Grand jury declines to indict redshirt BU players in alleged sexual assault

Published: Jun. 6, 2018 at 4:00 PM CDT
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The McLennan County Grand Jury Wednesday declined to indict two freshmen redshirt Baylor football players in connection with an alleged sexual assault involving members of the school’s football and equestrian teams.

“Today the cases of John Arthur and Tre’von Lewis were presented to the grand jury. The grand jury reviewed information from Baylor Title IX Investigations, police reports witness statements, and victim interviews. After carefully considering the evidence, the grand jury determined that there was not sufficient evidence to proceed to trial,” McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said in a brief statement Wednesday afternoon.

“We commend the grand jury members for their diligent work and we agree with and respect their decision.”

Arthur played safety at Wakeland High School in Frisco.

Lewis played safety at Lamar High School in Houston.

Baylor head football coach Matt Rhule announced in March that he had suspended four players including Arthur and Lewis, but declined to specify if any of the suspensions were related to the investigation of the alleged sexual assault involving members of the school’s football and equestrian teams.

Baylor officials said the players had been suspended since November.

Rhule said all of the suspended players were still enrolled in school, but they were, and would continue to be "separated" from the team until officials determined for sure what happened.

"Their status remains unchanged. We decline to comment further," Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogelman said in an email response to a request for reaction after the grand jury decision was announced Wednesday afternoon.

The players remain on suspension because, although the criminal cases are complete, the university's Title IX investigations are still open.

KWTX first reported in February that at least two redshirt Baylor football players were being investigated in connection with the sexual assault report, according to several sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

The incident allegedly occurred at the University Parks Apartments near campus overnight on Nov. 11, 2017 into the early morning hours of Nov. 12 after the Baylor football team lost to Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

According to one of the Baylor police reports KWTX obtained about the incident, the case was referred to another agency, but the report did not identify the agency.

McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna confirmed in February that the Baylor Police Department referred a case to his office for possible grand jury review, but stopped short of saying whether it was the same case described in the police reports.

"I can confirm BPD has submitted a case to our office as a grand jury referral," Reyna told KWTX in February.

"We are reviewing that case and intend to present it to the grand jury as requested to determine what, if any, criminal conduct may have occurred."

Baylor's online crime log says the incident was reported on Nov. 14, 2017 as "Alcohol-Minors Consuming/Sexual Assault," and was referred to the school's Judicial Affairs and Title IX offices, but the two heavily redacted police reports obtained by KWTX say only that campus officers took a report of a sexual assault.

Those reports are both dated Nov. 17, 2017.

The discrepancy wasn’t explained.

The reports—one an incident report and the other a criminal case report—identify the complainant as Jane Doe 2 and the victim as Jane Doe.

Both were students and four to five sources familiar with the incident say both were members of the schools equestrian team.

The reports indicate four suspects were interviewed—all of them students.

At least two of them were redshirt football players, the sources said.

The criminal case report indicates that pictures and images were taken into evidence, and sources say that video was recorded of the incident and may have been posted on social media.

That video, the sources said at the time, was in the hands of Title IX investigators at the university.

The reports also showed that at least four witnesses identified as Baylor faculty or staff members were interviewed.

After the incident was reported, Baylor played Iowa State at home on Nov.18 before finishing the season at TCU on Nov. 25, 2017.

Rhule said in March he didn't think the players were on the sidelines of the Iowa State game.