Baylor Mishandled Multiple Rape Complaints Against Football Players (REPORT)By Russell Westerholm
Months after a Baylor University football player's conviction for sexual assault and allegations the school tried to keep the case hidden, the program is being scrutinized for its response to past cases.
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" spoke to women who accused Tevin Elliott, a defensive end on the football team, of raping them. The women said they reported their complaints to the local police and to the school, and said they received either minimal or no support from the latter.
A woman only identified as "Tanya" told OTL her complaint got Elliott arrested, charged, dismissed from the football team, expelled from school, and eventually convicted. But because Elliott remained in Waco, Tanya asked BU for security, counseling, and academic support. According to OTL, administrators told Tanya either there was "nothing we can do" or suggested she seek help away from campus.
From Oct. 2009 to April 2012, Elliott was implicated as the attacker in five sexual assault complaints, including Tanya's. Her complaint resulted in his conviction in Jan. 2014 and sentencing to 20 years in prison.
The federal Title IX law is meant to protect against sexual discrimination, but it also requires schools to provide adequate support to victims of such crimes. The Education Department is currently investigating the school for violations of the law.
Last August, former Baylor Bears defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female BU student-athlete. She accused Ukwuachu of raping her in Oct. 2013 shortly after transferring to BU from Boise State. He was indicted in June 2014 and was sentenced this past summer.
Before and during the trial, BU kept Ukwuachu off the field while it investigated the complaint against him. The school did not charge him with any sort of conduct code violation and he was able to complete his undergraduate degree.
There were domestic violence complaints against Ukwuachu at Boise State, though the coaches of those teams disagree about what information was disclosed and what was left out. Regardless, Ukwuachu's case brought forth questions about how the school handles sexual assault on campus, especially when football players are involved.
"I wouldn't call it an investigation," Hilary LaBorde, the McLennan County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Elliott and Ukwuachu in court, told OTL of BU's probe concerning the latter. "They didn't have someone that seemed to know anything about how college rape occurs."