Lawyer files motion to bar plea bargain in Baylor sexual assault case
A Waco lawyer on Wednesday filed a motion with the 19th District Court intended to bar a plea bargain and allow for a victim’s impact statement in the case of a Baylor sexual assault in which a former fraternity president is charged.
Jacob Walter Anderson, 23, charged with four counts of sexual assault in connection with an alleged rape in 2015 in which the victim was left lying outside unconscious, is scheduled to enter a plea in the case next month.
The hearing requested Wednesday has not yet been docketed.
Sources close to the investigation confirmed last Friday that Anderson may be allowed to plead down from the assault sexual charges, which could mean he would not have to register as a sex offender.
In the motion Vic Feazell pointed out pleading to the lesser charge would remove the sexual assault charge, guarantee probation and not require Anderson to register as a sex offender
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, however, so far has declined to say whether a plea deal has been reached in the case.
"We can neither confirm nor deny that report as we have a practice of never discussing plea bargaining in public,” he said.
Feazell, in his motion, says the victim and her family learned from stories posted in the media that Anderson would be allowed to enter a “nolo contendere”, or no contest, plea.
Feazell’s pleading goes on to say a prosecutor notified the family of the DA’s office plan to accept a plea and said: “I have accepted an offer on Jacob Anderson. It’s for probation on the charge of felony unlawful restraint, not sexual assault.”
The alleged incident occurred early in the morning on Feb. 21, 2015, during a party at a house at 2629 South 3rd St.
The victim told investigators she was sipping a drink at a Phi Delta Theta fraternity party when “she became disoriented and very confused,” a heavily redacted arrest warrant affidavit says.
The affidavit says Anderson led her outside to a secluded party of the property behind a tent in order to get some air, and then forced her to the ground.
Details of the sexual assault were redacted from the affidavit, which says the victim told investigators that at some point she was unable to breathe and lost consciousness.
She woke up outside, alone and lying face down in her own vomit, the affidavit said.
She was “able to stand up and walk out from that area and find help,” the affidavit said.
The victim returned to the house and found a friend who took her to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center where she was examined there by a sexual assault nurse examiner who verified the rape, police said.
In February, 16 defendants were added to a lawsuit filed over the alleged rape.
The amended petition added additional members of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity to a suit filed earlier in the month against the fraternity, the owner of the house in which the party was held and six fraternity members who served as officers at the time of the incident including Anderson.