Texas Rangers launch preliminary investigation into sexual assaults at Baylor

Posted at 4:33 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 23:41:05-05

According to Texas House Representative Roland Gutierrez, a San Antonio Democrat, the Texas Rangers are moving forward with a preliminary investigation into Baylor University. 

“Yesterday I was informed by the DPS that the Texas Rangers have a pending investigation into Baylor University. We appreciate their expeditious efforts and look forward to the findings of their investigation,” Rep. Roland Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez made the announcement Wednesday on the Capital Games podcast with ESPN's Andy Katz and ABC News' Rick Klein. 

"I'm very proud of the fact that our elite team of investigators has seen that there's a need to go in there and look at what happened over the last five to six years and really to see if there's an obstruction of justice," he said on the podcast.

Baylor University's Athletic Director Mack Rhoades was also on the show, and that's where he heard about the investigation for the first time. 

"We want to get it right. We want to do this right. And so whether it's Representative Gutierrez and the Texas Rangers or a third party review in terms of the Big 12. You know, I'll welcome someone to come in and look at and to ensure that we're doing this the right way," Rhoades said on the show. 

The Associated Press said the Texas Rangers said they are working with the McLennan County prosecutor's office to "determine if further action is warranted." 

District Abel Reyna said he has spoken with the Texas Rangers in the past asking them if they would review information Baylor turns over.

Last Friday, Gutierrez filed House Resolution 664, which called on Gov. Greg Abbott to have Rangers investigate the university’s administration and the Baylor police.

The Texas lawmaker also wants to cut some state funding the school receives.

Baylor fired football coach Art Briles and pushed out former President Ken Starr in 2016 after an internal report found the Waco school mishandled sexual or physical assault allegations for years.

Baylor officials have acknowledged that at least 17 women reported being raped by 19 football players since 2011. Lawsuits against the school put the number of alleged sexual assaults at more than 50 over a four-year period.

The university released a statement: 

Baylor University pledges to extend our full cooperation with the Texas Rangers surrounding the issue of sexual assaults that occurred within our campus community several years ago, as we have done with other external inquiries that are currently underway.

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All Rights Reserved.