Ex-BU official denies Athletic Dept. failed to respond to rape report

Ian McCaw spent 13 years at Baylor. (File photo)
By  | 

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Baylor Athletic Department officials and coaches didn’t fail to respond to a report of a rape by a football player and in fact, in a second case, didn’t learn of the allegations until two years after the school’s police department was advised of the sexual assault, former athletic director Ian McCaw said in a legal filing Friday.

“We want to be sensitive to anyone who has suffered the trauma of sexual assault,” McCaw’s attorney Tom Brandt told KWTX. “We cannot emphasize that enough.”

“But in the course of the legal proceedings, we have to focus on presenting the full truth about the situation. I am confident that when the full truth is revealed, it will show that my client, Ian McCaw, was not negligent. I believe that many people will be surprised when they learn the full truth about this situation.”

McCaw, who is now athletic director at Liberty University, seeks a jury trial in the 20-page document filed Friday in U.S. District Court in response to a lawsuit filed against him, the university and former football coach Art Briles by Jasmine Hernandez, a former Baylor student who was raped in 2012 by then Baylor football player, Tevin Elliot.

KWTX does not normally name rape victims, but Hernandez has spoken publicly about the allegations.

The suit she filed in March 2016 alleges that Baylor failed to act against Elliott despite receiving six complaints from women claiming he assaulted them.

Among Hernandez's allegations are that players were recruited without regard to the harm they might have caused others.

Elliott, a former defensive end, was indicted on August 27, 2012 in connection with an incident involving the sexual assault of a woman in the early morning hours of April 15, 2012, during a party at a South Waco apartment complex.

In January 2014, a Waco state district court sentenced Elliott to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count.

The sentences are running concurrently.

Hernandez was one of five women who reported to police that they were either raped or assaulted by Elliott in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012.

In the filing, McCaw denies that Hernandez “made any reports to him and denies that he did not take any action in response to any reports by (Hernandez).”

“When defendant, on April 25, 2012, was informed by (then Baylor general counsel) Charlie Beckenhauer of the sexual assault allegation against Elliott, defendant promptly notified Coach Art Briles, and Coach Briles indefinitely suspended Elliott from the football team on April 26, 2012. Moreover, Tevin Elliott was expelled from Baylor University on or about May 21, 2012, the filing says.

Briles, in a separate filing last week, said he was unaware that six female Baylor students had told a university judicial officer they had been sexually assaulted by Elliott.

McCaw’s filing Friday also disputes allegations that a second alleged sexual assault in which two other football players were implicated was mishandled.

Former Baylor tight end Tre’Von Armstead and former Baylor running back Shamycheal Chatman were named in three-count indictments earlier this month stemming from the April 18, 2013 incident in which a woman claimed she was raped by two football players.

The incident was reported to Waco police, who interviewed the woman involved and collected evidence.

The report Waco police filed shows that an investigating officer contacted Baylor about the incident shortly after it occurred, but KWTX learned, during a months-long investigation, that former head coach Art Briles wasn’t told about the incident until Sept. 11, 2015, after Pepper Hamilton investigators discovered it.

McCaw, in the filing Friday, April 28, 2017, says he also learned of the 2013 incident on Sept. 11, 2015 “when he was told about it by Reagan Ramsower and Brian Nicholson. Further, upon learning of the report... (the) defendant promptly reported it to Coach Art Briles, who immediately suspended Armstead.”

By that time, Chatman had already transferred to another school.

Ramsower, the university’s senior vice president and senior operating officer, and Nicholson, vice president of Operation and Facilities Management, oversee the school’s Department of Public Safety.

Ramsower acknowledged in an interview last year with “CBS 60 Minutes Sports” that the report about the incident was in the hands of campus police for more than a year.

McCaw also defended the actions of the Baylor Athletic Department in the case of Boise State transfer, Sam Ukwuachu, whose sexual assault trial and conviction in August 2015 set off the firestorm of controversy over the school’s handling of reports of sexual assaults.

McCaw claims in the filing that the Athletic Department only followed the lead of school investigators who originally cleared the player of any wrongdoing before he was found criminally responsible.

Ukwuachu was convicted of sexual assault in August 2015 in the rape of an 18-year-old female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, a one-time freshman All-American who transferred to Baylor University, but never played for the school, could have been sentenced to as much as 20 years in prison for the rape of the 18-year-old female athlete, but jurors, instead, decided to sentence him to probation.

Ukwuachu appealed, and on March 23, the Waco-based 10th Court of Appeals reversed the conviction.

Ukwuachu, a defensive end from Pearland, transferred to Baylor from Boise State University in 2013 after he was dismissed for unspecified reasons.

Because of the transfer, he was ineligible to play for the Bears in 2013 and then in 2014 was suspended.