New lawsuit alleges 52 'acts of rape' by 31 Baylor players

(File)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A federal lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of a former Baylor student, identified only as Jane Doe who claims she was raped by two football players in April 2013 alleges that the football program’s “rape culture” resulted in 52 rapes involving at least 31 players between 2011 and 2014.

Baylor initially declined comment on the suit Friday evening, but later issued a statement from interim President David Garland, who said "Any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable."

"Baylor University has taken unprecedented actions that have been well-documented in response to the issue of past and alleged sexual assaults involving our campus community," he said.

"We have made great progress in implementing 105 recommendations to strengthen the safety and security of all students and restore faith in the university," he said.

"Baylor has made a strong commitment to a values-driven culture in accordance with our Christian mission.”

The 26-page suit includes no documentary support for the number of rapes and players, which far exceeds the number provided by Baylor Regents, who told the Wall Street Journal in November that the scandal that engulfed the football program involved 17 women who reported sexual or domestic assaults involving 19 players including four gang rapes since 2011.

The woman, whom the suit says is a resident of Virginia who graduated from Baylor in December 2014, alleges that Baylor had a policy of “Show ‘em a good time in recruiting,” and that the school provided little or no discipline for football players, interfered with female students’ access to help, failed to report allegations of sexual and dating violence, diverted such cases away from student conduct or criminal processes and accepted players “with histories of violence toward women.”

The suit alleges the Baylor football coaching staff allowed players to arrange “for women, alcohol and illegal drugs for parties when recruits were in town,” paid for and escorted recruits to bars and strip clubs and paid for off-campus parties, “which repeatedly resulted in the gang rape of women by the athletes.”

The suit alleges that former offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, while recruiting a Dallas-area player, said, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”

The suit claims in one instance, unnamed coaches sent two women from the Baylor Bruins program to a hotel room to have sex with two potential recruits.

“Though the Bruins had an official policy of no sexual contact with the recruits or football players, Baylor had an unofficial policy of looking the other way when there was sexual intercourse between the Bruins and the football players,” the suit alleges.

The suit alleges one Bruin hostess was impregnated by a member of the football team.

In the fall of 2012, Doe joined the Baylor Bruins, which the suit says is a football hostess program that provides escorts for recruits and families during campus visits.

On April 18, 2013, which was Diadeloso, Baylor’s annual spring play day, she and some other Bruins stopped by the home of a first-year player.

The suit says she “later learned” that two other players, Shamycheal Chatman and Tre’Von Armstead, accompanied her back to her apartment.

Later in the evening, Doe’s roommate and the roommate’s boyfriend returned to the apartment and heard suspicious noises, the suit says.

As he was checking an upstairs bedroom, the suit says, he “could hear what sounded like wrestling and a fist hitting someone. The next thing that he heard was a loud bang and a slapping noise accompanied by hearing a woman’s voice loudly saying ‘no.”

The boyfriend shouted from outside the closed bedroom door and “one of the men inside the bedroom yelled out that she “was fine,’ but the man insisted on seeking Doe.

The suit says Armstead and Chatman emerged from the room and the boyfriend “saw Ms. Doe partially unclothed on the floor of the bedroom.

The boyfriend called 911 as soon as the players left, but before officers arrived, another member of the Baylor Bruins turned up “and was trying to get Ms. Doe to cover for the assailants,” the suit says, advising her “to tell police that she had ‘consensual sex” with one white male’ in an apparent attempt to protect the Baylor athletes.

The suit says Waco police “did little with the case” and gave Doe the option “of placing the investigation in suspended status,” which she chose to do.

The suit claims Waco police never tried to interview either player, but did report the case to Baylor police, but the school “too no action.”

KWTX has documented the incident during a months-long investigation and determined it was reported to Waco police, who interviewed the woman involved and collected evidence, but more than a year passed before anyone in the Athletic Department was made aware of it.

According to police reports obtained by KWTX, the woman, who a police investigator said was “highly intoxicated” and “very elusive in her answers,” was initially “adamant that nothing had happened and that she had not been sexually assaulted.”

Two days later she told an investigator “she did not wish to press charges against the two,” whom she identified as Chatman and Armstead.

The Waco police reports show that an investigating officer contacted Baylor about the incident shortly after it occurred, but KWTX has learned that former head coach Art Briles wasn’t told about the incident until Sept. 11, 2015, after Pepper Hamilton investigators discovered it.

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Reagan Ramsower, who oversees the Baylor Department of Public Safety, told “CBS 60 Minutes Sports” last fall that the report about the incident was in the hands of campus police for more than a year.

By that time, Chatman was gone.

Armstead never worked out with the team or played again, but remained in school until he transferred at mid-term.

Neither player was ever charged.



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