Baylor Settles Assault-Based Title IX Suit; More to Come | Athletic Business

Baylor Settles Assault-Based Title IX Suit; More to Come

Baylor University late Thursday settled a Title IX lawsuit alleging that the school responded inadequately to the plaintiff's claims she was drugged, abducted and raped after attending an off-campus party at "the rugby house" in February 2015.

According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the plaintiff's mother called Baylor's Title IX office the next day and was told five other women had been raped at the same house. The plaintiff, who filed the suit as "Jane Doe," said she met with then-Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford and then-Title IX investigator Ian McRary, who emailed a no-contact directive to the woman and information regarding an unrelated Title IX case. The plaintiff alleged McRary also sent her photos so she could identify her alleged assailant, which she did, then told her at least three women had reported “similar experiences at the rugby house,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit further states that communication between the woman and the Title IX office ended without a hearing about five weeks after their initial contact, and a grade appeal with a vice provost was then unsuccessful, forcing her to leave Baylor and return to her home state. No police report was filed due to the woman's embarrassment, according to the lawsuit.

Crawford, who was originally named in the lawsuit, resigned in October claiming she lacked the "authority, resources or independence" to do her job — a claim the university disputed. That same month, Baylor attempted to have the Title IX lawsuit dismissed on the grounds the plaintiff had “not alleged that Baylor had substantial control over either the alleged offender or the context in which the assault occurred.”

In May of 2016, a law firm’s investigation found “fundamental failure” in Baylor’s Title IX implementation, and the school has since replaced its president, athletic director, head football coach and coaching staff, and has implemented other changes, the Tribune-Herald reported.

“Baylor University is pleased that the parties were able to resolve this dispute in an amicable fashion,” according to a university statement. “We are unable to comment further regarding this particular claim out of respect for the student’s privacy.”

Once the agreement is finalized, Baylor will face five additional Title IX lawsuits, according to the Tribune-Herald, which adds that Baylor has reached settlements with at least three alleged victims of sexual assault who did not file lawsuits.

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