An ex-Baylor University student has stepped forward and filed a Title IX lawsuit against the school claiming that it allegedly discouraged her from reporting her sexual assault.
According to the lawsuit, in 2012 Jane Doe was drugged and then gang-raped by at least four and as many as eight members of the school’s football team.
The plaintiff, who was a volleyball player at the school, was allegedly at a party in 2012 at an apartment occupied by several others football players. The woman, whose name has not been disclosed, alleged that sometime during the night she was drugged and became intoxicated due to which she does not have clear memories of the incident, but she does remember one member of the football team putting her into his vehicle. She was then transported somewhere else, where she recalls being gang-raped by at least four of these men.
She was later informed that as many as eight players were involved in the horrific act.
Apparently, when Doe regained her senses the next day, she saw numerous missed calls and messages on her phone from a friend who claimed he had seen a girl like her being carried into an apartment. Interestingly, she even noticed that two players' phone numbers had been deleted from her phone.
The lawsuit alleges that at the end of the semester, the plaintiff informed her mother of the rape, upon which she met with a Baylor assistant football coach at a Waco restaurant. She gave him details of the incident and names of some players involved and asked for the school’s assistance in the matter. However, the coach turned a blind eye to the incident and never contacted the woman again.
But court documents show that the assistant coach did speak to two players about the complaints, which the men called “playtime” and “just a bit of fooling around.”
The players then began harassing Doe on campus and via text messages. They even had the audacity to send messages to her family members. In April 2013, some football players burgled Doe’s apartment, stealing her money and jewelry, but unfortunately, no charges were filed. She then left the school after spring semester that year.
As disgusting as this may be, the football team allegedly had a system of hazing freshmen by having them bring females to parties to be drugged and gang-raped, as part of the team members’ "bonding experience," after which players shared photographs and videos of semi-conscious girls captured during the assaults.
Doe has further alleged that even after learning about the case, Baylor officials "misinformed" her and "actively concealed" her options to report the assault.
"Baylor's failure to promptly and appropriately investigate and respond to the assaults allowed a condition to be created that substantially increased Plaintiff's chances of being sexually assaulted, as well as others," reads the lawsuit.
The woman’s lawyer, Muhammad S. Aziz, claimed that his client did not report the incident to the police because "the mindset at that time was the football players could do whatever they wanted."
Now, Doe is seeking actual and compensatory damages, as well as court costs.
"The university's response in no way changes Baylor's position that any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable. Baylor remains committed to eliminating all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment and discrimination within our campus community,” Baylor University wrote in a statement.