Baylor fraternity suspended after president charged with sexual assault
Phi Delta Theta Friday suspended its Baylor chapter and ejected the chapter’s president, who’s charged with sexual assault in an alleged rape in which the victim was left lying outside unconscious.
Jacob Walter Anderson, 20, is free on $50,000 bond.
The 168-year-old fraternity says it is working with Baylor University officials and local alumni officers to review the situation and will “support local authorities in any way possible.”
“Any action that is abusive or offensive towards women directly contradicts the values of the organization and violates our organizational policies. A zero tolerance for this behavior exists as exhibited by this action,” said Mike Wahba, director of chapter services.
Baylor University late Friday afternoon said it has also suspended the chapter “until a thorough investigation into the recent charges against the fraternity for underage drinking and sexual assault is completed.”
“Baylor’s Division of Student Life, working closely with the national office of Phi Delta Theta and Baylor's Title IX Office, took immediate action on this issue,” the school said in a press release.
“Addressing and preventing sexual violence, in addition to other unlawful activity, in our campus community is a top priority for the University, and we will continue to focus on solutions and support for those affected,” the school said.
The charge against Anderson stems from an incident that occurred early in the morning on Feb. 21 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 released Friday 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, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
She was examined there by a sexual assault nurse examiner who verified the rape, Swanton said.
Anderson’s attorney, Clyde Chandler of Cameron, would not comment on the specific accusations Friday, but said, ““There’s only one presumption in the law and that is all people are presumed innocent and he is presumed innocent unless he is proved guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.”
“And people need to quit jumping to conclusions,” he said.
A man who answered a knock at the door Friday at the house where the party was held said neither he nor anyone else at the residence would comment on the allegations “pending completion of the investigation.”
Three weeks ago Friday, Baylor University regents approved an action plan intended to prevent sexual violence on campus and to improve treatment and services "for all those impacted by interpersonal violence" to ensure "that the educational, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of victims are given prompt and priority attention," the university said in a press release.
The plan includes additional funding to increase the size of the school's counseling staff as well as "the quantity and quality of university space dedicated to counseling and the support of victims of interpersonal violence."
The school did not say how much more will be spent or how many more counseling staffers will be hired.
The plan also calls for taking steps to address the needs of students who prompt Title IX investigations; requiring Title IX training for upperclassmen and graduate students as well as to incoming students, and requiring annual Title IX training for faculty and staff.
Title IX, which is part of a more than 40-year-old law aimed at ensuring equal rights for those participating in educational programs that receive federal financial assistance, applies to all facets of a school's environment.
It has been interpreted to mean that sexual harassment of students including sexual violence interferes with the right to receive an education free from discrimination, and requires schools to take immediate action to end harassment and sexual violence.
The vote on Feb. 12 came after a scathing ESPN report on the school's handling of well publicized campus sexual assault cases involving two former football players.
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" report focused on five women who claim Tevin Elliott, who was Baylor football player at the time, sexually assaulted them in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012.
Elliott's attorney Jason Darling argued that the initial allegations were untrue and that the the sexual encounter was consensual, but in January 2014, Elliot was sentenced to two concurrent 20-years prison terms and a $10,000 fine after he was found guilty earlier in the day of two counts of sexual assault.
Elliott, a former defensive end, was indicted on Aug. 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.
Baylor suspended Elliott April 27, 2012 for unspecified team violations.
On Aug. 20, 2015, ex-Baylor football player Samuel Ukwuachu was found guilty of raping a female Baylor soccer player in October 2013.
He could have been sentenced to as much as 20 years in prison for the rape of the 18-year-old student, but jurors decided on probation, instead.
State District Judge Matt Johnson also sentenced Ukwuachu to 180 days in county jail and ordered him to perform 400 hours of community service.
In October 2015, Ukwuachu was released from jail after posting a $100,000 appeal bond.