ESPN reports Baylor’s sexual assault case of 2013

FACING SCRUTINY ESPN’s “Outside the Line” reports that Baylor University is being accused of mishandling sexual assault claims after a student reported being sexually assaulted in 2013 by former tight end Tre’Von Armstead and former practice squad player Myke Chatman.

Baylor University is accused of mishandling sexual assault claims against two football players from two years ago in ESPN’s second “Outside the Lines” report, which was published Wednesday.

Former tight end Tre’Von Armstead and former practice squad player Myke Chatman were accused of sexually assaulting a Baylor student after a police report was filed in 2013 by the woman. Universities are required by Title IX to address allegations of sexual violence involving students immediately. According to “Outside the Lines,” Baylor did not investigate the allegations until Sept. 11, 2015.

In January, Baylor was accused of mishandling several sexual assault cases in a separate “Outside the Lines” report and in March the university had a Title IX lawsuit filed against them.

“Due to the deeply personal and sensitive nature of individual cases and federal law, we do not publicly address specific cases, even when a student shares publicly details or reports of his or her own experience,” said Tonya Lewis, assistant director of media communications at Baylor. “This safeguard also helps assure other students that their right to confidentiality will be protected. The decision to report to the university or other authorities is a brave and personal choice and occurs on the student’s timetable. Once a complaint is filed, the Title IX process conducts a prompt and equitable investigation and resolves the complaint fairly.”

According to the Waco police report on April 18, 2013, the woman was adamant that nothing had happened and that she had not been sexually harassed. The officer on the scene was advised to make call notes and inform Baylor University of the situation.

According to the Waco Police report, a roommate of the woman came home and said he heard the woman scream his name “as if something were wrong.” The roommate began calling for the woman and received no response. He stated he could hear floorboards squeaking upstairs, the report said.

According to the police report, he walked through the house and checked the bedrooms, and received a response from a male saying, “We all right.” When the woman came downstairs, her shirt was inside out and she was out of breath, teary eyed and said the males were leaving.

The police report said that the woman went back upstairs and the roommate followed her and saw a “tall black male.” The male went back into a room and shut the door behind him.

According to the police report, another roommate of the woman walked in and heard “a large bang” and “fists hitting noises.” They also heard the woman saying, “No, no please stop.” The roommates then went into the garage to hide and called 911. The woman came downstairs and collapsed, saying, “I told them to leave but they wouldn’t.” One roommate then picked her up and carried her to the garage.

According to “Outside the Lines,” the woman contacted the police the next morning after hearing about the night from her friends, and because of bruises and pain. The woman had bruises on her legs, arms and buttocks and a scratch on her back. She went to Hillcrest Hospital to receive a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) exam, the police report read.

“While waiting for the SANE exam [she] was asked if she would sign a desire to prosecute form to which she declined saying that she did not wish to press charges against Mr. Chatman and Mr. Armstead,” the police report said.

The officer who arrived on the scene observed a bruise on her cheek and bite mark on her neck, and also thought the woman seemed very intoxicated and affected the recollection of the night.

The investigation was suspended May 23, 2013.

Chatman left Baylor after the 2012 season and played two seasons at Sam Houston State University. Armstead was expelled in February 2016, according to the “Outside the Lines” report.

The Waco Police Department had not responded to an interview request by press time.

Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP is conducting an independent investigation to analyze the university’s handling of sexual assault allegations in recent years. The firm was contracted by the Baylor Board of Regents last fall.