Baylor receives 5th rape report in 2 months, president addresses students

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) According to the Baylor police crime log, the university has received another allegation of campus-sexual assault/rape.

The log states, the alleged rape occurred on Jan. 26 at 11th Street Flat, off-campus housing, and was reported to campus police on Jan. 30. just before 3 p.m.

With regards to the off-campus incident, the university says with multiple ways of reporting, “A person’s way of reporting might reflect their decision to not involve law enforcement at this time, and under Title IX they have a right to do so.”

If they report it to the Title IX Office, they are informed of their rights and can decide at a later date if they would like to move forward with a criminal investigation.

The report of a fifth rape comes days after three campus-sexual assault/rapes were reported to have occurred at South Russell Hall on campus.

According to the university’s police log, the three campus sexual assault-rape cases were reported on Jan 27 and 28. In those reports the log also indicated the incidents all involved the same people.

Another rape, at Alexander Hall, was reported via an online portal Dec. 11 and entered into the campus police on Dec. 12.

It is not known the alleged rape occurred.

In a letter to students Monday, Baylor President Linda Livingstone said:

“Recent news articles about reported allegations of rape at two of our residence halls have, understandably, caused some concern and confusion on campus and in the media. We pledge to you that Baylor takes all allegations of sexual assault and interpersonal violence very seriously, has correctly followed its established policies and procedures, and thoroughly assessed every threat to assure the safest environment possible for our students.

“I hope that this update will provide some clarity and context about these specific reports, but also provide more information about how reports of incidents like this are handled according to federal law and on our campus.”

“As we shared with residents at South Russell, the alleged incidents reported anonymously to the University are related and occurred between the same individuals. The incidents that allegedly occurred on Dec. 12, 2018, Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 were reported to Baylor on Jan. 27-28 through EthicsPoint, the University’s anonymous reporting system, and then entered Jan. 28 on the University’s publicly available daily crime and fire log. This is the proper reporting procedure under federal Clery Act requirements.”

“Additionally, an alleged incident of rape/dating violence on an unknown date in Alexander Hall was reported anonymously to the University through EthicsPoint on Dec. 11, 2018, and was entered on the daily crime and fire log on Dec. 12, 2018. On both of these reports, the University has followed proper policies and procedures, and at this time, the cases have been referred to Title IX for investigation, according to Baylor’s Title IX policy. Depending on an anonymous reporter’s cooperation with the investigation, the University will seek to proceed through the process prescribed under the University’s Title IX policy, including appropriate disciplinary action for any respondents found responsible.”

All five cases were reported to the university’s Title IX office.

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 latest allegations come as the university continues to deal with the fallout from the Pepper Hamilton Investigation looking into the university’s response to reports of sexual assault. The Philadelphia-based law firm’s findings which led to the ousting of head coach Art Briles, demotion and eventual resignation of President Ken Starr, and resignation of Athletic Director Ian McCaw.

Editors Note: An earlier version of this story said campus police were investigating, university officials later clarified how these types of reports are handled and KWTX corrected the story.