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Notre Dame President Defends Handling Of Sex Case

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Notre Dame campus (CBS)

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CBS) ― The President of Notre Dame University is defending the manner in which his school handled sexual misconduct allegations against a football player.

St. Mary’s College student Elizabeth “Lizzy” Seeberg later committed suicide.

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But the Rev. John I. Jenkins said the university acted with integrity in its handling of the allegation.

Campus police conducted a “thorough and judicious investigation that followed the facts where they led,” the Rev. John I. Jenkins told the South Bend Tribune for a story Sunday.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak said Dec. 16 that his office won’t pursue criminal charges in the case.

Seeberg, 19, died of a suspected drug overdose Sept. 10. Dvorak said Seeberg accused a student-athlete of touching her breasts on Aug. 31. He didn’t reveal the name of the athlete.

Tom and Mary Seeberg, of Northbrook, have criticized Notre Dame’s handling of their daughter’s death, telling the Chicago Tribune the school’s investigation was superficial.

“We spent a lot of time hoping they would live their values in this case,” Tom Seeberg told ABC News. “Live their values of sharing what they could about the investigation and live their values by trying to give Lizzy a voice in the University of Notre Dame disciplinary process.”

Dvorak said the case broke down because of inconsistencies in the statements of various people involved in the case.

“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,” he said.

Jenkins said the player and a friend still may face student disciplinary action on accusations of sending Seeberg a text message that said, “Messing with notre dame football is a bad idea.”

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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