WACO – A Christian university is the defendant in several lawsuits claiming that it ignored allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus.
Baylor University has been named in a lawsuit filed by three women alleging that the school was delinquent in adequately investigating and reporting allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, occurring in several instances throughout 2004 and 2014. The lawsuit claims the school is in violation of Title IX of the Education Act, by creating a hostile environment for students on campus.
In the lawsuit, the three women, identified as Jane Does 1, 2 and 3, claim during incidents of 2004 to 2014, Baylor was notified of events of sexual assault and failed to investigate the incidents properly or inform the plaintiffs of their rights under the Education Act.
One of the Jane Does claims she was sexually assaulted by a Baylor football player in April 2014. She said she reported the incident to a Baylor physician as well as to the university’s advocacy center. In both instances, she alleges no action was taken on their part, leaving her to “cope with the situation alone and in fear.”
The Jane Doe also claims, that this caused her to drop out of school and has left her with a substantial school debt to pay with no effort to show for it.
This lawsuit against Baylor, comes after football player Tevin Elliott was sentenced to 20 years in prison on two counts of sexual assault against Jasmin Hernandez, who has been outspoken about the case. Hernandez in this case is seeking a settlement from Baylor, claiming the university took no action when she reported that Elliott raped her, even after multiple reports were made against Elliott by five other women.
In the Hernandez’s lawsuit she accuses Baylor of discrimination based on gender and negligence. She also claims the school knew about prior sexual assault incidents with Elliot and failed to do anything about it. She alleges the incident took place on April 15, 2012 at a party near campus.
In court documents, following the incident, the lawsuit states that Hernandez’s mother called Baylor to request mental health services for her daughter, and was told all sessions were full and they couldn’t help. Hernandez’s mother then called academic services to make accommodations for her daughter and was again told they could not help. This call was followed by a call to football Coach Art Briles’ office to report the incident with Elliott. Hernandez’s mother said she only received a courtesy call back from his secretary.
The lawsuit also discusses that Baylor did not have a Title IX coordinator on staff at the time of the incident and that Elliott had been cited for misdemeanor assault on another occasion.
Baylor has been under fire for its lack response in handling reports of sexual assault and harassment, especially those involving its football team. University Chancellor Kenneth Star has resigned from all leadership positions with Baylor and Briles has been fired from the university.