Lawsuit claims 52 rapes in 4 years by Baylor football players

A newly filed lawsuit alleges 52 rapes by 31 football players in a four-year span at Baylor.

WACO -- New sexual assault numbers were revealed Friday in a civil lawsuit filed against Baylor University, claiming 52 acts of rape took place by at least 31 Baylor football players between 2011 and 2014.

The lawsuit was filed by a graduate who says she was gang raped by two football players in 2013. They were never charged. The woman uses the pseudonym "Elizabeth Doe" in court documents, which state Baylor has a culture of sexual violence within the athletics department.

Doe says she was raped when the team, under Coach Art Briles, was thriving at the top of the Big 12 Conference.

"As a result of this sudden success, Baylor football players themselves became larger-than-life celebrities on campus as Baylor football mania consumed the campus to a degree not seen in decades," the lawsuit states. 

"In the course of those 52 acts of rape, the majority were the product of off-campus parties hosted by Briles’ football players," the lawsuit states. "At least two of the gang rapes were committed by ten or more different Baylor football players at one time." Some even allegedly recorded the rapes and sent the videos to teammates.

When some women reported being raped by football players, many victims were "encouraged by Baylor employees to leave school without further investigation," according to the documents.

Only two football players allegedly involved have been dismissed by the university, the lawsuit says: Tevin Elliott, who was convicted of rape and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2014, and Sam Ukwuachu, who was convicted of raping a soccer player.

The lawsuit also claims that Coach Briles and his staff used sex to help recruit players to the team, calling it a "Show 'em a good time" policy. It "permitted members of the Baylor football team to engage in unrestricted behavior with no consequences," including bringing women, illegal drugs and alcohol to parties, paying and taking underage recruits to strip clubs and bars, and paying for off-campus parties.

Documents also say coaches arranged for women, known as "Baylor Bruins," to have sex with some recruits during off-campus visits. The hostess program, which Doe was a member of, unofficially expects attractive female members "to make sure the recruits have a good time by socializing with the recruits, attending parties, and seeing to it that the recruits enjoy their visit to Baylor."

Sometimes the girls were asked to "engage in sexual acts with the recruits to help secure the recruits’ commitment to Baylor," the lawsuit reveals.

Doe says some "Bruins" hostesses also had sex with players after they made the team. On more than one occasion, some "Bruins" members were impregnated by players, the lawsuit says.

Last year, Coach Art Briles was fired from the university, and President Ken Starr and Athletic Director Ian McCaw resigned. Temple’s Matt Rhule is set to take over the program as head coach.

Baylor University Interim President David E. Garland released the following statement Friday:

“Our hearts go out to any victims of sexual assault. Any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable. Baylor University has taken unprecedented actions that have been well-documented in response to the issue of past and alleged sexual assaults involving our campus community. We have made great progress in implementing 105 recommendations to strengthen the safety and security of all students and restore faith in the University, in addition to searching for a new president and the hiring of athletic director Mack Rhoades and head football coach Matt Rhule who reflect the highest levels of character and integrity. Baylor has made a strong commitment to a values-driven culture in accordance with our Christian mission.”

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