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Notre Dame silent on teen's death
Chicago Tribune ^ | 11-21-10 | Stacy St. Clair and Todd Lighty

Posted on 11/22/2010 8:39:44 PM PST by mlizzy

Elizabeth SeebergA 19-year-old Northbrook woman died of an apparent suicide nine days after telling University of Notre Dame police that she had been sexually attacked by a football player in a dorm room, the Tribune has learned.

Elizabeth "Lizzy" Seeberg, a freshman at neighboring St. Mary's College who had battled depression, apparently overdosed on prescription medication in her own room during the third week of classes in September. The player, meanwhile, has remained on the field.

More than two months later, Notre Dame refuses to publicly acknowledge the case, and what actions university officials have taken to investigate her allegation remain largely unknown.

Campus authorities did not tell the St. Joseph County Police Department investigating Seeberg's death about her report of a sexual attack, county officials said. Nor did they refer the case to the county's special victims unit, which was established to handle sex offenses, according to prosecutors.

Former federal prosecutor Zachary Fardon, who tried ex-Gov. George Ryan, has been hired by Seeberg's parents to look into circumstances surrounding her allegations and Notre Dame's investigation.

"At this time, we're not prepared to make any comment about Notre Dame's investigation," he said Friday.

In the months since Seeberg's death, the university and its police force have denied formal requests for information from the Tribune, asserting it is not bound by open records laws that make public reports filed at other Indiana police departments.

The alleged attack occurred Aug. 31, the second week of classes at Notre Dame.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic; corruption; crime; notredame; rape; seeberg; stmarys
Distressing!
South Bend Tribune
University statement
1 posted on 11/22/2010 8:39:46 PM PST by mlizzy
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To: mlizzy

Sad. RIP.


2 posted on 11/22/2010 8:40:54 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: mlizzy
funny how the most oppressive secrecy occurs at our universities, that apparently don't believe they need to be open and honest with its students..

but don't you dare wear a confederate flag shirt!

3 posted on 11/22/2010 8:46:33 PM PST by cherry
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To: mlizzy
The University has lost its soul.

Color me "Not Surprised" - this institution is dead to me - and has been since last year.

(ND Alum, classes of '70 & '75)
4 posted on 11/22/2010 8:50:48 PM PST by shibumi (Wily Pablo loves Flank Steak Tacos)
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To: mlizzy
With the suicide/sexual assault story still unfolding, I think it best for me not to offer my personal views but rather simply to provide this information for you to evaluate. The University issued a statement today that is singularly uninformative, but presumably there will be more to come sooner or later. The issue will be whether Notre Dame will be shown to have acted with the even-handed justice and compassion and keen sensitivity to high moral values that should be the hallmark of a Catholic university. I think I am safe in saying that, correctly or not, the reports at the moment draw all of this into question. --Bill Dempsey, Project Sycamore

5 posted on 11/22/2010 8:52:04 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy

Isn’t Notre Dame the school that invited the Kenyan to speak, even though he’s a pro-death zealot?


6 posted on 11/22/2010 8:53:50 PM PST by MichaelCorleone
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To: shibumi

It’s getting more and more painful. My husband is ND ‘81. Three of his siblings are alum, his father, his cousins, and his niece is ND ‘13. We still pray for the University [a lot], and my husband watches their football games, but this is horrible. Joe Scheidler from Pro-Life Action League, brought Jenkins aside at the March for Life, Washington, earlier this year, because Jenkins refused to meet with Joe (an alum as well) privately, and Scheidler said talking to Jenkins was like talking to a stone.


7 posted on 11/22/2010 8:59:03 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: MichaelCorleone

Yes, that’s unfortunately correct.


8 posted on 11/22/2010 9:00:51 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy
".....Scheidler said talking to Jenkins was like talking to a stone."

A hardened heart will do that.

That bastard put an 80 year old priest in jail for singing hymns while embracing the Demon who inhabits the White House.

