Boise State reaches settlement in sex assault lawsuit



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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two former Boise State University athletes who accused the school of failing to stop sexually harassment have reached an out-of-court settlement with the university.

The former students sued the school in 2014, alleging athletic officials ignored their reports of sexual assault and harassment by a star athlete.

The settlement was reached Dec. 16 and the case was dismissed Wednesday, The Idaho Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/1YR3q9i). The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs cannot refile the suit.

Rebecca Rainey of Boise law firm Fisher Rainey Hudson said she cannot discuss the terms of the settlement, but that her clients are satisfied. The local firm worked with attorney Gloria Allred, who has handled similar lawsuits in several other states.

"Our clients are satisfied with the settlement negotiated during mediation and are looking forward to their futures," Rainey said.

Boise State spokesman Greg Hahn said the university is also satisfied with the resolution.

The Associated Press typically does not identify victims of sexual assault. The lawsuit doesn't identify the athlete the women say committed the assaults other than to call him a "men's star track and field athlete."

According to court documents, the university began investigating the allegations of sexual misconduct after receiving a 2013 email from an anonymous "concerned parent." The report's findings included that three track coaches were aware that the star male athlete was known as a "skirt chaser," complaints filed by three female student-athletes were not forwarded to the university for investigation, and a male athlete tried to silence a female athlete from reporting a complaint.

Court documents also show that at least one track coach told the head coach J.W. Hardy that the star male athlete should be kicked off the team.

The plaintiffs sued Boise State; neither former Boise State Head Track Coach J.W. Hardy nor the male athlete accused of sexual misconduct were named as defendants.

Eventually, the athlete was kicked off the team and BSU did not renew Hardy's contract.

Both women suing the school were freshmen in 2011, recruited by Hardy and awarded scholarships.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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