Brenda Tracy got an opportunity that rape victims rarely get.

She got to come face-to-face with the person who she despised more than anyone in the 18 years that passed since she was gang-raped at Oregon State. Then-Oregon State coach Mike Riley was the person who allowed two of the people who gang-raped her — two of the four men were football players — to get off with a slap on the wrist.

When Tracy got to see Riley in Nebraska on Wednesday, she finally got to ask him the questions that she had been waiting 18 years to ask. They spoke privately on the impact the 1998 rape had on her life.

“He stood up and he said, ‘Hi Brenda,’ and he smiled,” Tracy told reporters. “I started crying and he hugged me. He allowed me to cry for a second on his shoulder.”

The idea to bring Tracy to Lincoln had reportedly been in the works since Riley was hired at the end of 2014, which was when her story re-surfaced.

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She said that Riley told her that he wasn’t fully informed about the crimes his players committed. Because charges were dropped and the case went away, he issued a one-game suspension and community surface to the players involved. That act was what led to Tracy’s lawsuit involving Riley, in which she claimed that Oregon State allowed a sexually violent culture.

But after she spoke with Riley, Tracy said that she believed that he wasn’t fully informed when he handed down the light punishment. Riley also brought her to Lincoln to address his team on matters of sexual assault and doing the right thing.

After all these years, she finally got the closure that she had been seeking.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that just happened,” Tracy told reporters Wednesday night after both meetings. “I feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted off my back. Literally I feel like I might be five sizes smaller in my skin.”

She released this photo after her visit:

Riley elected not to speak to the media in regards to Tracy’s visit. Instead, he released a statement:

“As part of our ongoing educational efforts, I invited Brenda Tracy to Lincoln, to share her experiences with the young men in our program.  Brenda has suffered immeasurable pain and has shown the strength and willingness to share her story. Her story today was powerful and I know that it left an indelible imprint on our student-athletes, staff, and myself.

“Sexual assault and harassment are serious issues on campuses across America.  We try to recruit young men of character with core values, and once they are here, we educate them on making good decisions and treating all people with the utmost of respect.

“Prior to speaking with the team, Brenda and I had a chance to meet at length.  I expressed my sincere gratitude for her willingness to come and I offered my support in her efforts to impact others around the country.  Out of respect to Brenda, I will not share details of our conversation but I hope to have the opportunity to continue our dialogue.

“This has been an important day for me and for our football program and we must keep the focus on the victims, and on preventing inexcusable acts in the future.”

In addition to being an activist, Tracy is now a consultant on campus sexual assault at Oregon State. She admitted that her trip to Lincoln wasn’t relief, but closure.

Finally, nearly two decades of built-up anger toward Riley is gone.