Former Baylor football player Tevin Elliott is currently rotting in prison. He was sentenced to serve 20 years there, plus pay a $10,000 fine, after being convicted on two counts of sexual assault.
In 2012, while a member of the Baylor football team, Elliott attended a house party in Waco, TX, where he met and forcibly raped former Baylor student Jasmine Hernandez. Twice.
“It hurt a lot,” she testified. “It was unwanted, unplanned. I felt like a thing.”
Hernandez told jurors she realized if she stopped resisting, it would not hurt as much.
After the assault, Elliott took her to another area nearby and assaulted her again near a fence, she said.
“At that point, I was feeling pretty defeated.”
Hernandez, who asked her name be used, and her lawyers announced on Wednesday that they are now planning to file a lawsuit against Baylor University over “deliberate indifference” toward her sexual assault complaint.
This isn’t the first time Baylor’s handling of sexual assault claims has been called into question. Last August the media was practically blindsided when it was reported that Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu was found guilty of second-degree sexual assault. It took eight months to indict Ukwuachu and the trial lasted for about a year, yet somehow it went unreported. All while Ukwuachu was still on campus and attending classes.
In January ESPN’s Outside The Lines focused on Baylor’s handling of sexual assault and discovered that Elliot had been accused of rape or sexual assault five other times while a member of the Baylor football team.
One victim, known only as “Tanya” told OTL that her allegations were basically ignored because the sexual assault happened off campus, but she feels it was also because Elliot was a football player.
“They didn’t just not respond; they responded by turning me away and telling me that it was not possible for me to receive help from them,” said Tanya, whose identity is being kept private by Outside the Lines because she was the victim of a sexual assault.
Particularly disturbing about the handling of Tanya’s claims, is just two weeks prior, another woman, identified as “Kim”, filed a police report accusing Elliot of sexually assaulting her.
“Kim, and her mother said they also reported the assault to Baylor’s ombudsman office and were sent to meet with the school’s chief judicial officer, Bethany McCraw.
Both women said McCraw’s response noted that Kim, also a Baylor athlete, was the sixth woman to report such an incident involving Elliott.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, six?’ ” Kim said. “We essentially asked, ‘Well, why are there six?’ and, ‘Well, does the football team know about this? Does Art Briles know about this?’ And she said, ‘Yes, they know about it, but it turns into a he said-she said, so there’s got to be, actually a court decision in order to act on it in any sort of way.'”
How did Baylor’s Title IX office fail these women so badly? Well, it’s simple really. It didn’t exist. At least not in the form that it should have. Despite a federal directive in April of 2011 stating that a school’s responsibility under Title IX included the need for each school to have a Title IX coordinator, Baylor didn’t hire a full-time coordinator until over three years later.
Baylor spokeswoman Tonya Lewis told the Waco Tribune that Baylor officials would not comment on the lawsuit.
“Individual incidents are deeply personal matters that do not benefit from our public statements,” Lewis said. “Even if a survivor chooses to speak or take other actions to support their healing, we must not publicly comment in a way that could compromise student confidentiality or inadvertently discourage future students from coming forward.”
Baylor hired an outside firm to review the school’s handling of previous sexual assault claims, but it’s unclear if the results of that investigation will be made public since Baylor is a private university.