was in the middle of a suspension for another sexual assault to come to Eugene.

I think that students, faculty, and other community members have been asking some very needed questions of our athletic department, and I am not satisfied with the answers they have provided. I think that we all deserve better explanations and real transparency.

Despite my frustration, it is important to me to thank the Dean of Students office. They have been very kind and supportive of me and I can't thank them enough. I'm not sure I would still be on campus if it weren't for their help. I know this has stirred up a lot of issues on campus and some of them are bigger than my incident. My sincere hope, though, is that as a school UO can get through this and come out in a better place at the end. I still love our school and I want it to be the best and safest place anywhere in the country.

Oregon did respond late Thursday, school spokesman Julie Brown saying, "We sympathize with the challenging position that she finds herself in and support her right to express herself."

The female student who wrote the letter is still on Oregon's campus as a student.

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