Baylor University Takes Its First Step Towards Justice
This morning Baylor University took the first of many necessary steps in response to the recent media attention surrounding the sexual assault scandal on their campus. They have “fired” Ken Starr. Okay, so “fired” is a really strong word. They have removed him from the position of school president. Rumor has it that they are offering him a position in the law school while maintaining his current salary. That punishment is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. It equates to lifting up the rug and sweeping the dirt under the carpet. The dirt is still there, but the guests won’t be able to see it unless they look for it. Apparently, until the clouds opened up and Divine light shined a beacon onto the university, there was no need to “handle” the situation at all. I say this simply because NOTHING has been done about this until now. For those of you who have been living in peace without this knowledge, I am providing the timeline below. Prepare yourselves…It is a lot. It will take a while to read, which will only amplify why I have been so extremely pissed off for so long that no one has been listening. I am not a victim. I do not know any of these victims personally. However, when I close my eyes, I can see the faces of the women in my life that I have loved dearly that could easily be inserted into any of these scenarios. (i.e.: my sister, my mother, my daughter, my best friend, my patients)
Crazy, Isn’t it? How in the world has this been kept so hush-hush? Well, apparently if you know what you are doing and have “buddies” on the local PD, it’s pretty easy. According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, the Waco PD agreed to take “extra precaution” to ensure that these cases would be kept out of the public eye because they were “high profile”. Together, they also found a loop-hole in Texas law that states that if cases remain open, they can be shielded to the public eye. I wonder how many “open” cases there are against Baylor athletes down at the police station? It’s sickening. Below, I have taken an excerpt from the “Know your IX” website:
Students and other concerned third parties have the right to report sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence to a school. Schools who fail to appropriately respond can suffer consequences under Title IX, such as the loss of federal funding, a non-compliance finding, a voluntary resolution agreement, or a lawsuit. The U.S. Department of Education accepts Title IX complaints, which can be reported to OCR@ed.gov. Additionally, Title IX allows harmed individuals to bring a private civil suit to seek money damages and an injunction to stop discriminatory practices. http://knowyourix.org/title-ix/title-ix-in-detail/
Although Baylor is a private institution, I assure you the university still receives government funding. Cut it. Allocate those funds to other universities in the state and help increase their student population. I can’t say that I would have ever embraced sending either of my kiddos to BU but I guarantee that at this point, neither of them will EVER attend Baylor University when the time comes. I cannot allow the safety of my children to be compromised. Yes, sexual assaults happen everywhere, but not every campus hides behind the police departments and essentially ignores them in an effort to protect a winning football team. All parents should stand up against this. Yes, this is Texas. Yes, football is king. However, we need to remember that winning isn’t truly winning when integrity is pushed to the wayside.
What else needs to happen?
1. Fire anyone who knew ANYTHING about this and failed to come forward. Police. Coaches. Professors. Title IX Officers. FIRE THEM ALL.
2. The Big XII needs to give Baylor the boot and I encourage all other conferences to boycott their program until justice is truly served.
3. PRESS CHARGES. There are LAWS that were broken. Are all educators not held to obligatory reporting?
I read a quote today in Chip Brown’s article titled, Sources: BU Regents Fire Kenneth Starr, “The feeling is if the board got rid of Art (Briles), they’d be sitting in a $300 million mausoleum instead of that new football stadium.”
Oh, the irony. It seems that Baylor is still missing the point. They are STILL choosing football over the safety of their daughters. I am so sorry that they spent all of that money on a stadium for a program they believe is only strong because of a single coach.
'At Baylor, we celebrate our distinctive place in higher education - where research, scholarship and faith guide the mind in understanding the complex diversity of God's creation and prepare the whole person for service and leadership.’
I don’t believe you Baylor. You have lost your focus. “The meek He will guide in judgment. And the meek He will teach His way.” Psalms 25:9. It is all there in your bible. MY BIBLE. Find some humility Baylor. Stand up and take ownership of your mistakes. Go to YOUR victims and apologize. Show them what it really means to be a Christian in these trying times. Hold yourself and all of those involved accountable. You can donate money to every poor person in America. You can sponsor countless mission trips to Uganda. You can present yourself “In Service” but if you aren’t “walking the walk” it doesn’t really count. It doesn’t matter what it looks like.
