The Herald Bulletin

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August 23, 2013

Lawsuit over missing Indiana student on hold

INDIANAPOLIS — The lawsuit filed by the parents of a missing Indiana University student against three men who were with her the night she was last seen is on hold until a judge decides whether to dismiss it.

Lawyers for both sides met Thursday with a federal magistrate in Indianapolis, after which the magistrate suspended any evidence-gathering while Judge Tanya Walton Pratt considers dismissal motions.

Lawyers for Corey Rossman, Michael Beth and Jason Rosenbaum maintain Lauren Spierer's parents have no evidence that their daughter has died or that the men were involved in her death.

The lawsuit claims the three men, IU students at the time, gave 20-year-old Spierer alcohol and then failed to make sure the intoxicated and incapacitated woman made it back to her apartment safely after a night of partying in downtown Bloomington. The Greenburgh, N.Y., native vanished early on June 3, 2011.

Spierer's parents have long maintained that the men haven't fully cooperated with investigators and hope the lawsuit will force them to answer questions under oath. But Magistrate Tim Baker decided action in the case should wait for a decision on the lawsuit's fate.

"In light of the issues raised in the pending motions to dismiss, as well as defendants' expected assertion of their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, the court grants the defendants' request to stay all discovery pending rulings on those motions," Baker's order said.

No criminal charges have been filed in Spierer's disappearance and there's been no sign of her despite numerous searches around Bloomington and the surrounding wooded countryside that's dotted with lakes and water-filled old limestone quarries about 40 miles south of Indianapolis.

Rossman's lawyer said his client had drinks with Spierer at a bar near campus and they later went to his apartment, where he went to bed, The Herald-Times reported.

Rosenbaum's lawyer wrote a response that his client had no obligation to care for Spierer in her intoxicated state, and that she left his apartment of her own free will. Beth's lawyer said the last time his client saw Spierer, she was intoxicated but "awake and coherent."

The three men all now live outside of Indiana.

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