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(Cooper Neill/The New York Times)

Campus rape

Gang rapes were a ‘bonding’ experience for Baylor football players, lawsuit alleges

May 17, 2017

A new federal lawsuit filed against Baylor University in Texas contains a number of shocking claims, drawing the beleaguered school back into the spotlight over its handling of campus sexual assault. According to the new suit, brought against the school by a former Baylor volleyball player, members of the football team routinely participated in gang rapes and even went so far as to record the attacks on video. The lawsuit also alleges the players would also stage dogfights as part of the team’s hazing rituals. The former volleyball player, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, says she was raped by at least four players after attending a party in 2012, where she believes she had been drugged. After the attack, the woman alleges, players burglarized her apartment and subjected her and her family to harassment.

The woman says she told her mother about the incident, who then alerted the head football coach at the time, Art Briles, and athletic director Ian McCaw, about the incident. The woman’s mother even provided the coach and A.D. with a list of players names, but she never received a response from either of them, the suit says. Eventually, the woman left the school.

The lawsuit goes on to paint a disturbing portrait of a depraved culture fostered by the Baylor football program. According to allegations, freshman players were ordered to bring female students to the parties held by the team. The young women would then be drugged, the lawsuit alleges, and gang-raped. “The gang rapes were considered a ‘bonding’ experience for the football players,” the lawsuit says, adding that the plaintiff has confirmed the existence of at least one video that shows a group of players gang-raping two women students. The video was then allegedly distributed among players on the team.

Briles, the head coach, was fired last May as accusations about his program mounted, though he has maintained he’s done nothing wrong. In all, more than a dozen women have sued Baylor over sexual assault allegations and many of the stories they’ve told have been strikingly similar.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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