DIGEST: Emerging Reactions to Prep Water Polo Sexual Assault Report


Updated: Previously unavailable to the press, Dabrowski spoke with the Chicago Tribune in a video interview published on Thursday.

Reactions to sexual assault accusations made by a Chicago-area female water polo player are emerging. Rebecca Dabrowski told ESPN in an “Outside the Lines” episode broadcast last Sunday, that she was assaulted during a high school water polo match in 2015.

Officials from McHenry and Libertyville High Schools, the two participating teams, have responded to the case, which was referred to the Buffalo Grove Police Department after the game in which the incident took place.

Libertyville High School deferred conducting an investigation of the allegations until the Buffalo Grove police department had completed its investigation… The Buffalo Grove police completed their investigation in mid-June 2015, no charges were filed based on their investigation, and the case was closed. By that time, the LHS student had graduated and the district and school no longer had jurisdiction over the accused student. District 128 – Libertyville

McHenry High School District 156 posted a statement on its website:

…we want to assure our community that the needs, safety and well being of our students and staff members is always our top priority. We investigate all allegations of misconduct and harassment in conjunction with law enforcement, other school districts, and all interested parties as appropriate. Becca Dabrowski, the student profiled in the story, made many positive contributions to our school community and athletic program. We stand with Becca and her family in support and wish her (the) very best in all her future endeavors.

Illinois High School Association Executive Director Craig Anderson commented in a Tuesday release.

Despite our limited role, we feel confident that we handled things appropriately, and will await the results of the Title IX review to know what and how we could improve our response should an incident like this ever occur again in the future. We have and will continue to comply with all requests related to the Title IX review.

Multiple reports indicate that the male player denied the accusations and told investigators that any perceived sexual contact was unintentional.

A digest of several reports from the local area:

Sex assault claim at high school water polo game prompts questions, denial
At the start of every season, assistant coach Natalie Schawel sat down with female athletes on McHenry High School’s boys water polo team to have what she called “the girl talk,” making sure they understood that it was a tough sport with plenty of physical contact.

Libertyville, IL – The school district did not investigate the reported assault, according to the statement.
LIBERTYVILLE, IL – District 128 released a statement on Tuesday in regards to media reports, which included a report that aired on ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Sunday, alleging a Libertyville High School water polo player sexually assaulted a female player from McHenry during a game last year.

Suburban water polo player says she was sexually assaulted during match | WGN-TV
MCHENRY, Ill. — A suburban water polo player says she was sexually assaulted during a high school game last year. Rebecca Dabrowski told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” she made a police report but no charges were filed.

Libertyville took no action after alleged water polo sexual assault of McHenry graduate | Northwest Herald
District 128, which includes Libertyville High School, released a statement Tuesday regarding McHenry grad Becca Dabrowski’s accusation on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” of sexual assault by a Libertyville player during a May 14, 2015, boys water polo match at Buffalo Grove High School.

Water-polo player: I was sexually assaulted in game
(CHICAGO TRIBUNE) — A female college student who competed on a boys water polo team at a Chicago-area high school said in a nationally televised interview that she was sexually assaulted by an opposing player during a game last year.

McHenry West High School water polo player accuses opponent of sexual assault | abc7chicago.com
A female water polo player from the northwest suburbs is accusing a male opponent of sexually assaulting her during a match.

Ex-high school water polo player: I was sexually assaulted during game – Chicago Tribune
Rebecca Dabrowski says she was sexually assaulted by an opposing player in a water polo game when she played for the boys team at McHenry West High.