WACO, Texas A lawsuit was filed Thursday over an alleged rape during an off-campus Baylor fraternity party two years ago in which the victim was left lying outside unconscious.
The suit filed Thursday in 414th District Court in Waco names the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, the owner of the house in which the party was held and six fraternity members who served as officers at the time of the incident including the club’s former president, Jacob Walter Anderson, 22, who was indicted in May 2016 on four counts of sexual assault in connection with the incident.
The national organization didn’t immediately respond to a request for a comment late Thursday afternoon.
Anderson was arrested in March 2016 on warrants stemming from the alleged assault, which police said occurred early in the morning on Feb. 21, 2016 during a party at the house at 2629 South 3rd St.
The victim, identified in the suit as Donna Doe, was 19 at the time of the incident.
She told investigators she was sipping a drink at a Phi Delta Theta fraternity party when "she became disoriented and very confused," a heavily redacted arrest warrant affidavit said.
The affidavit says Anderson led her outside to a secluded part of the property behind a tent in order to get some air, and then forced her to the ground.
Details of the sexual assault were redacted from the affidavit, which says the victim told investigators that at some point she was unable to breathe and lost consciousness.
She woke up outside, alone and lying face down in her own vomit, the affidavit said.
She was "able to stand up and walk out from that area and find help," the affidavit said.
The victim returned to the house and found a friend who took her to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said at the time.
She was examined there by a sexual assault nurse examiner who verified the rape, Swanton said.
The suit alleges the fraternity and its local chapter officers were negligent in permitting the woman “to be drugged” and in “providing alcohol to persons under the age of 21” and “Failing to discover, develop and/or implement basic safeguards designed to prevent and/or minimize incidents of sexual assault.”
The suit, filed by attorneys Jim Dunnam of Waco and Chad W. Dunn of Houston, which says the woman was unable to remain at Baylor, seeks unspecified damages.
Phi Delta Theta suspended its Baylor chapter and ejected Anderson after the incident.
Baylor suspended fraternity’s the chapter "until a thorough investigation into the recent charges against the fraternity for underage drinking and sexual assault is completed."
Anderson's attorney, Clyde Chandler of Cameron, would not comment on the specific accusations after the arrest in 2016, but said, "There's only one presumption in the law and that is all people are presumed innocent and he is presumed innocent unless he is proved guilty beyond all reasonable doubt."
"And people need to quit jumping to conclusions," he said.