Chilling Allegations of Neglect of Sexual Assault Victims at Baylor University
Victims’ names have been changed to protect their identities.
Tanya, Kim, and a women’s soccer player belong to an unfortunate, yet a resolute group of collegiate women – all with something in common.
At one point that common ground would’ve been found as they enthusiastically entered the campus gates of Baylor University freshman year, but today something more sinister and tragic joins them together.
Each of these women is a victim of sexual assault during their time at Baylor. The individuals accused of these heinous acts? They have something in common as well. They are both former Baylor University football players.
Players Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu have since been convicted of these sexual assault charges, but recent allegations reveal another potential culprit: Baylor University.
Ignoring reports of sexual assaults
Tanya, one of Elliott’s victims, reported her assault to the campus police, who explained that there was nothing they could do since the assault happened off-campus.
Tanya sought counseling at the student health center but was told to put her name on a waiting list.
Tanya’s mother contacted Baylor academic services for assistance with final exams, to which they responded:
“[Even] if a plane falls on your daughter, there’s nothing we can do to help her.”¹
Tanya is one of five women to accuse football player Tevin Elliott of sexual assault from October 2009 to April 2012.
Title IX and a Culture of Apathy at Baylor University
Title IX is a federal law requiring all educational institutions, public and private, to thoroughly investigate allegations of sexual assault, and provide security, counseling and academic assistance to those who report, among other things.
However, ESPN’s Outside the Lines conducted an investigation of the internal handling of the 3 women’s cases. What they found was a handful of instances like the ones above in which Baylor University officials failed to adequately investigate, or failed to investigate all together, allegations of sexual violence.
ESPN also discovered cases in which Baylor failed to provide support to the accusers in compliance with Title IX – all of which supported Tanya’s account of administrative ignorance.
Equally as egregious is Baylor’s explicit disregard for a federal directive issued to all institutions back in April 2011, which emphasized their responsibilities under Title IX, including the duty to hire an exclusive Title IX coordinator. Baylor didn’t hire a full-time Title IX coordinator until fall 2014.
A nationwide atrocity
Baylor is not the only university under fire. The U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating 161 institutions for inadequate investigations of sexual assault allegations.
While Baylor is not currently under federal investigation, it is clear the disgusting lack of attention universities across the country are devoting to these sorts of crimes.
Title IX is in place to protect students. However, despite its goal and its legally-binding status, universities continue to misprioritize and misjudge at the expense of their students.
In Baylor’s case, these are merely accusations of impropriety. But the facts we do have paint a picture of 3 promising young women who did not feel safe or supported at Baylor University. That is just one more thing they share in common today.
Have a Title IX dispute? Contact us today.
If you feel your educational experience has been compromised as a result of sexual assault or gender discrimination, you may have a Title IX claim. The Law Office of D. Hardison Wood is experienced in Title IX litigation, and our tenacious attorneys are passionate in the fight for justice and accountability. Contact us today to hold the guilty parties responsible.
¹Baylor Faces Accusations of Ignoring Sex Assault Victims – Paula Lavigne, ESPN Staff Writer