Michigan State University paid a combined $1.2 million to former Spartan and Houston Texans football player Keith Mumphery and a woman he allegedly sexually assaulted, known as Jane Doe, according to settlement documents from May reported on by ESPN on Wednesday. The payouts—$725,000 for Mumphery, $475,000 for Doe—force them to “set aside” the results of a Title IX investigation that found Mumphery responsible for violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy.
The settlement ends what’s been a particularly complicated saga at a school that’s faced 35 complaints of sexual misconduct or relationship violence against its athletes since 2012. It was on March 18, 2015—in between Mumphery’s final season at MSU and the NFL Draft, where he was selected in the fifth round—that Doe filed a report with campus police saying that Mumphery had sexually assaulted her in her dorm room the previous day. Later in March, campus police referred the case to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, requesting third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges against Mumphery. In August, the prosecutor’s office decided not to file those charges, and in June 2016 it officially closed the investigation.
Instead, Mumphery faced consequences from Michigan State’s Title IX office—which has a lower burden of proof than in criminal court. MSU’s panel initially cleared Mumphery in September 2015, deciding that he did not violate the school’s sexual misconduct policy. However, Jane Doe appealed those findings, and a new investigator found in March 2016 that he had violated the policy. As a result, Mumphery was banned from campus through 2018 and not allowed to reenroll at MSU. The case did not become public until the Detroit Free Press reported on it in May 2017, after which the Texans cut him.
Doe sued Michigan State in November 2017 claiming not only that the school failed to give her adequate support services, but also that it failed to enforce Mumphery’s campus ban. Mumphery himself sued in May 2018, claiming that the school violated his due process rights. He says the school only sent him one email informing him that the case had been appealed, and it went to an address he didn’t check, which meant he was found responsible without being able to defend himself.
MSU’s official stance is now that it has no stance on Jane Doe’s allegations against Mumphery, and according to ESPN, the two are both banned by the settlement from speaking about any facts of the case that could disparage the other. Mumphery’s $725,000 is likely around what he could have made in one of his two missed NFL seasons, and since the settlement—as shown in this fiercely defensive New York Times profile—he’s been pursuing a comeback. The woman who accused him of sexual assault walks away from the case with about two-thirds of that dollar amount.
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