The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office has announced it won't prosecute the alleged sexual battery that led college student Elizabeth Seeberg to take her own life. Nor will the person who sent her a threatening text be charged.
According to the Notre Dame-St. Mary's College Observer, the Office has decided not to prosecute the Notre Dame football player Seeberg accused of battery because it's "unlikely that Seeberg's statements would be admissible in court because of her death." And according to the Chicago Tribune, Notre Dame is now saying they may not release details of Seeberg's accusations to her grieving parents. Some of those details have been made public, though, including this chilling one: after the alleged battery (which in Indiana is defined as "the unwanted touching of another person to satisfy one's own sexual desires"), a friend of the suspect sent Seeberg this text: "Don't do anything you would regret. Messing with notre dame football is a bad idea." St. Joseph's County prosecutors have said this message doesn't constitute harassment, and they won't be prosecuting its sender either.
The Seebergs' lawyer reportedly asked Notre Dame for three things regarding their daughter's assault: "a full and vigorous investigation surrounding the allegations; transparency of the investigative process; and an "appropriate disciplinary response" from the university." So far, they appear to have gotten none of these. Notre Dame won't publicly discuss the way it's dealt with the case, and when the Seebergs' lawyer sent the university president a letter explaining their position, he refused to even read it "because it contained facts about the case and could interfere with his role in the school's disciplinary process." Says Elizabeth's father Tom Seeberg,
Ultimately, there's a sense of betrayal. There's a sense of the university not living its values. … It is not our intention to take down this great institution. But it has disappointed us. That hurts, and it hurts our family.
Prosecutor's Office Declines To Prosecute In Seeberg Case [NDSMCObserver]
'It Feels Like A Betrayal' [Chicago Tribune]