Baylor settles 2016 sexual assault lawsuit with 15 survivors

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Baylor College has settled a yearslong federal lawsuit introduced by 15 girls who alleged they have been sexually assaulted on the nation’s greatest Baptist faculty, ending the biggest case introduced in a wide-ranging scandal that led to the ouster of college president Ken Starr and soccer coach Artwork Briles, and tainted the college’s fame.

Notification of the settlement was filed in on-line court docket information Monday. The lawsuit was first filed in June 2016.

Among the many 15 plaintiffs was a lady who alleged being assaulted by a soccer participant in April 2014, a lady who reported that two soccer gamers assaulted her in April 2016 and a lady who mentioned a participant on the rugby group — a membership sport at Baylor — assaulted her in fall 2012, in accordance with the complaints.

The lawsuit was considered one of a number of that have been filed that alleged employees and directors ignored or stifled reviews from girls who mentioned they have been assaulted on or close to campus.

Among the many early claims from some girls within the lawsuit have been that college officers typically used the campus conduct code that banned alcohol, medication and premarital intercourse to strain girls to not report being attacked. One other beforehand settled lawsuit alleged Baylor fostered a “searching floor for sexual predators.”

The phrases of the settlement introduced Monday weren’t disclosed.

“We’re deeply sorry for anybody linked with the Baylor neighborhood who has been harmed by sexual violence,” Baylor College mentioned in a press release. “Whereas we will by no means erase the reprehensible acts of the previous, we pray that this settlement will enable these 15 survivors to maneuver ahead in a supportive method.”

The scandal erupted in 2015 and 2016 with assault allegations made in opposition to soccer gamers. The college employed Philadelphia regulation agency Pepper Hamilton to analyze the way it dealt with these assaults and others.

The regulation agency’s report decided that underneath the management of Starr, Baylor did little to answer accusations of sexual assault involving soccer gamers over a number of years. It additionally raised broader questions of how the college responded to sexual assault claims throughout campus.

Starr, the previous prosecutor who led the investigation of the Invoice Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, was eliminated as president and later left the college. He died in 2022.

Additionally fired was Briles, who denied he coated up sexual violence in his program. Briles had led this system to a Large 12 championship, however he has not returned to main faculty teaching; most not too long ago, he was employed to teach in a brand new spring skilled league with three groups in the US and three in Mexico.

Baylor officers have mentioned the college has made sweeping adjustments to the way it addresses sexual assault claims and victims in response to the Pepper Hamilton report. That report has by no means been totally launched publicly, regardless of efforts by the ladies suing the college to pressure it into the open.

Chad Dunn, an lawyer for the ladies who settled Monday, mentioned the lawsuit and scandal went far past the issues within the soccer program that captured early consideration.

“Their bravery and energy has created authorized precedents that empower others to achieve reduction from the accidents inflicted by their universities, whereas additionally securing safer schooling environments for future generations,” Dunn mentioned.

“Baylor’s focus of media consideration on soccer tried to misdirect consideration from institutional failures of the Baylor administration. Our purchasers would have none of that. Their dedication introduced the concentrate on officers within the ivory tower and ‘the Baylor method.’ “

Data from ESPN’s Paula Lavigne and The Related Press was used on this report.

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