By Kalyn Story | News Editor
Baylor filed a response Monday to the latest motion in a Title IX lawsuit brought against the university by multiple women.
Last week, Waco attorney Jim Dunnam, representing women using the pseudonyms “Jane Doe 1-10,” filed a motion in a pending Title IX lawsuit against Baylor. The motion requests a comprehensive list of reported assaults not filtered based on any determination by Title IX, Judicial Affairs or Student Conduct. He also requested in the motion that the term “sexual assault” be clarified.
Initially, the Lariat incorrectly reported that U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman signed the proposed order specified in Document 248 when in fact it had not been ruled on.
Baylor’s response to Dunnam’s motion says the information requested by the plaintiffs is not necessary for the case.
“While couched as a motion to clarify, plaintiff’s proposal seeks to modify and expand the scope of the court’s order regarding counseling and medical information,” Baylor’s response states.
Baylor argues that the plaintiff’s request to expand the scope of information gathered to include sexual and gender-based harassment, including verbal harassment and non-physical conduct, would lead to the release of information that is not relevant to the case.
Baylor did agree to the plaintiff’s request to use the definition of sexual assault that is in Baylor’s current Title IX policy, although that was not the definition in place when the plaintiffs attended Baylor.
However, Baylor did not agree to use the definition of sexual and gender-based harassment, including non-physical conduct.
“If the plaintiffs cannot prove their theory using sexual assaults, then their claim will not succeed, and no amount of discovery of unrelated incidents can fill the gap,” Baylor’s response states.
Dunnam filed a motion Wednesday in response to Baylor’s filing, claiming the lawsuit should include sexual and gender-based harassment.
“From the inception of this case, plaintiffs have maintained repeatedly that this is not just a rape case,” their motion states. “Plaintiffs have complained that Baylor failed to protect them from harassing behavior that followed their rapes. Several plaintiffs experienced both rape and harassment.”
The motion argues that if this clarification is not accepted, cases where Baylor failed to protect students from their accused rapists before and/or after the rape could be classified as harassment by Baylor but not assault. Therefore, Baylor would be able to withhold that information from the case.
Additionally, Baylor filed its first set of requests Wednesday for documents from the plaintiffs. The university is requesting 97 pieces of evidence, including all social media posts or blog posts made by any plaintiff regarding sexual assault, any alleged assailants and/or any plaintiff’s interactions with Baylor after the alleged assault.
The plaintiffs have 30 days to respond to that request.
Meanwhile, Pitman is considering his ruling on the sexual harassment motion.