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Baylor lawsuit claims 52 rapes carried out in four-year period

by Jacquelyn Gray, Contributor

More than 30 Baylor University football players committed at least 52 rapes between 2011 and 2014, a lawsuit filed on Friday alleges.

The Dallas Morning News reports the woman behind the Title IX lawsuit, identified as “Elizabeth Doe,” claimed she was violently gang raped by Tre’Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman after a party on April 18, 2013. She was supposedly subjected to sexual harassment 20 months following the attack.

Though the incident was reported to the Waco Police Department, charges weren’t filed. The suit stated that Baylor officials didn’t launch their own investigation until 2015, and one player was suspended from the team and later expelled. The second person accused transferred.

An excerpt of the lawsuit provided by the Waco Tribune-Herald claimed from 2009 to 2015 Baylor football players committed “violent physical assault, armed robbery, burglary, drugs, guns, and notably, the most widespread culture of sexual violence and abuse of women ever in a collegiate athletic program.”

Another key accusation is that the school’s football program perpetuated a “show ’em a good time” policy where leaders “used sex to sell” Baylor to recruits. Assistant coach Kendall Briles is accused of saying “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players” to a Dallas-area high school athlete during a recruiting session, according to KXXV.

Baylor officials reported only 17 sexual and physical attacks — including four gang rapes — committed by 19 players since 2011. The Associated points out the 52 assaults highlighted in the lawsuit would spike the university’s previously publicized statistics.

“Our hearts go out to any victims of sexual assault,” interim university president David E. Garland said in Friday’s statement obtained by The Dallas Morning News. “Any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable. Baylor University has taken unprecedented actions that have been well-documented in response to the issue of past and alleged sexual assaults involving our campus community.”

Jacquelyn Gray is a New Jersey-based writer and journalist. When she's not covering crime, she's probably tweeting or doing yoga.