Three MSU basketball players accused of rape by female student

Three Michigan State basketball players are accused of raping a female student three years ago and the school allegedly pressured the woman to stay silent, according to an explosive federal lawsuit filed Monday.

The lawsuit alleges three unnamed Spartans players took an 18-year-old victim home from a bar in April 2015 and allegedly sexually assaulted her. According to the Detroit Free Press, the woman never reported the incident to police until now.

The victim remains a student at MSU, according to the Free Press.

According to the lawsuit, the victim, a sports journalism major, claims she was held down by the three players and they took turns raping her in a bedroom.

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Players on Michigan State's 2014-15 basketball team
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Players on Michigan State's 2014-15 basketball team
EAST LANSING, MI - DECEMBER 30: Javon Bess #2 of the Michigan State Spartans looks to defend during the first half of the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Breslin Center on December 30, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. Maryland defeated Michigan State 68-66. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - DECEMBER 6: Trevor Bohnhoff #13 of the Michigan State Spartans shoots over JoVaughn Love #22 of the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions battle for the rebound in the second half at the Breslin Center on December 6, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 29: Marvin Clark Jr. #0 of the Michigan State Spartans looks on against the Louisville Cardinals during the East Regional Final of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Carrier Dome on March 29, 2015 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 26: Matt Costello #10 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Breslin Center on February 26, 2015 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 29: Mangok Mathiang #12 of the Louisville Cardinals looks for the ball against Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans during the East Regional Final of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Carrier Dome on March 29, 2015 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 13: Alvin Ellis III #3 of the Michigan State Spartans looks towards the bench during the second half of the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Breslin Center on February 13, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wildcats 85-70. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 04: Bryn Forbes #5 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts after a play in the first half against the Duke Blue Devils during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 15: Michigan State Spartans forward Kenny Goins (25) looks on during an open public practice during the practice day before the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament on March 15, 2018 at Little Caesars Arena, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 15: 'Michigan State Spartans guard Lourawls ''Tum Tum'' Nairn, Jr. (11)' participates in a shooting drill during an open public practice during the practice day before the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament on March 15, 2018 at Little Caesars Arena, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
14 March 2015: Michigan State Spartans forward Gavin Schilling (34) in action during a game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Maryland Terrapins in the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center, in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 04: Travis Trice #20 of the Michigan State Spartans drives to the basket against Tyus Jones #5 of the Duke Blue Devils in the second half during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Steppig - Pool/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 19: Denzel Valentine #45 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Northeastern Huskies in the first half on December 19, 2015 at the Matthews Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
28 January 2016: Michigan State Spartans forward Matt Van Dyk (30) smiles and celebrates with Michigan State Spartans guard Alvin Ellis III (3) during a game between the Michigan State Spartans and Northwestern Wildcats at the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 03: Travis Trice #20 and Keenan Wetzel #15 of the Michigan State Spartans look on during practice for the NCAA Men's Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 3, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 24: Colby Wollenman #41 of the Michigan State Spartans during the game against the Santa Clara Broncos at the Breslin Center on November 24, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 11: Spartans guard Eron Harris (14) points instructions to his teammates during a Big Ten Conference college basketball game between Michigan State and Iowa on February 11, 2017, at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, MI. Michigan State defeated Iowa 77-66. (Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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The lawsuit also alleges the victim was allegedly coerced by school officials to stay quiet about the incident after she finally reported it, more than a week later, to the Michigan State University Counseling Center. The victim said when she told officials she was raped by basketball players, their behavior changed and she was eventually told "that if she chose to notify the police, she faced an uphill battle that would create anxiety and unwanted media attention and publicity as had happened with many other female students who were sexually assaulted by well-known athletes."

The student was also allegedly told the school was aware of many incidents involving "guys with big names" and advised her to "just get yourself better."

In addition, the victim was allegedly told that if she pursued charges, "you are going to be swimming with some really big fish."

The lawsuit follows an alarming ESPN report earlier this year that exposed a culture at Michigan State viewed as hostile toward women. The "Outside the Lines" report accused the school of cultivating an environment full of "widespread denial, inaction and information suppression" surrounding sexual assault accusations.

"In one case, a university-hired outside investigator claimed to have not even generated a written report at the conclusion of his work," ESPN reported. "And attorneys who have represented accusers and the accused agree on this: University officials have not always been transparent, and often put the school's reputation above the need to give fair treatment to those reporting sexual violence and to the alleged perpetrators."

At least 16 MSU football players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women since 2007. According to another report in The Athletic, the NCAA has known about 37 alleged assaults by Michigan State student-athletes in just 2010.

Michigan State remains stained from the Larry Nassar sexual assault case, but with the revelation of yet another bombshell lawsuit, the school may have much deeper and broader problems to address.

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Key names in the Nassar sexual abuse case fallout
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Key names in the Nassar sexual abuse case fallout

Former doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for the sexual abuse he committed on over 150 gymnasts.

(Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

MSU president Lou Anna Simon announced her resignation on January 24. 

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

MSU athletic director Mark Hollis resigned on January 26.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun called for the entirety of the USA Gymnastics board to step down. 

(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

Head basketball coach Tom Izzo is under scrutiny after several of his former players have been accused of sexual misconduct while at MSU. 

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Head football coach Mark Dantonio called claims that he mishandled sexual assault allegations as "completely false."

(Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Michigan State University gymnastics head coach Kathie Klages

(Sundeep Dhanjal/The State News via AP File)

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