Rebecca Dabrowski played water polo on the boy’s team as her school did not have a girl’s team available. However, while playing her senior year, Dabrowski says the unthinkable happened during a game with a rival team. Rebecca says that she was sexually assaulted by a male on the opposing team and that the whole thing was captured on camera. However, despite her obvious distress, the young woman says that police dismissed the charges as the player claimed he “did not remember” inappropriately touching Rebecca and that if he did, it was an accident.
The Daily Mail reports that a high school senior was taken aback during a water polo game in which she claims a player from the other team touched her inappropriately multiple times. Rebecca Dabrowski says that the male player touched her breasts and later penetrated her vagina with his fingers after roughly pulling her swimsuit bottoms away as they wrestled in the water. The fight in the water was captured on camera, and Rebecca ended up leaving the pool in tears. Once she made it to the sidelines, the female water polo player informed the female assistant coach about the incident.
A police report was filed with Rebecca noting that the other male player had touched her breasts and that he forcefully pulled aside her swim bottoms before penetrating her vagina with his fingers.
“He ripped my suit over and then had his hands wrapped around the suit and with his other fingers, went inside my vagina.”
Despite Rebecca’s claims and video footage that showed Rebecca struggling with the other player in the water, the police did not file charges against the unidentified male player, noting there was not sufficient evidence of the sexual assault. When questioned about the incident, the other player claimed that he didn’t remember touching Rebecca inappropriately and that if he did, he did it unintentionally.
In an interview with ESPN, Rebecca notes that she was baffled by the inaction of the police as the assault was captured on video. The recording showed Rebecca scuffling with the other player in the water before letting out a scream and retreating from the male. The young woman can then be seen sitting on the side of the pool crying as she informs her female coach of the sexual assault.
A female water polo player was sexually assaulted in the water by a male opponent. Rebecca Dabrowski tells her storyhttps://t.co/QIEsgxBNKb
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) July 17, 2016
The water polo player says she still lives with the repercussions of the painful experience, noting that it has caused trust issues with men in her life. She says that “it destroyed” her because she knew that he would face no consequences for his actions and that she wanted the player to seek counseling.
“It destroyed me because he was going to get away with it. He wasn’t going to learn his lesson. All I wanted was for him to go to counseling. I just want to make sure this wasn’t going to happen to another woman.”
Though the police did not file charges against the male water polo player for the sexual assault, Rebecca Dabrowski says she has not given up. She recently filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice against both her school and the school of the player involved in the alleged assault. School officials with McHenry West High have responded to the complaint and Rebecca’s statements by noting that the school plans to investigate the allegations seriously and that they stand by Rebecca.
“In response to the story that aired on ESPN involving a McHenry graduate, 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… made many positive contributions to our school community and athletic program. We stand with Becca and her family in support and wish her very best in all her future endeavors.”
Rebecca now plays water polo on a women’s team at Monmouth College in Illinois.
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