EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A female student, who has reported she was sexually assaulted by former University of Evansville men’s basketball coach and former NBA player Walter McCarty, has hired the Simpson Tuegel Law Firm out of Dallas to investigate and represent her in a potential action against the coach and the university.
“This was the classic power imbalance,” says attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel. “He was the town sweetheart, grew up in Evansville, returned after a successful NBA career and coached the basketball team to national success. When McCarty saw that the victim was in too vulnerable a position to protest his behavior toward her, he assaulted her. Thankfully, she reached out to a friend for support and the assault was reported to the university.”
After learning of the allegations, the university placed McCarty on administrative leave in December and fired him Jan. 21.
“It’s clear that my client wasn’t the only victim,” says Tuegel. “We have been informed that other women have come forward about McCarty’s sexual misconduct. It’s important that other survivors of this man’s acts know that they’re not alone, and we would encourage them to reach out to someone to report the misconduct. These women deserve to learn and work in an environment free of sexual violence and sexual harassment. My client asks that the community remain supportive of the men’s basketball team, as well as the additional survivors who have come forward.”
The case involving Larry Nassar, who was a former gymnastics team doctor at Michigan State, was convicted of sexual assault. Tuegel was the one who represented sexual abuse survivors in that case.
So she is no stranger to cases of this nature.
Tuegel tells us she was hired by the UE student in the last week. She says many of her clients reach out to her because they don’t want what happened to them to happen to anybody else.
In this case here, Tuegel says her client has had a hard time since the alleged incident involving McCarty.
“This woman’s experience, I mean of course everybody handles it differently," says Tuegel. “But I think it’s a roller coaster of emotion of feeling shame, and feeling a lot of depression and anxiety about being in some of the places and around some of the people that were connected to all of this.”
According to Tuegel, they are waiting for the University of Evansville to complete their investigation before deciding to take any potential action against the University and McCarty.
Still, the Evansville Police Department says they have no active cases involving McCarty.