Here’s my message to Baylor: If you are serving prime rib with shit sauce, you are really just serving shit.
- A female athlete, who graduated from Baylor in 2010, testified that Tevin Elliott sexually assaulted her after she passed out drunk at her apartment in 2009
- Baylor judicial affairs officials were aware of a misdemeanor, sexually-related assault citation against Elliott in November 2011
- Oakman is kicked off the Penn State football team for attempting to steal a sandwich and allegedly assaulting a female cashier who tried to stop him – accounts vary from him simply grabbing her wrist to get her card back (his) or more violently shoving her against the wall (hers). He was charged with some misdemeanors and it was reported publicly.
- A Baylor freshman (“Tanya”) reported to police being at a party and being raped twice by Elliott, who she hadn’t met before
- Days later, Tanya said she went to Baylor's campus police department, asking officers if there was anything they could do for her, because she'd been assaulted by a fellow student but was told that counseling or other resources were unavailable
- She was placed on probation when her grades dropped, lost her academic scholarship and left Baylor in 2013.
- Two weeks before Tanya filed her police report against Elliott, another Baylor athlete (“Kim”) reported to Waco police that Elliott had forced her to have sex with him. A few weeks later, the woman and her mother said they also reported the assault to Baylor's ombudsman office and were sent to meet with the school's chief judicial officer, Bethany McCraw
- Both women said McCraw's response noted that Kim, also a Baylor athlete, was the sixth woman to report such an incident involving Elliott. Kim alleges that McCraw acknowledged that Art Briles was aware of all the prior accusations
- Baylor coach Art Briles announced that Elliott was suspended indefinitely for violating an unspecified team policy. He didn't elaborate and said he'd have no further comment.
- Later it is reported that Elliott was arrested and charged with sexual assault, which is the first time news of any of the incidents is made public.
- Oakman transfers to Baylor, and his past incident was apparently public knowledge.
2012 Football Season
- Oakman sits out at Baylor due to transfer rules
- Sam Ukwuachu has a freshman All-American season for Boise State
- Police were called to an incident of alleged domestic violence between Oakman and his ex-girlfriend. A written police report was filed accusing Oakman of assault, noting evidence of bruising and including an account from the victim of being thrown around the apartment. The victim declined to press charges #1#2#3#4
- According to the report that came out today, there is evidence that Baylor was aware of the incident
- No disciplinary actions were taken and the incident did not make it to the media
- Ukwuachu had an altercation with his then-girlfriend and roommates, detailed here.
- Ukwuachu is dismissed from the Boise State team and transfers to Baylor (this is when all communications between Peterson and Briles would have occurred -- the debate around which is regarding how much Peterson knew and/or disclosed)
April 2013 (Cont.)
- Tre'Von Armstead and former practice squad player Myke Chatman are accused in a sexual assault report. Police report here.
- Observations by officers at the scene and a rape exam at a hospital revealed bruises, a bite mark and scratches, and witnesses told police they believed they had heard, from downstairs, noises indicative of an assault. But the woman declined to press charges due to her level of intoxication, and Waco police effectively ended the investigation. The police report notes that it informed Baylor officials about the incident.
- Police told the victim that Baylor officials had been contacted and to wait for them to contact her, but she never received a call or email from anyone at Baylor
2013 Football Season
- Ukwuachu is ineligible to play for Baylor in 2013, as Boise State did not support any waivers to allow Ukwuachu to play the 2013 season.
- Oakman played in 13 games as a backup defensive end, recording 33 tackles and 2 sacks
- Armstead saw limited action in the 2013 season
- A couple months after Ukwuachu arrived on campus, the sexual assault on Jane Doe occurs; Jane Doe goes to the hospital and a rape kit is performed, reported the incident, and in subsequent months is treated for PTSD
- Sometime in the months following, the Ukwuachu incident is investigated by the school as required. A few interviews are done of the victim, the accused, the accused's roommate, and potentially other friends. The school finds it more likely than not that the incident did not occur. Rape kit is not checked and the school counselor assisting her with PTSD was not interviewed. Baylor PD does not pursue any further
- Cordell Dorsey, an Abilene Cooper high school football player who was committed to play for Baylor, was arrested for alleged aggravated sexual assault of a child, an 11-year-old girl who claimed Dorsey molested her multiple times during the summer.
