St. Joe Prosecuting Atny. will not issue charges in Seeberg case - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

St. Joe Prosecuting Attorney will not issue charges in Seeberg case

Posted:

Release from office of St. Joseph Prosecutor Michael Dvorak

South Bend, IN

Our office has concluded its review of the investigation into the allegations made by Elizabeth Seeberg concerning events occurring on August 31, 2010 and September 2, 2010 in S1.Joseph County, Indiana.

The reports on this matter were prepared by Notre Dame Security Police Department (NDSPD), who investigated the allegations made by Ms. Seeberg and presented these reports to our office on November 17, 2010.

Together with deputy prosecutors from my office, we have reviewed the police reports and conducted research into Indiana law on several issues raised by this investigation.

Further, we met with the parents of Elizabeth Seeberg and their attorney on December 1, 2010 and discussed with them much of the contents of the investigation.

There were two separate allegations made by Ms. Seeberg against two separate individuals, both of whom were students at the University of Notre Dame and one of which who was also an athlete.

First, there was the allegation of Sexual Batter, specifically the touching of her breasts. Secondly, there was a complaint about text messages received by Ms. Seeberg. She never made an allegation of rape nor does the evidence even suggest a rape occurred as some media outlets have mistakenly reported.

Our office has declined to file criminal charges against either of the two individuals named in this investigation, and we decline to identify these individuals as they are not being charged with any crimes.

The investigation by NDSPD included the collection of evidence and the statements of event
witnesses. This includes two statements from Ms. Seeberg, statements from the two suspects, and a statement from a female friend, all of whom were present during the evening of August 31, 2010. Only Ms. Seeberg and the student-athlete were present during the alleged battery.  Conflicts exist among the witnesses' accounts of the events given to the police. Subpoenaed cell phone records are inconsistent with parts of the complaint itself.

Police also recovered the text messages of September 2, 2010 between Ms. Seeberg and the student who sent them. The content of the text messages sent does not rise to the level of a criminal act as defined by Indiana's Harassment statute.2 The student subjectively believed Ms. Seeberg's complaint was false and therefore he had a legitimate purpose for his text messages.

Our review of these two criminal allegations and our decision not to prosecute either of them is based upon the evidence as well as the likelihood that Ms. Seeberg's statements-as a consequence of her untimely death on September 10, 2010-would be found inadmissible in a court of law because of evidentiary rules involving hearsay and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).

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