Rape lawsuit settled with Baylor fraternity, other defendants

This 2018 photo of Anderson shows him as he prepares to leave the McLennan County Court House for the day. Lariat File Photo

By Nicci Arentsen | Intern

Donna Doe, a woman who claims she was raped by Jacob Anderson, former fraternity president at Baylor University in 2016, recently settled her lawsuit against the fraternity. She states this happened at an off-campus house known as “Phi Delt Ranch.”

The case began in 2016 and has been being pushed forward with passionate supporters for Anderson’s conviction to this day.

“Although COVID is delaying lots of cases, we are pleased that this matter continues to move forward,” Jim Dunnam, Waco attorney for Donna Doe said in a statement to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

The woman is represented by several attorneys. Because of confidentiality agreements, they could not discuss the terms of the settlement, but could share that 16 defendants are still involved in the case.

In March 2016, Baylor University decided to suspend the fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, once the event became national news. Meanwhile, Baylor was in the middle of the Baylor athletics sexual assault scandals that broke in the mid-2010s. Numerous Title IX lawsuits and an NCAA investigation followed that put pressure on Baylor to remove Ken Starr as president and Art Briles as football coach.

Anderson faced a four-count sexual assault indictment and was arrested in 2016. He later worked out a plea bargain with the district attorney’s office that did not require him to be registered as a sex offender. This also led to a reduced charge of unlawful restraint and deferred probation for three years.

After the decision to accept the plea deal was announced by Judge Ralph Strother, numerous protests were held against the district attorney’s office and the judge was flooded with petitions from all over the country to reject the plea bargain and persuade the judge to bring Anderson to trial.

“He had taken what he wanted, had proven his power over my body,” Doe said in a statement to the court. “He then walked home and went to bed without a second thought to the ravaged, half-dead woman he had left behind.”

After Anderson’s hearing, Strother was again bombarded with passionate phone calls and emails. A petition was also created in an attempt to remove Strother from office.

Anderson decided to enroll at the University of Texas at Dallas once he left Baylor University, however, a UTD student created an online petition to prohibit Anderson from studying at the university. The officials at the school told Anderson he could not finish his current education or walk across the stage to get his diploma, even though he was set to graduate with a finance degree.

Anderson remains as one of the remaining 16 defendants. The case is expected to continue slowly as it makes its way through the judicial system.