Dobrowski Files Title IX Complaint for Illinois Prep Water Polo Assault


Rebecca Dabrowski has filed a Title IX complaint in response to her allegation that a male high school water polo opponent sexually assaulted her during an Illinois match in 2015. She did so after she and her family were “disappointed with the results of the police investigation,” according to ESPN.

The complaint has led to a US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights investigation as to whether McHenry High School, the alleged perpetrator’s high school, or the Illinois High School Association properly followed up on Dabrowski’s allegation, according to Nancy Hogshead-Makar, three-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming and current civil rights attorney.

In an interview with ESPN, Hogshead-Makar recommended that Dabrowski approach “United States Water Polo” if she wished to address remedies to the alleged assault. Those would include processes to prevent future assaults, an apology, and to “do something that would address [the alleged perpetrator] particularly.”

“United States Water Polo has to have a procedure that would investigate and sanction as well,” she added.

USA Water Polo has not issued a public statement on the case and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dabrowski is a former member of the McHenry High School boys team. The school did not field a girls water polo team in 2015. Dabrowski appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Sunday.

In the piece Troubled water: A sexual assault in high school water polo ESPN shows game footage in which contact is highlighted between an athlete appearing to be Dabrowski and a male opponent. Dabrowski alleges the male went under her suit to make contact with her breasts. A Buffalo Grove police report states that the male player “doesn’t remember touching her inappropriately and if he ever did it was an accident.” He did not respond to requests for an interview with ESPN.

Dabrowski and her family have “no plans to pursue [any lawsuits] at this time,” according to the network.