By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
A former Baylor student filed a lawsuit against the school under the name Elizabeth Doe on Friday and is suing for Title IX violations and negligence. The plaintiff reports being gang raped by former football players Tre’Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman after a party on April 18, 2013.
The lawsuit also alleges that 31 Baylor football players committed at least 52 acts of rape, including five gang rapes, between 2011 and 2014. In a Wall Street Journal article from October, Baylor regents said they were aware of 17 reports of sexual assault against 19 football players, including four gang rapes, since 2011.
“Under Briles, the culture of Baylor football and rape became synonymous,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit states that of the 31 players accused, Baylor dismissed only two from the university.
Baylor Interim President David Garland sent a statement to the Baylor community on Saturday night outlining the changes Baylor has made in response to the sexual assault allegations.
“Our hearts are heavy at the thought of anyone experiencing sexual assault within our community,” Garland said. “Any such acts are reprehensible and unacceptable. The university remains committed to eliminating all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment and discrimination within our community.”
The lawsuit also states that Elizabeth Doe was a member of the Baylor Bruins, described in the lawsuit as “a football ‘hostess’ program with the purpose of using attractive female students to escort recruits and their families to campus events and football games on official visits to Baylor.”
Doe claims Baylor had a “show ’em a good time” recruiting policy, which included making Baylor Bruins available for sex with recruits, taking recruits to strip clubs, recruiting based on implied promises of sex and using alcohol and drugs in the recruiting process.
The lawsuit states that in at least five instances, the rape or physical abuse of female students by a football player was reported directly to football coaches or athletic department personnel who took no action.
“Baylor had an unofficial policy of looking the other way when there was sexual intercourse between the Bruins and the football players,” the lawsuit claims, which is against Baylor’s student code of conduct which does not condone sex outside of marriage.
Women who were Baylor Bruins at the same time as Doe have come out on Twitter denying these allegations.
In Garland’s statement, he expressed his confidence in the new football staff and Title IX office.
“Our prayers go out to those who have been impacted by sexual assault in their lives,” Garland said. “While these are certainly trying times for the Baylor Family, my commitment and respect for the university remains strong. I am reassured by the work we have done to increase sexual assault awareness and prevention, fully implementing best practices in Title IX operations and providing support services for all students who need them. Baylor University remains steadfast in our mission of educating students in a Christian environment for leadership and service.”