A lawsuit filed today by a former Baylor volleyball player says the former Baylor athlete was “brutally gang raped by at least four and, according to some reports, as many as eight, Baylor football players.” According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, it is the seventh Title IX lawsuit filed against the historically Baptist university. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Texas, with the former volleyball player using the name Jane Doe.
According to the the lawsuit, Doe was subjected to more than a year’s worth of physical, emotional, and mental harassment from her rapists, as well as other Baylor football players. The lawsuit outlines the multiple times Baylor employees—even a football chaplain—were told that the student said she had been raped, and how each time those people didn’t report what they had heard outside the athletics department.
The assault occurred at a February 2012 party hosted at the Outpost Apartment Complex, according to the lawsuit, an off-campus housing facility that was home to members of the football team. The lawsuit claims the apartment the alleged gang rape took place in was paid for by Baylor “by use of a housing stipend credited to the athletes’ accounts.” The woman said she drank that night and can’t remember parts of the evening; in light of the other various reports of sexual assault committed by Baylor football players, she now believes her drinks were drugged.
Throughout the night, she says in her lawsuit that an unnamed Baylor football player—who she had rebuffed the day before—continually tried to grab her while she was at the party. Her friend said she witnessed the player attempting to “pull Plantiff into a bathroom several times” prior to the gang rape.
The lawsuit goes on to say that Doe was repeatedly contacted by football players in the days following the gang rape. Among the text messages she got were claims that the act was consensual, that she “wanted it,” and that there were nude photographs taken of her during the gang rape—a practice done by players in multiple cases, as according to the suit. The players later spread rumors that they had been “riding train” on Doe, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit also states that “at least one, 21-second videotape of two female Baylor students being gang raped by several Baylor football players was circulated amongst football players.”
Doe told her mother about the alleged assault at the end of the spring 2012 semester. Her mother then met with an assistant football coach at a McAlister’s Deli on Baylor’s campus, according to the lawsuit, and gave him the names of two players who were involved. She never heard back from the coach.
The lawsuit picks up quoting from details released by Baylor in a separate lawsuit. As Baylor regents detailed in a previous legal filing, the coach met with the two players, who said they had just been “fooling around” that night with the victim. The coach then contacted fellow Baylor coaches, “who engaged in victim-blaming,” and ultimately decided the accusations were a “gray area” and did nothing, per the lawsuit.
According to Doe’s lawsuit, after the assistant coach spoke with the two players, members of the football team began harassing her, creating fake phone numbers and texting Doe and her family members. She says they also verbally harassed her, as the volleyball team and football team shared workout facilities and she ended up having class with two of her rapists during the spring 2013 semester.
The suit goes on to claim that during same semester, Doe began getting text messages from another football player, who wrote that she was “easy” and “like coach said we [Baylor football players] don’t want easy.” The same player burglarized her apartment in April 2013 along with several other players—they reportedly stole money and a necklace and “threw Plaintiff’s clothing and belongings all over her room.”
When Doe reported the burglary to the Waco Police Department, no charges were filed on the condition that the police department require the players to return her stolen items.
Doe reported the burglary directly to Briles a week later; no apparent action was taken against the players, per the lawsuit. She continued receiving threatening text messages from Baylor players, who tried to claim she stole their dog. According to the lawsuit, Doe had taken one of burglar’s dog to the vet earlier in the year, “after the dog was injured in a dog fight orchestrated by Baylor football players.”
Doe reported the gang rape to Baylor volleyball coach Jim Barnes in April 2013, who then reported it to former athletic director Ian McCaw. After hearing of the alleged gang rape, McCaw instructed Barnes to speak with Art Briles—Briles’s response to the allegations was similar to those of his assistant coach and players:
When he did, Coach Briles studied the names on the piece of paper. “Those are some bad dudes,” Coach Briles told the coach. “Why was she around those guys?”
Barnes went back to McCaw, who told him that unless the student wanted to press charges, there was nothing the school could do (by both Title IX and internal Baylor policy, this is incorrect). Barnes did not relay McCaw’s misinformation, or any sort of information on how to move forward internally with her report, to Doe and her mother. He was let go in 2014, though more likely for his team’s 14-17 record that season than for not reporting a gang rape suffered by one of his players.
The breaking point for Doe came during a May 2013 Baylor-led mission trip to Africa, during which a player revealed to Doe that potentially up to eight men had gang raped her during the spring 2012 assault. The woman decided then to withdraw from Baylor.
During a visit to campus later that fall, she reported the gang rape to the football chaplain—he did not report the incident to Judicial Affairs. McCaw, now the athletic director at Liberty University (another private Baptist school), denied having heard of Doe’s allegation in February 2015 when Patty Crawford, Baylor’s first Title IX officer, asked him about three separate gang rape reports, according to the lawsuit.
The current Liberty athletic director then asked Crawford whether a football player who had information about the gang rapes could get immunity under Title IX; Crawford told him they would not. In August 2015, he flipped his story, claiming he did not report Doe’s gang rape to Judicial Affairs due to a lack of Title IX training, according to the lawsuit.
Baylor filed zero incidents of sexual assault to the U.S. Department of Education from 2008 to 2011.
The full lawsuit is below.