A new bombshell dropped on Baylor University when a former female student filed a lawsuit late Tuesday alleging as many as eight football players drugged and gang raped her in 2012.
This marks the seventh Title IX sports-related sexual assault lawsuit filed against the Waco-based Baptist university.
The alleged victim “Jane Doe” said she was “brutally gang raped by at least four” and up to “as many as eight” Baylor football players five years ago, also maintaining the university acted “indifferently” in responding to her sexual assault claim, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“Jane Doe” played on the university’s volleyball team from 2011-13. The Waco Tribune-Herald reported she recounted hearing players yell: “Grab her phone! Delete my numbers and texts!” after the alleged rape in an off-campus apartment with glow-in-the-dark ceiling.
The lawsuit accuses the football team of having a system of hazing freshman recruits by having them bring freshman females to parties to be drugged and gang raped, according to the Waco newspaper. Allegedly, the rapes were photographed and videotaped. The plaintiff said at least one 21-second videotape of two Baylor students being sexually assaulted by football players had circulated on the campus. Also, she said she later told her mother what happened. In spring semester 2012, the parent met with the assistant football coach and named the players purportedly involved. The mother she never heard from him again.
The lawsuit also states the alleged victim was not given Title IX-related reporting options during subsequent Baylor counseling sessions but instead, statistics on how few women report sexual assaults “in an apparent effort to dissuade” her from taking action, the Waco newspaper noted. In 2013, she withdrew from the university.
On Wednesday, Houston lawyer Muhammad Aziz, who represents the plaintiff, told the Tribune-Herald: “These girls affected by this are seeking their day in court.” He said: “We thought about this a lot, and me and my client thought about it and discussed it. Eventually, we decided to proceed. Really, what we are seeking to enforce is just a safe education environment for the girls at the school.”
Aziz said he subpoenaed Pepper Hamilton, LLP, for more information. Baylor hired the Philadelphia law firm in 2015 to investigate Baylor’s response to sexual assault allegations. They found 17 women reported domestic violence or sexual assaults that involved 19 football players since 2011, including four gang rapes.
Breitbart Texas obtained a statement from Baylor. School officials say they have “been in conversation” with Aziz for “many months” to seek a resolution:
The alleged incident outlined in the court filing occurred more than five years ago, and Baylor University has been in conversations with the victim’s legal counsel for many months in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution.”
Baylor has since initiated and structurally completed 105 wide-ranging recommendations in response to issues of sexual violence within our campus community, in addition to making changes within the university and athletics leadership and investing significantly in student support services.”
As this case proceeds, Baylor maintains its ability to present facts – as available to the University – in response to the allegations contained in the legal filing. The University’s response in no way changes Baylor’s position that any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable. Baylor remains committed to eliminating all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment and discrimination within our campus community.
This lawsuit hit as Baylor tries to recover from the mishandling of the sports-related campus sex scandals that cost Ken Starr his university presidency and Art Briles his position as head coach in 2016. Athletics director Ian McCaw resigned. In seeking a fresh start, Baylor named Dr. Linda Livingstone as the university’s first woman president. She takes over on June 1.
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