I could not be more done with them and all their ilk.
9 posted on 11/22/2010 9:05:03 PM PST by shibumi (Wily Pablo loves Flank Steak Tacos)
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To: shibumi

Exactly! I want the University to survive, but I want so much for Jenkins to no longer be at the helm.


10 posted on 11/22/2010 9:06:59 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy

I predict you’ll be seeing a lot more shameful stories.

And that’s the safest prediction I’ve ever made.


11 posted on 11/22/2010 9:07:07 PM PST by shibumi (Wily Pablo loves Flank Steak Tacos)
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To: mlizzy
Sadly, we probably won't hear much more about this until the guy is of no use on the field anymore or until he strikes again. With ND’s record this year, hopefully the former will come sooner then latter.

Yeah, I know, innocent until proven guilty— then stop trying to hide the initial report. If the guy is a rapist, she is sadly probably not the first or last victim.

12 posted on 11/22/2010 9:24:17 PM PST by MacMattico
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To: shibumi
A long time ago, my husband started up an apostolate, if you will, called Suffering Irish. He has a simple site that needs revamping to bring it current to what's going on at ND today, but I've always loved the idea behind it, and I've offered up my suffering as a member. The idea was borne from Mother Teresa's Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, but also in part from letters that Lou Holtz received as a coach from sick children. Tom has mentioned these letters in his book and different articles he's written. His book was written a while ago, Champions of Faith, but is timeless in nature.

Here's his Web site in regard to the Suffering Irish. I know you've had it with the University (and I don't blame you at all), but if you would like to join (just to pray), please let us know.
13 posted on 11/22/2010 9:25:25 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy
This isn't the first time this has happened at ND. I lived in Elkhart (15 miles from ND) in the 1980s and there was an alleged rape case involving several football players that the University hushed up.
14 posted on 11/22/2010 9:31:49 PM PST by bwc2221
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To: mlizzy
Campus authorities did not tell the St. Joseph County Police Department investigating Seeberg's death about her report of a sexual attack, county officials said.

From the school that demands prosecution of people holding up pro-life signs at the Obama speech.

Every single administrator at Notre Dame needs to be fired. Every one.

15 posted on 11/22/2010 9:36:55 PM PST by denydenydeny (Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak-Adams)
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To: bwc2221

I’ll have to ask my husband if he recalls that, as he graduated in ‘81. I guess I can’t blame Obama (and of course Jenkins!) for all of this then. The hushing up of the story makes the whole thing that much worse, though.


16 posted on 11/22/2010 9:42:32 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy
Unfortunately, there are very few Catholic colleges that are truly Catholic any more. I graduated from a Jesuit university and my daughter is a senior at a Catholic high school. We are just looking at state colleges. Why spend three times the tuition for a so-called Catholic college?
17 posted on 11/22/2010 9:42:55 PM PST by bwc2221
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To: denydenydeny
From the school that demands prosecution of people holding up pro-life signs at the Obama speech. Every single administrator at Notre Dame needs to be fired. Every one.
They have a few good administrators at ND (we confer with Charlie Rice from time to time and he fills us in on that), but otherwise, I'm in agreement with you ...
18 posted on 11/22/2010 9:45:32 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: cherry

Yeah, cause the church is always on the up and up.


19 posted on 11/22/2010 9:46:00 PM PST by stormer
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: bwc2221

Alberunia.(sp?_ in Pennsylvannia....also in Steubansville, Ohio there is a Catholic college that is very traditional...


21 posted on 11/22/2010 10:06:44 PM PST by cherry
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To: MichaelCorleone
yep and the school had to cover all religious indications like the cross/crucifix's...for those that are religious, they denied Christ publically....don't want to be in the shoes that made that decision...
22 posted on 11/22/2010 10:29:56 PM PST by goat granny
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To: mlizzy

If she were black and he were white it would sure have been handled a lot differently.


23 posted on 11/23/2010 2:13:22 AM PST by Bon mots ("Anything you say, can and will be construed as racist...")
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To: Bon mots

“If she were black and he were white it would sure have been handled a lot differently.”

