Baylor University on Tuesday moved to dismiss the lawsuit of an alleged gang rape victim who claims the school’s football program had “the most widespread culture of sexual violence and abuse of women ever in a collegiate athletic program.”
In a response to the Title IX lawsuit filed in January, Baylor said the plaintiff’s allegations are barred by a two-year statute of limitations.
The plaintiff’s Title IX claim also fails because her allegations do not rise to the level of “deliberate indifference,” according to the university’s filing.
The former student, who filed the suit under a pseudonym, said she is the victim of an alleged 2013 gang rape committed by then-football players Tre’Von Armstead and Shamycheal “Myke” Chatman.
Armstead and Chatman were both arrested last week and have been indicted.
The university also pushed back on the suit’s claims alleging a widespread culture of sexual violence including 52 rapes committed by 31 football players between 2011 and 2014. The suit also states that members of a female hostess program called the Baylor Bruins were expected to have sex with potential recruits of the football program.
“Baylor does not agree with or concede the accuracy of plaintiff’s 146-paragraph complaint and its immaterial and inflammatory assertions,” the motion states.
Baylor’s motion states the plaintiff “broadly and needlessly (impugned) the integrity of the many female students who honorably participated in the Bruins organization.”
The plaintiff, who says in the lawsuit she was a Baylor Bruin, also does not allege that she was ever asked by any official to participate in the described culture, the university said.
Boulder, Colorado, attorney John Clune, who represents the woman, said Baylor’s motion “looks fine” and has “no real surprises.”
A call placed to Austin attorney Lisa Brown, who represents Baylor, was not returned.
“While plaintiff alleges that the Waco police notified the Baylor police about an occurrence at her residence, she does not allege that the Waco police provided any specific information about a rape,” the motion states. “Indeed, the police report shows that the plaintiff refused to provide information to the Waco police and that Baylor learned only of an unspecified incident involving unidentified males.”
The woman alleges she faced a hostile environment in the wake of the rape and that she continued to see Armstead on campus.
Her allegations show that Baylor did not know Armstead raped her or that it knew she was being harmed by Armstead’s presence on campus, according to the university’s filing.
“A university cannot be deliberately indifferent to information that it does now know,” the motion states. “Likewise, an institution cannot be held liable in damages for not providing measures that were not requested.”
Baylor’s motion also states the woman does not allege she requested a Baylor investigation before graduating in December 2014.