- According to the arrest report, a sexual assault nursing exam supported the girl’s allegations
- Dorsey's charges were later dropped, and was allowed to enroll at Baylor and join the football team in 2014 (transferred to ACU in 2015).
- Tevin Elliott is sentenced to 20 years in prison as a result of the incidents with Tanya
- In all, five women who reported to police that they were either raped or assaulted -- in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012 -- by Elliott.
- Waco DA deems enough evidence to bring charges and Ukwuachu is indicted on charges of sexual assault; the indictment is sealed and Ukwuachu name is redacted on public indictment reports; the school does not re-open its internal Title IX investigation.
- The indictment is not public knowledge or reported on by any media
- Ukwuachu, under indictment, is not playing for the football team, with coaches citing "some issues", but remains on scholarship and attends the university
- Victim is told that it is her responsibility to alter class schedules to avoid Ukwuachu.
- Jane Doe suffered an injury, preventing her from playing soccer, cited difficulties in rehab due to emotional/psychological issues, and saw her scholarship reduced.
2014 Football Season
- Armstead is the starting TE during the 2014 season and earns All-Big 12 honors
- Oakman earns first team Big 12 honors
- Ukwuachu sits out the 2014 season
- Ukwuachu graduates from Baylor and is accepted into graduate school there; Jane Doe transfers to another school to play soccer because of scholarship reduction and other issues
- Ukwuachu is participating in strength & conditioning workouts with the team and is mentioned in interviews during summer 2015 as expected to return to play the season
- Ukwuachu is convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to 10 years of probation.
- The victim files a lawsuit against Baylor for their handling of the case
- Baylor's investigation of the allegations against Armstead and Chatman related to the April 2013 incident didn't begin until the alleged victim, encouraged by a friend who had attended a recent sexual assault prevention training program at the school, asked Baylor officials about her case in late 2015.
September 3, 2015
- Ken Starr issues a statement defending Art Briles related to the accusations of prior knowledge of Ukwuachu's alleged history of violence.
2015 Football Season
- Oakman earns 2nd team All Big-12 honors and is Baylor’s all-time sack leader
- Baylor kicked Armstead off its football team early in the 2015 season following the results of the investigation. When Baylor coaches announced his suspension from the team, they said it came as a result of a "team rules violation."
December 31, 2015 (New Years' Eve)
- It is announced that Baylor and the victim in Ukwuachu's case reached a settlement on her lawsuit with the school. No additional details were provided, presumably as a condition of the settlement
- Armstead was expelled from school in February 2016 over the 2013 allegations.
- Armstead maintains his innocence and has said he is contemplating a lawsuit against the school for their handling of the incident.
February 7th, 2016 (Super Bowl Sunday)
- Ken Starr issues a statement detailing the measures Baylor is taking to improve the safe-guarding of its students against sexual violence, in light of recent publicized shortcomings
March 31st, 2016
- The rape victim for whom Tevin Elliott was convicted filed a lawsuit against Baylor, naming the school and several officials, including Art Briles.
- The suit claims Baylor did not take any action whatsoever to investigate her claim. It failed to offer her counseling or help as she struggled academically after the assault.
April 7, 2016
- Starr makes his first comments in public since the scandals surrounding the Ukwuachu case broke in August 2015 at the 29th annual Christian Prayer Breakfast Fort Worth/Tarrant County. His comments noted that sometimes there is an uninformed public perception of timelines and what constitutes publicly available information around these incidents, but also said he invites criticism for mistakes and wants transparency
- Just hours after Starr's comments, the reports of the alleged Oakman sexual assault began circulating.
- Oakman, having graduated, is arrested in Waco and charged with sexually assaulting a Baylor student who went home from the bar with him
The woman went to the hospital after the alleged assault and was examined by a sexual assault nurse examiner, according to the court records.
(taken from Reddit.com submitted by ken_man)