These assaults by athletes are routinely covered up; it might her the school name (or enrollment, if parents knew what they were exposing daughters to). Often local police are only too happy to assist in the cover-up (can’t have it reflect badly on the community).


24 posted on 11/23/2010 3:25:13 AM PST by kearnyirish2
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To: kearnyirish2

How did that come out so screwy? Should read: It might damage the “school name”...


25 posted on 11/23/2010 3:26:37 AM PST by kearnyirish2
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To: mlizzy

What is very interesting is that the Chicago Tribune posted a story on this last week. Yesterday, there was a watershed of statements from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor. The South Bend Tribune reported yesterday that County authorities investigating the death were not informed of the sexual assault that occured 9 days before. You don’t withold information like that because it can show a relation of the assault and suicide.

Someone or something is being protected.


26 posted on 11/23/2010 5:01:48 AM PST by TMA62 (TMA62)
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To: TMA62

The whole situation is very troubling. Notre Dame needs so many prayers. Fr. Jenkins is doing a horrible job leading his flock.


27 posted on 11/23/2010 6:52:17 AM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy

Who was the ND football player that was accused?


28 posted on 11/23/2010 6:57:26 AM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: mlizzy

It seems to me that charges await several of these university officials.


29 posted on 11/23/2010 8:05:04 AM PST by onedoug
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To: vetvetdoug

The name has not been made public. While I can understand this to a point, I’d sure like to see him off the football field.


30 posted on 11/23/2010 8:24:24 AM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: onedoug

They need to be flung off the Dome (Jenkins first) ...


31 posted on 11/23/2010 8:32:34 AM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy
the name has not been made public
Then he must be a black athlete. If he'd been a white athlete, the MSM would have been all over him like they were the Duke athletes. That is my hypothesis.
32 posted on 11/23/2010 8:37:48 AM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: vetvetdoug

Boy, you might be right. Or it could be one of their more valuable players (black, white, or otherwise), which would be awful too. Bad either way.


33 posted on 11/23/2010 8:45:21 AM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy

“SOUTH BEND — St. Joseph County police said Monday they were, in fact, notified by the University of Notre Dame that a Saint Mary’s College freshman who committed suicide Sept. 10 had reported being sexually assaulted 10 days earlier...
Assistant Chief and spokesman William Redman took responsibility for providing the incorrect information to The Tribune and other media outlets.”

http://southbendtribune.com/article/20101123/News01/311239997/1130

There may be a lot wrong with this University, but let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.


34 posted on 11/23/2010 9:58:03 AM PST by alieno nomine (Throw the bums out!)
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To: alieno nomine
There may be a lot wrong with this University, but let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.
Yes, in time, all the truth will sift out.
35 posted on 11/23/2010 10:13:40 AM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: bwc2221

The bulk of Catholic colleges are a mixed bag, at best, but there is a definite group worth looking at (disclosure: I teach at one of the institutions reviewed in the link).

http://thenewmanguide.com/


36 posted on 11/23/2010 12:08:58 PM PST by Hieronymus (It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Hieronymus

I just read your tagline. LOL.


37 posted on 11/23/2010 12:36:29 PM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy
I enjoyed the line when I first read it years ago. When I decided to use it as a tagline, I googled it and was surprised to find that it was from Chesterton (I had thought it was Belloc).
38 posted on 11/23/2010 12:48:13 PM PST by Hieronymus (It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: MichaelCorleone

Isn’t Notre Dame the school that invited the Kenyan to speak, even though he’s a pro-death zealot

a school can always invite the US president to speak without fear of condemnation. However, they should never have offered him an honorary degree.....that inferred that they were impressed by his agenda and modus operandi.


39 posted on 11/23/2010 6:49:07 PM PST by terycarl (interested and informed)
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To: mlizzy; All
F.Y.I.

