Ex-frat leader’s plea deal is the latest in a series of Baylor sex assault scandals
(CNN)A controversial deal allowing a former Baylor University fraternity president accused of rape to avoid jail time is the latest in the sexual assault scandals that have dogged the Waco, Texas, school in recent years.
In the recent case, the suspect, Jacob Walter Anderson, was expelled from Baylor, but the alleged assault was among a series of alarming incidents to emerge as the private Christian university faced claims it fosters sexual violence.
Allegations of sexual assault, many involving the university’s championship football team, have led to a string of prosecutions, lawsuits and resignations of school officials.
Here are some key events in the Baylor scandals:
April 2012: Student alleges rape
Baylor student Jasmin Hernandez says she was raped twice at a party by football player Tevin Elliott. CNN doesn’t usually identify the victims of sexual assault, but Hernandez has publicly disclosed her name.
October 2013: Another student reports assault
A female soccer player at Baylor alleges she was sexually assaulted by football player Sam Ukwuachu.
January 2014: Ex-player found guilty
Elliott is convicted of two counts of sexual assault and gets 20 years in prison.
August 2015: Second ex-player convicted
Also, Baylor commissions a law firm to do an independent investigation into the school’s “institutional response to Title IX and related compliance issues.”
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs. The law also covers sexual harassment and sexual violence. If schools learn of harassment that creates a hostile environment, they are required to take actions to eliminate it, prevent it from happening again and address its effects.
The Pepper Hamilton law firm begins review of Baylor’s Title IX processes, including sexual assault or dating violence reports during 2011-2015.
February 2016: Fraternity president accused of sexual assault
A Baylor student alleges Jacob Anderson, president of Baylor’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity house, “repeatedly raped” her at a fraternity party.
March 2016: Victim Hernandez sues Baylor
Hernandez files a federal lawsuit against Baylor, alleging officials failed to investigate her assault.
May 2016: President, football coach are out
Ken Starr is fired as president (and resigns as chancellor a week later); football coach Art Briles is out, too.
An investigation conducted by the Pepper Hamilton law firm says the school response to sexual violence was inadequate and the school “failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment.”
The firm also found problems within the athletic department, “including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player and to a report of dating violence.”
“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus,” Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, said at the time. “This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students.”
The school said it will create a high-level task force to implement recommendations contained in the report.
July 2016: Another player indicted
Former Baylor football player Shawn Oakman is indicted on one count of sexual assault of a Baylor student in April 2016, CNN affiliate TV station DFW reported.
Oakman’s trial is set to take place on February 26, 2019, according to Rebecca Akins, office manager with the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office.
October 2016: Title IX coordinator resigns
Former Baylor Title IX administrator Patty Crawford resigns, CNN affiliate KWTX reported. She became the school’s first full-time Title IX coordinator in 2014.
And more students sue Baylor.
By this point, 10 students have alleged they were assaulted between 2004-2016 and have filed lawsuits against Baylor. The students accuse school employees, including the university’s doctors, police and counseling center, of failing to help them.
Baylor University did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuits.
March 2017: Texas Rangers investigate
The Texas Rangers, the state’s top police agency, opens an investigation about Baylor’s handling of sexual assault cases.
The agency did not respond to a request for comment on the status of the investigation.
May 2017: Gang rape alleged
A former student volleyball player files suit, alleging she was gang raped in 2012 by Baylor football players.
The student told a counselor at the school, but the counselor did not mention Title IX nor the student’s rights and options to report the incident, the suit alleges.
August 2017: Victim Hernandez settles lawsuit
Hernandez reaches a settlement agreement with the school, court documents show.
And a former Title IX employee, Gabrielle Lyons, sues Baylor, alleging the school retaliated against her while she investigated reports of sexual violence.
The Lyons case is pending. In a court filing in January, attorneys for Baylor moved to dismiss the lawsuit, saying her complaint does not “plausibly assert any specific facts to support her conclusory allegations.”
November 2017: Experts review Title IX efforts
More than a year after an independent investigation found that Baylor’s response to sexual violence reports was inadequate, experts verify the school’s efforts to correct failures, the university contends. A 755-page audit saying the school has fully implemented 105 recommendations handed by the experts is released.
“(W)e understand that our work is not done,” President Linda A. Livingstone said in a statement. “Our unwavering commitment is to our students — to continue to educate, train and respond appropriately to interpersonal violence and work continuously to ensure a safe and healthy campus for all students.”
February 2018: Ex-frat president, fraternity face lawsuit
A woman files a civil lawsuit against Anderson, the ex-fraternity president, and the fraternity, Phi Delta Theta.
July 2018: Baylor settles another suit
The school reaches a settlement agreement with the former volleyball player who alleged she was gang raped, court records show.
December 2018: Accused ex-frat leader gets no jail time
A judge accepts a plea deal between Anderson and prosecutors. Anderson, who was indicted on four counts of sexual assault, pleaded no contest to unlawful restraint as part of the agreement reached between his defense team and prosecutors in October.
He will not serve any jail time and must complete three years of deferred probation and pay a $400 fine.
He also has to complete alcohol, drug and psychological treatment plans.