Turning a blind eye to rape.
During the first rape, Tanya was shoved into the muddy ground before her pants were pulled down. After it was over, the Baylor football player allowed her to get up and walk away, but then he pushed her, face forward, into a metal fence and raped her again.
He disappeared after handing Tanya her shirt back. Dazed, Tanya made her way back into the party, found her friends, and told one of them, "I think I was just raped."
Once at the hospital, in Waco, Texas, Tanya recounted for Waco police and a nurse what had happened: A Baylor University football player named Tevin Elliott had raped her. The defensive end would end up arrested by Waco police, charged with sexually assaulting Tanya, kicked off the football team and expelled.
When Tanya later visited the campus police in order to ask for help, requesting an escort as her rapist remained in Waco, the department told her it could not help. For the assault took place off campus. The campus police washed its hands of Tanya.
Tanya later appealed to the student health center for help, perhaps a little counseling, maybe? The response:
There is no one who can see you now. You could, though, put your name on a waiting list. Maybe you should see someone off campus.
Tanya’s grades plummeted of course. Her mother had asked academic services if it could help her daughter.
Sorry. No resources are available. Even "if a plane falls on your daughter, there's nothing we can do to help you.”
Tevin Elliott had raped five women between 2009-2012.
Tanya, a Baylor freshman at the time, was one of five women who reported to police that they were either raped or assaulted -- in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012 -- by Elliott, who was convicted on two counts of sexual assault in January 2014 for the incident involving Tanya.
On Ken Starr’s watch.
Despite being a private school, Baylor is required by federal law -- Title IX -- to thoroughly investigate allegations of sexual violence, and provide security, counseling services and academic help to those who report assaults. Part of the law's goal is to help keep victims in school.
Yet an investigation by Outside the Lines found several examples in Tanya's case, and others at Baylor, in which school officials either failed to investigate, or adequately investigate, allegations of sexual violence. In many cases, officials did not provide support to those who reported assaults. Moreover, it took Baylor more than three years to comply with a federal directive: In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to all colleges and universities outlining their responsibilities under Title IX, including the need for each school to have a Title IX coordinator. Baylor didn't hire a full-time coordinator until fall 2014.
The victims insisted the head football coach and others knew about the sexual assaults. But Mr. Briles brushed them off, cowardly demeaning all as mere “he said she said” scenarios. His team, his reputation and winning meant everything to the head football coach. Little else mattered.
While Mr. Briles has been fired Ken Starr received a sheer demotion.
Mr. Starr was stripped of his title as university president but will remain Baylor’s chancellor and a professor at the law school. The chancellor position is “centered around development and religious liberty,” a regent said on a conference call Thursday afternoon, adding that Mr. Starr’s “operational responsibilities have been removed.”
Does religious liberty include the right to sweep sexual assaults under the rug, I wonder?
“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus,” Richard Willis, chairman of Baylor’s Board of Regents, said in a statement. “This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students.”
The lady doth protest too much. It would be a more honest act to admit Baylor loves football more than it does the safety and well-being of its students. This is not uncommon among many of our country’s universities, unfortunately.
Critics have said that Baylor sacrificed moral considerations — and the safety of other students — for the sake of its winning football team. The investigation said as much, describing the flouting of federal gender-equity law and rebuking a university leadership that “created a cultural perception that football was above the rules.”
The unholy cover ups.
In one instance, according to a summary of the investigation released by the board, university administrators discouraged an accuser in a manner that “constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.”
What investigations did occur, the summary said, “were conducted in the context of a broader culture and belief by many administrators that sexual violence ‘doesn’t happen here.’”
Starr promoted the football team’s success as a tool to raise millions.
Mr. Starr, who was solicitor general and a federal judge before taking on the Clinton case, has been credited with raising hundreds of millions of dollars for Baylor, the country’s largest Baptist university, in part by yoking its fortunes to football. Much fund-raising was centered on building a gleaming on-campus home field, McLane Stadium, which opened in 2014, the same year that Mr. Starr added the title of chancellor to his role as president.
“Let me be clear,” Mr. Starr wrote in a public letter in February: “Sexual violence emphatically has no place whatsoever at Baylor University.”
Except that it had a prominent place under Starr’s watch. He looked the other way. And yet he still holds a rather remarkable position at Baylor University.
Money is everything even if it means ignoring student safety or engaging in a character assassination crusade of a sitting President because self-righteous Republicans deem him a sinner.
Little has changed in national or state politics since the 1990’s where right wing hypocrisy and dirty tricks are concerned. Maybe Donald Trump will tap Ken Starr to be his Karl Rove.
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