Dear Friends,

Here is some additional information on the suicide/alleged sexual assault case, but let me repeat at the start that I regard this as a developing case as to which no firmly grounded conclusions can be drawn at this time. Indeed, it is quite possible that such conclusions may never be within reach. The basic question that has been raised is whether Notre Dame is providing preferential treatment to a student in an extraordinarily tragic case because he is a football player . In addition, the family's retention of a well-known former prosecutor to investigate the case implies that they are concerned with whether somehow the University's actions may have contributed to their daughter's suicide. The mere statement of the questions shows the difficulties faced by persons not "on the inside," so to speak, in attempting to answer them. A prosecution and conviction would no doubt end the inquiry, though there might be lingering doubts as to whether in the absence of the Chicago Tribune investigation and the family's action the University would have referred it to the prosecutor. And of course the family might sue independently of any criminal action. But should the prosecutor decline to prosecute -- a case where the alleged victim is dead presents obvious difficulties beyond the usual -- and the University not impose discipline, questions might well persist. It is too early to anticipate all of this or to feel confident about inferences one way or the other when more facts are almost sure to emerge.

Nonetheless, since the case is receiving ever-increasing publicity and implicates the reputation of the University as a Catholic institution, it may be worth the attention of those who value that reputation and accordingly are interested in knowing about actions that advance or detract from it. I will try to pass along information as it emerges when it seems truly significant, but I promise not to bother you otherwise. Most of the reports of developments are likely to be confusing and unverifiable and accordingly this message is likely to be the last you will receive for a while.

Here are several interesting new items:

Both the Chicago Tribune (link) and the South Bend Tribune (link) reported that Notre Dame has now turned the case over to the prosecutor for him to determine whether criminal prosecution is warranted. The prosecutor said that he had received the case last week, though he hadn't heard of it until Sunday, evidently when he read the Chicago Tribune article. The Chicago Tribune said it had told Notre Dame last week that it was going to run the story. The obvious implication is that Notre Dame referred the case, by then over two months old, because the story was about to break.

The South Bend Tribune reported that the St. Joseph County police had reversed course on whether they had known about the sexual assault allegation when they investigated the student's death. The police had "said Monday they were in fact notified" whereas the day before they had "reported the opposite." (The explanation offered seems to be that the investigating officer did not for some reason include the assault information in his report.)

The South Bend paper noted that Notre Dame would provide no information "citing federal law." Notre Dame has elsewhere referred to the Family Educational and Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) as barring the release of information. While the University's policy may be sound, so far as I can tell it cannot properly be grounded in FERPA with respect to a case in which the ND police are acting under their authority to investigate possible crimes. Federal regulations specifically provide: "The Act neither requires nor prohibits the disclosure by an educational agency or institution of its law enforcement unit records." When a school's police are acting in place of county or city police, that seems an obviously correct rule.

It is principally the long delay from the time of the alleged offense on August 31st to the reference to the prosecutor, coupled perhaps with a doubt as to whether anything would have happened but for the Chicago Tribune's article, that appears to be the principal focus of attention. The fact that the alleged perpetrator continues to play has drawn a barrage of criticism as well. Coach Kelly has said this is a "University matter." Critics have maintained that he has the independent authority to sideline a player pending investigation. I think the uncertainties involved in all of this are apparent. In my view, an unbiased but interested observer -- neither a friend nor a critic of Notre Dame -- would at this point find neither solid grounds to absolve nor to fault the University but ample reason to be concerned and to keep watch.

A final observation: One has to keep in mind the fact that, so far as action by the University is concerned, the issue almost surely turns on the judgment of University personnel about the credibility of the alleged perpetrator and victim, since no doubt the accused denies the charge. We know what has been reported that would bear on the victim's credibility -- e.g., the actions she took consistent with her account, her reputation, her illness if there is reason to think that depression fuels fabrication, a matter as to which I am ignorant -- but hardly all there is to know, and we know nothing about the accused. Let us see what the University finally does, along with the prosecutor and the family's investigator.

My regards,
Bill Dempsey, Project Sycamore
40 posted on 11/25/2010 9:10:52 AM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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