Tag:Elizabeth Seeberg
Posted on: December 17, 2010 11:43 am

No charges will be filed in Notre Dame case

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Thursday night, after a second article appeared in the Chicago Tribune about the alleged sexual assault of St. Mary's student Elizabeth Seeberg by a Notre Dame football player, the prosecutor tasked with handling the case said that his office will not pursue criminal charges against the player.  Michael Dvorak, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor, said that due to evidence and the fact that statements by Seeberg would probably not be admissible in court, there just wasn't much of a case to pursue.

The parents of Elizabeth Seeberg, who committed suicide two weeks after the alleged attack, expressed their frustrations to the Chicago Tribune on Thursday with the way that Notre Dame had handled their daughter's complaint against the player.  According to an email the school sent out to faculty, staff and students in response to the story, Notre Dame said that privacy laws keep the school from discussing specific disciplinary cases.

According to Dvorak, Seeberg filed complaints against two Notre Dame students.  One was the football player who she alleged touched her breasts, and the other was against the player's friend whom she alleged sent her a text message warning her about messing with the Notre Dame football team.

"Conflicts exist among the witnesses' accounts of the events given to the police. Subpoenaed cell phone records are inconsistent with parts of the complaint itself," said Dvorak.

Notre Dame plays against Miami on New Year's Eve in the Sun Bowl.
Posted on: December 16, 2010 1:00 pm

The Seeberg story isn't going away in South Bend

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last month the Chicago Tribune ran a story about Elizabeth Seeberg, a 19-year old student at St. Mary's College -- Notre Dame's sister school -- in South Bend.  Seeberg had alleged that a Notre Dame football player sexually assaulted her on August 31st, and then less than two weeks later, killed herself by overdosing on prescription pills.  The story ran in the newspaper because the family of Seeberg felt that the school hadn't done a proper investigation into her daughter's allegations.

Well, after the story ran, the investigation picked up a bit, though nothing has come from the case.  The player in question, who has never been named due to a lack of charges, is still playing on the team and will play in the Sun Bowl.

Now the parents of Elizabeth Seeberg are upset by the fact that the school indicated that it might not give them access to any of the records related to their daughter's allegations.  According to the school, because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, they cannot legally share any information from an internal disciplinary proceeding to the family. The only person they could release such things to would be Elizabeth Seeberg.

So because of this, Seeberg's parents decided to break their silence on the case and talk to the Tribune.  The article details everything that the family has gone through trying to learn more about their daughter's death from the school, and the obstacles they've had to overcome.  It also mentions some areas in which the school fell short in it's investigation, and also a threat from the player's friend to Seeberg telling her "messing with Notre Dame football is a bad idea."

The main obstacle the Seeberg family has faced trying to find out what happened is the fact that the lead witness, their daughter, is dead.  Still, the parents say they aren't trying to topple Notre Dame or hurt the school in any way.  

They just want to know what happened to their daughter.

It's an interesting, if not depressing story, of what the family has gone through trying to find some closure on their daughter's death, and one I would recommend taking the time to read in full.

Whatever happened between Seeberg and the football player in question, or how the investigation has been handled, this is another black eye for Notre Dame in a football season that has not only seen the team return to a bowl game, but has also now featured the death of Declan Sullivan and now this Seeberg story.
Posted on: November 22, 2010 6:20 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 11:29 pm

More trouble for Notre Dame

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The first year on the sidelines as Notre Dame head coach hasn't been an easy one for Brian Kelly.  Along with the struggles his team has seen on the field, there have been a lot of distractions off the field as well.  Most notably, the death of video assistant Declan Sullivan, who died when a scissor-lift he was filming practice from toppled over due to high winds.

Now, just a few weeks after dealing with that tragedy, another one has been laid at Brian Kelly's feet.  Elizabeth Seeberg was a 19-year old student at St. Mary's who reported to the school police that she had been sexually attacked by a member of the Notre Dame football team on August 31st. Less than two weeks later, Seeberg was found in her dorm room after overdosing on prescription medication in a suicide attempt.

She died later that day at a hospital in South Bend.

All of this took place months ago, but until a story appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, there wasn't much news about it coming from South Bend. Making matters worse, not only did the school fail to comment on the story publicly for two months, but they never turned over any information from the investigation over to St. Joseph County prosecutors.

Something that the school has now done after the story has gone public.

St. Joseph County prosecutor Michael Dvorak said the school forwarded a "voluminous" report on the case on Friday, two days before the story appeared in the Tribune, but also that he was unaware of the story until seeing the story in the paper.

The name of the player in question has not been released, as since he has not been charged with anything, the Tribune has decided not to release his identity.  Showing ethics that seem to be lacking at Notre Dame these days.

Obviously, Brian Kelly has had to field a share of questions about this story in the last few days, and his answers are rather appalling.  When asked about it by a number of Tribune reporters during a conference call on Sunday, Kelly made a joke about the situation.

"I didn't know [the Tribune] could afford all those guys," cracked Kelly, showing a complete lack of respect to the gravity of the situation.

Kelly then went on to say that anything involving this story is a university matter.

"Anything the article alleges is a university matter," Kelly said. "The process is to dispel rumors and misinformation and get to the facts. And that's what our university is doing."

To be fair to Kelly, this investigation is not his, but the way he tried to deflect the questions doesn't exactly mirror the type of character or integrity he says he tries to hold his players to.
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