Family Says University Didn't Take Assault Allegation Seriously

Lizzy Seeberg committed suicide Sept. 10.

By Alex Perez
|  Thursday, Dec 16, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 PM CDT
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Family Says University Didn't Take Assault Allegation Seriously

Lizzy Seeberg

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Though there's a family history at Notre Dame that dates back roughly 100 years, Tom Seeberg said he can't help but feel betrayed by the Indiana university.

Speaking publicly for the first time since his daughter's Sept. 10 suicide, the Northbrook father said he believes the university failed to conduct a thorough investigation after his daughter, a freshman at nearby St. Mary's College, accused a football player of sexual battery.

"You've got to have a process that's robust, that's vigorous and that ensures that if you're saying you're going to take matters like this seriously, the process is serious," Seeberg said Thursday.

Hours earlier, St. Joseph County, Ind., investigators announced that without a victim, they simply didn't have enough evidence to file charges.

That's little consolation for the Seebergs, who believe investigators initially didn't take the girl's allegation seriously enough, and call into question why it took two weeks for the player to be interviewed. 

"I don't think they've lived their values, and that's a great sadness to us," said Tom Seeberg of the university. 

A day after Lizzy Seeberg was allegedly touched inappropriately by the Notre Dame player, who has not been publicly identified, she received a text message on her phone, records show.

"Don't do anything you would regret," it read, according to the Chicago Tribune.  "Messing with Notre Dame football is a bad idea."

Eight days later, she overdosed on prescription medication.

With little hope that her accusations will ever make it to a courtroom, her father said his job now is to speak up for others who may be victims.

"ND's slogan is, 'We are the Fighting Irish,' and our opinion is that we are, too.  We're fighting for young women," he said.

Although Lizzy Seeberg did have a history of depression, her family says she never indicated she was suicidal.  The football player in question remains on the Notre Dame football team.

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