Baylor University to face potential Title IX lawsuit

Athletics Ð Football Ð Mug shot Ð team photo Ð 08/06/2011

Former Baylor student Jasmin Hernandez plans to file a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor University for the way they handled her case.

Hernandez was assaulted by Tevin Elliott, former Baylor student and football player in 2012. Elliott was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $10,000 in January of 2014 for two counts of sexual assault.

“Individual incidents are deeply personal matters that do not benefit from our public statements. Even if a survivor chooses to speak or take other actions to support their healing, we must not publicly comment in a way that could compromise student confidentiality or inadvertently discourage future students from coming forward,” wrote assistant director of media communications Tonya Lewis in a statement to the Lariat.

There will be a press conference today at 11 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriott at 101 Washington Ave.

In January, the university was accused of mishandling sexual assault cases in ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” report. In the report three alleged sexual assault victims, one of them being Hernandez (who went by Tanya in the report), spoke out and discussed how they were treated by university faculty and staff in regards to their sexual assault cases. The women felt that the university did not try to help them. The women’s identities were concealed.

Hernandez claims that the university did not help her in her case. She said she went to Baylor Police and they told her they were helpless because the assault happened off-campus. Hernandez also said she went to the counseling center and was referred somewhere else. She sought help from academic services and said she didn’t get help there either.

Elliott was suspended from the football team weeks after the assault and was later expelled. In the trial ,it was found that three other women had accused Elliott of sexual assault and received a misdemeanor citation in 2011 for attempting to assault a local community college student.

Hernandez is being represented by Zalkin Law Firm in California to file the lawsuit. Zalkin Law firm is a sexual abuse and personal injury firm.

Baylor has put into action a $5 million plan to address sexual assault on campus. The plan includes expansions to the Baylor Title IX Office, Counseling Center and Department of Public Safety. The plan also includes the creation of an executive level task force to oversee and help implement the suggestions made by Pepper Hamilton Law Firm in their independent review of Baylor’s handling of sexual assault cases.