News

Actions

UT Dallas says former Baylor fraternity president accused of sexual assault will not be allowed on campus or attend graduate school

default.png
Posted at 2:56 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 19:26:55-05

On Monday, a criminal case against former Baylor Phi Delta Theta president Jacob Anderson was concluded when Judge Ralph Strother accepted a plea deal sentencing Anderson to three years probation and a $400 fine.

This plea prevented Anderson from ever having to serve time in jail for his original charge - sexual assault.

Anderson was originally indicted on four counts of sexual assault in 2016. But in October 2018, he was offered a deal to plead no contest to the lesser charge of unlawful restraint.

The judge's decision has caused a nationwide uproar, but where does his accuser go from here?

In February 2018, the alleged victim filed a civil suit against Anderson, other Phi Delt members, Phi Delt National and the landlord of the home. They are seeking over $1 million in damages.

The lawsuit says the accuser, who was 19 years old at the time, was invited to the home known as the "Phi Delt Ranch" on Feb. 20, 2016. There, she was knowingly drugged and sexually assaulted. Following the assault, she was brought to a local hospital by friends.

Due to the criminal case, the civil case was put on hold. Jim Dunnam, the alleged victim's lawyer, says now that the criminal case has concluded, the civil case will begin to move forward.

The case was filed on Feb. 8, 2018, in the 414th McLennan County against the following:

  • Phi Delta Fraternity National
  • Phi Delta Fraternity - Texas Lambda, the Baylor University chapter
  • Jacob Walter Anderson - the chapter's president at the time of the assault
  • Matthew Donaldson and John Cabot - the chapter's vice presidents at the time of the assault
  • Spencer Flora and Dusty Wright - the chapter's treasurers at the time of the assault
  • Derek John Williams - the chapter's risk management officer at the time of the assault
  • Jennette Hunicutt - landlord for the home the assault took place

The suit says Phi Delta and Hunicutt were aware the house was being used as a de facto fraternity house knowingly against Baylor University's policy against fraternity houses.

Among the points of negligence the lawsuit alleges, the local chapter of Phi Delta Theta is negligent for inviting underage people to the partying and intentionally serving them alcohol, allowing Anderson to "engage in improper sexual harassment, to not only be within leadership of Phi Delt, but also to prey on" the accuser, to allow the accuser to be drugged and failing to provide an adequate and safe environment to invitees.

The lawsuit says Phi Delta Theta National is negligent by failing to adopt and implement adequate safeguards to prevent known sexual harassment occurring at chapter events and failing to adequately monitor and supervise lower level staff, students and divisions.

In addition, both Phi Delta Theta national and local are negligent by failing to report sexual assault, the lawsuit says.

The defendants are accused of failing to provide a safe environment for invitees.

The suit says alcohol provided at the party was paid for using Phi Delta Theta funds, including through membership fees and money paid as admission to the party.

Dunnam said the outcome of the criminal trial will in no way affect the civil trial.

"The decisions made by prosecutors and criminal proceedings are irrelevant to what we're doing in our case and the justice that we are seeking in our case," Dunnam said.

The alleged victim suffered physical injury, mental anguish, pain and suffering in the past and will suffer the same into the future. She was unable to stay at Baylor University, suffered economic loss in the past and future, both lost wages and loss of earning capacity, the lawsuit says.

The suit says the alleged victim is owed damages from the defendants, including interest at the maximum legal rate.

Dunnam says the trial could take months, but he hopes it will be over by the end of next year.

Anderson, who was expelled from Baylor University, transferred to the Univerity of Texas Dallas to continue his degree in finance. After Monday's decision, UTD student Kelsey Castro created an online petition calling for the university to expel Anderson, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The petition has gathered more than 17,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, UT Dallas said that Anderson would not be allowed to be on campus or attend graduate school. UTD released the following statement on the situation via Twitter:

You can read the full civil lawsuit below:

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.