Questions Swirl In Notre Dame Student’s Rape Claims, Later Death

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CBS) – In another black eye for the University of Notre Dame, the Chicago Tribune reports that one of its football players sexually assaulted a female student from neighboring St. Mary’s College.

The girl reportedly later committed suicide. Elizabeth Seeberg — “Lizzy,” as she was known to her friends and family — is being remembered for her beautiful smile and giving spirit, CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.

The 19-year-old was a freshman at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, but on Sept. 10 she reportedly overdosed on prescription medication.

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Her death came just nine days after Seeberg reported being sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player in a dorm room on Aug. 31.

University officials are not commenting on the allegations or the investigation, but in a statement, they said “Notre Dame will never be silent or passive when it comes to the careful, thorough and fair determination of whether or not laws or university policies have been broken on our campus.”

“All investigations of sexual assault are forwarded to the prosecutor’s office so that action, if warranted, can be taken,” the statement continued.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak says campus police forwarded their report to his office last week.

“At this time, I wish to emphasize that cases involving such allegations are complex and it would be inappropriate to rush to conclusions, rather than allowing the thorough review by prosecutors to occur in this matter,” Dvorak said in a statement.

Seeberg’s family has hired former federal prosecutor, Zach Fardon, to look into the circumstances surrounding the student’s allegations and Notre Dames’s investigation of them.

The family is not talking publicly about her death. Instead, they released a statement saying, in part, “Lizzy is deeply missed, but her giving spirit lives on in her family and her friends.”

Last month, the university came under scrutiny when a student, Declan Sullivan, was killed in an accident while filming football practice. High winds toppled the hydraulic lift on which he was perched. The university later accepted responsibility for the accident.

  • mike evans

    what can you expect from a religious institution that would also allow pedophiles to prowl on campu? to hell with notre dame and all it misrepresents

    • Kent

      If someone in your neighborhood sexually assaulted a teenage girl would the whole neighborhood be rotten to the core? Of course not. Don’t blame the acts of very few on this university or any university whose athletes or coaches do something wrong…how naive is that?

  • only the facts please

    Where are the journalistic standards here? If the player hasn’t been convicted, it should read “…has been accused of sexually assaulting…”

    Could be he did it, but until he’s proven guilty, please report the situation accurately.

  • Scott

    On a procedural level, the case may not have moved forward when the victim dies. The defendant cannot confront his accuser in court. Her statement can probably be used but she cannot be cross examined.

  • Suicide Victim’s Parents Criticize Notre Dame « CBS Chicago – Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago

    […] Her death came just nine days after Seeberg reported being sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame footba… […]

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