Boise State University

How much did Boise State pay to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit?

No parties in a lawsuit that alleged Boise State University mishandled reports of sexual misconduct by a male track and field athlete would reveal details of the settlement they reached in late December.

So the Statesman sought settlement details by filing a public record request with the Idaho Department of Administration’s Risk Management Program. This week, Statewide Risk Manager Faith Cox released the total settlement amount: $800,000.

The settlement was reached Dec. 16, and Fourth District Judge Steven Hippler dismissed the case Wednesday, according to online court records. It was dismissed with prejudice, which means the plaintiffs cannot file another suit with the same claims.

The plaintiffs, both freshmen at Boise State in 2011, sued the university in 2014. They alleged they were sexually assaulted and subjected to ongoing harassment by a male teammate, and that the university failed to immediately act because he was a star athlete.

The Statesman does not generally name sexual assault victims. The plaintiffs sued Boise State; neither former head track coach J.W. Hardy nor the male athlete accused of the misconduct were named as defendants.

According to court documents, the university began investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by the male athlete in 2013, after President Bob Kustra received an anonymous email stating that a track athlete had “raped multiple former and current students at Boise State.”

Hippler in September denied a request by Boise State to dispose of the case before it would reach a jury.

His 36-page ruling revealed information on the university’s own investigation. BSU’s conclusions: Three women were sexually assaulted by two male athletes after consuming alcohol, and three male athletes should be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for sanctioning.

In addition, the male athlete accused of rape and harassment was kicked off the track team and indefinitely suspended from school. Hardy was aware of the allegations and did not report them; he was put on administrative leave and notified soon after that his contract would not be renewed.

BSU’s original motion included a full sexual history of one of the plaintiffs, which also earned a rebuke by Hippler, who said he believed the maneuver was simply intended to humiliate the woman. The university was represented in the case by attorneys hired by the state, and officials apologized after the judge’s comments.

“That is so against anything we would do in defense of a case,” Boise State general counsel Kevin Satterlee said at the time. “We’ll be sending them a message, telling them it was unacceptable and not representing us or our interests.”

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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