Baylor rape victim sues university over sex assaults

(KCEN) WACO -- A rape victim has filed a Title IX and negligence lawsuit against Baylor University.

The civil suit claims Baylor officials were intentionally “indifferent” to complaints made by women sexually assaulted by former football player, and convicted rapist, Tevin Elliot.

The plaintiff, Jasmin Hernandez, has hired the Zalkir Law Firm out of San Diego, California, which specializes in representing victims of sexual violence.

Her attorneys were planning to fly to Waco Wednesday ahead of a scheduled press conference Thursday morning to announce the federal suit, but the trip was canceled due to inclement weather.

“Knowing that Baylor had problems with this issue for a very long time and they have failed to meaningfully address it, you know, unfortunately it takes a hit to their pocketbook to motivate them to actually do something meaningful to respond to their problems of campus sexual assault,” said Alexander Zalkir, Hernandez’ attorney with the Zalkir Law Firm.

Since the criminal aspects of the case are over as Elliot was convicted of two counts of rape in 2014 and is serving concurrent 20 year sentences, Zalkir said Hernandez said a civil suit was the only avenue Hernandez had left to force change at Baylor.

"You can never put a, put a number on the damage, the psychological damage, that someone, a victim of rape, you know, experiences, but we can at least ask for compensation for their wrongful actions to help Jasmin kind of recover and get the help that she needs in order to move on with her life," said Zalkir.

Baylor University released this statement in response to the lawsuit:  

"Individual incidents are deeply personal matters that do not benefit from our public statements. 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."

The lawsuit names the Baylor University Board of Regents, head football coach Art Briles, and athletic director Ian McCaw as defendants. The lawsuit can be read here.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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