Baylor Sexual Assault Investigation Reveals Widespread Misconduct
Baylor University officials have been accused of ignoring allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence against athletes.
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include information on Baylor’s new Web page addressing its sexual misconduct crisis.
At least 19 Baylor University athletes have been involved in reports of sexual or domestic assault since 2011, an independent investigation revealed.
Baylor University regents have said university officials were aware of at least one reported incident but didn’t inform police, the school’s judicial affairs office or the Title IX office, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The findings deepen an already-large scandal that led to the firing of successful football coach Art Briles and led former President Ken Starr to resign.
Baylor officials had previously said they fired Briles for failing to deal with sexual violence allegations on the team, but specific details of the allegations were not released.
Now regents who oversee the university have revealed the extent of the culture of sexual misconduct on athletic teams at the school.
“There was a cultural issue there that was putting winning football games above everything else, including our values,” J. Cary Gray, a member of the Baylor Board of Regents, says.
At least four alleged gang rapes were included in the investigation’s findings.
Former Baylor Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford has accused the school of stopping her efforts to fix was she has deemed a campus-wide issue of sexual assault. Crawford resigned last month. A CBS News report revealed that Crawford and Senior Vice President of Campus Safety Reagan Ramsower often clashed over Crawford’s actions.
Crawford has said she couldn’t access police reports, including one involving the gang rape of a Baylor student.
“Nothing ever happened for well over a year,” Ramsower told CBS News about Baylor’s Department of Public Safety investigation into the gang-rape. “What happened here? Was there an investigation? And if not, why not? You have a police report…It never came out of the police department. That was a significant failure to respond by our police department, there’s no doubt about it.”
Briles’ lawyer has accused the university of breaching the nondisparagement clause officials signed with the coach when he was fired in June. The lawyer also says his client never discouraged sexual assault victims from filing claims.
Campus Safety had previously reported on the conviction of a former Baylor football player for rape last year. Multiple people claiming to have been the victims of sexual assaults on campus have filed lawsuits against the school recently. At least one of those cases has been settled.
In response to the scandal, Baylor University has just unveiled a new web page, www.Baylor.edu/TheTruth.
“We will be providing more details about what happened at Baylor and about our ongoing efforts to learn from our mistakes and to make the right decisions moving forward,” said Baylor University Interim President, David Garland, in a letter released on Tuesday.
The site also released a reply to a Showtime “60 Minutes Sports” report that aired on Tuesday that was highly critical of the school’s handling of sexual assault allegations.
“On November 1, 2016, ’60 Minutes Sports’ aired a story focused on Baylor’s former Title IX Coordinator. This page includes extensive information that Baylor provided to ’60 Minutes Sports’ but its producers declined to include in the story,” the website claims.
The site provides Baylor’s own fact check of the “60 Minutes Sports” show, which can be found here.
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