Tuesday, May 18th, a former Baylor volleyball player filed a lawsuit against Baylor University claiming she was raped by multiple football players in 2012. The lawsuit asserts Baylor violated Title IX which is a federal law which prevents sex discrimination in the educational setting. Sex discrimination can include rape and sexual assault. Schools that received federal funding are subject to Title IX’s requirements.
The plaintiff claims the Baylor football team engaged in a practice of hazing which involved freshmen football recruits bringing freshman women to house parties, hosted by members of the football team, and subsequently drugging and then gang raping the women. The plaintiff alleges that photos and videos of several, semi-conscious girls were circulated amongst the football team. According to ESPN, “The lawsuit says a 21-second videotape of two female Baylor students being gang-raped by several football players circulated among the team.”
The plaintiff provided details of her alleged assault saying she attended an off-campus party that took place at a football player’s apartment. She said she was drinking and thinks she was drugged. The plaintiff’s friend reported witnessing one football player attempting to pull her into a bathroom on multiple occasions throughout the night. ESPN reports, “…once the woman’s friends left, a football player picked her up, put her in his vehicle and drove her to another location, where at least four football players “brutally gang raped her.” The plaintiff was later told what happened to her and one eye witness reported seeing her being carried to the apartment.
The plaintiff alleges she was later taunted by the Baylor football players through “verbal abuse and public humiliation.” She alleges the football players sent her several text messages persuading her to believe the events were consensual and continued to say that they had nude photographs of her.
This is not the first sexual harassment issue Baylor has had. According to ESPN, “The woman’s complaint is the seventh federal Title IX lawsuit, involving 15 women, filed against Baylor.” The plaintiff volleyball player is currently remaining anonymous; she is being referred to as Jane Doe.