Baylor University Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Baylor University Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Baylor University has settled a historic lawsuit concerning 15 women who say they were sexually assaulted on or near campus.

Settlement details were not disclosed, but the notice of settlement was posted to court records this week, Baptist News Global reports.

"We are deeply sorry for anyone connected with the Baylor community who has been harmed by sexual violence," Baylor University said in a statement. "While we can never erase the reprehensible acts of the past, we pray that this agreement will allow these 15 survivors to move forward in a supportive manner."

Chad Dunn, an attorney for the women, said the settlement will impact the future of the university and other schools nationwide.

"Their bravery and strength has created legal precedents that empower others to gain relief from the injuries inflicted by their universities while also securing safer education environments for future generations," Dunn said in a statement.

"Baylor's focus of media attention on football tried to misdirect attention from institutional failures of the Baylor administration. Our clients would have none of that. Their determination brought the focus on officials in the ivory tower and 'the Baylor way.'"

In the 2016 lawsuit, the women claimed that the Texas college "permitted a campus condition rife with sexual assault" and ignored reports of sexual violence on campus. The women said the university violated federal Title IX protections against sex-based discrimination.

When the initial lawsuit was filed in June 2016, and allegations of assault surfaced, then-university president Ken Starr and Head Football Coach Art Briles were demoted and fired.

Among the statements in the lawsuit, a woman claimed a football player assaulted her in April 2014. Another woman reported that two football players assaulted her in April 2016, while another woman said a player on the school's club rugby team assaulted her in 2012.

The women also claimed that Baylor staff and administrators tried to dissuade women from reporting the allegations because the school's conduct code forbids alcohol, drugs, and premarital sex.

An independent investigation confirmed that Baylor officials did little to respond to accusations of sexual assault under the leadership of Starr.

Starr was removed from the role and later left the school. He died in 2022.

Briles was also fired and has not returned to a major college.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/DNY59

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.