Baylor sued over alleged sex assault

WACO, TEX. - Jasmin Hernandez, a former Baylor student who claims she was sexually assaulted by a former Bears football player, has filed a lawsuit against the school alleging Title IX violations and negligence by the university.

(KVUE doesn’t name sexual assault victims, but Hernandez’s lawyers gave her name to the media to use in reporting on the case.)

According to the lawsuit, an alleged victim of former Bears defensive end Tevin Elliott said that she had been raped by the football player. The lawsuit named the victim as Jane Roe to protect her identity. The lawsuit said that Baylor’s Chief Judicial Officer, Bethany McCraw said there was “nothing McCraw could do in response to Roe’s complaint that she had been raped by Elliott.”

Elliott was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $10,000 for crimes while he was at Baylor.

The lawsuit said McCraw told Roe that she was “the sixth female student to come in to McCraw’s office to report that they had been sexually assaulted by Elliott.” The suit further stated that Baylor Head Coach Art Briles “was aware of the reports.”

According to the suit, McCraw allegedly told Roe that there was “nothing the school could do for Roe unless there was a court determination that Elliott had indeed raped Roe. Otherwise McCraw said it would come down to a ‘he said-she said’ situation, and the school could not act on it.”

The lawsuit stated that Hernandez enrolled at Baylor in the fall of 2011 and that on April 15, 2012 she was attending a party at a residence near campus. The suit says Elliott invited Hernandez and her friends to the party as he knew one of the friends.

The lawsuit stated that at one point in the evening, Hernandez became separated from her friends and that Elliott grabbed her by the wrist and led her outside. The suit states that as Hernandez continued to protest, the player picked her up over his shoulder and carried her behind a secluded shack on the property.

According to the lawsuit, one behind the shack, “Elliott pushed Hernandez up against an embankment, ripped off her pants and began to rape her.” The suit says Hernandez began to pull her pants back up and Elliott grabbed her again, pulled her pants back down and raped her again.

Hernandez went back into the party and told her friends what had happened and they took her to a nearby hospital so a rape kit could be performed, according to the suit. The suit said Hernandez also gave an account of what happened to a Waco Police officer.

The lawsuit says Hernandez’s mother arrived to help the next day and was turned away for help by: the Baylor Counseling Center, the psychology department at Baylor’s Student Health Center, and Baylor’s Academic Services Department which allegedly told the mother, ‘If a plane falls on your daughter, there’s nothing we can do to help you.”

According to the suit, Hernandez’s mother and father both contacted head coach Art Briles’ office multiple times to follow-up on the incident. The suit said the mother received a call saying the coach was looking into it and the father never received a return phone call.

The suit said despite Hernandez’s report to several administrative offices, “Baylor did not take any action whatsoever to investigate Hernandez’s claims.”

The suit accuses Baylor of multiple failures to comply with federal law, Title IX, and that the school acted “with deliberate indifference towards Hernandez’s reports of rape to several different Baylor departments as reflected by Defendants’ actions and inaction alleged herein.”

The lawsuit also alleged that a former member of Baylor’s advisory board that “reviewed sexual assault response issues with community leaders has publicly stated that Baylor officials have known abou the larger problem of sexual assaults committed by student-athletes for years.” The suit said the former member is a nurse who “has estimated that despite only making up 4 percent of the student population at Baylor, male student-athletes are responsible for 25%-50% of all reported assaults that occur at Baylor.”

Baylor had another player convicted of sexual assault last year. Defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a Baylor student following a football game against Iowa State in 2013. The victim in that case reached a settlement with the university late in 2015.
 


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