New Mexico’s governor wants legislators to help her enact a new anti-hazing law in the aftermath of allegations by New Mexico State University basketball players that they were sexually assaulted by teammates and that coaches and staff failed to respond.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday in a statement that she is appalled by the allegations of hazing and abuse and that New Mexico needs specific new legislation as a deterrent.

Two former New Mexico State University basketball players recently filed a lawsuit alleging they were sexually assaulted by teammates and that the coaching staff and other administrators did nothing when they reported the abuse. The lawsuit says three teammates forced the plaintiffs to pull their pants down below their ankles, then assaulted them.

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The governor said it should be “unequivocal in state law that hazing is a crime and those who do harm to others will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” Lujan Grisham did not outline more specific provisions.

The Legislature’s next scheduled session starts in January 2024. The quick-fire 30-day session is limited to budget matters and specific subjects selected by the governor.

Separately this week, three former women’s basketball players at Eastern New Mexico University filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming their coach coerced them to undergo “treatments” that amounted to sexual assault by her volunteer trainer husband.

Kentucky in March enacted a bill to criminalize hazing amid advocacy by the family of a university student who died. That measure creates a felony crime for hazing that results in the death or serious injury of a student — punishable by up to five years in prison.

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