Baylor settled a Title IX lawsuit Thursday. Once the settlement is finalized, the university will face five Title IX lawsuits.

Staff photo — Rod Aydelotte

Baylor University and a woman claiming the school did not adequately respond to her sexual assault report reached an undisclosed settlement, ending the plaintiff’s lawsuit late Thursday.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was drugged at an off-campus party, abducted and raped on Feb. 28, 2015. The plaintiff’s mother called Baylor’s Title IX office the next day and was told five other women had been raped at “the rugby house,” where the plaintiff, who filed the suit as Jane Doe, had been, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claimed Baylor was “a hunting ground for sexual predators.”

The plaintiff’s attorney was not available for comment.

“Baylor University is pleased that the parties were able to resolve this dispute in an amicable fashion,” according to a university statement. “We are unable to comment further regarding this particular claim out of respect for the student’s privacy.”

Once the agreement is finalized, Baylor will face five Title IX lawsuits. Baylor has also reached settlements with at least three alleged victims of sexual assault who did not file lawsuits.

The plaintiff said she met with then-Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford and then-Title IX investigator Ian McRary. McRary emailed a no-contact directive to the woman and information regarding an unrelated Title IX case, she alleged.

She alleged the investigator sent her photos so she could identify her alleged assailant, which she did, then told her at least three women had reported “similar experiences at the rugby house,” according to the lawsuit.

Communication between the woman and the Title IX office ended without a hearing about five weeks after their initial contact, and a grade appeal with a vice provost was then unsuccessful, forcing her to leave Baylor and return to her home state, according to the lawsuit.

A police report was never filed because of the woman’s embarrassment, according to the lawsuit.

Crawford’s role

Crawford was originally named as a defendant in the June 2016 lawsuit. The plaintiff’s attorneys removed Crawford from the suit after Crawford resigned in October. Crawford said at the time she did not have the “authority, resources or independence” to do her job, which Baylor officials disputed.

Baylor attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed in October, claiming the plaintiff had “not alleged that Baylor had substantial control over either the alleged offender or the context in which the assault occurred.”

In May of 2016, a law firm’s investigation found “fundamental failure” in Baylor’s Title IX implementation, according to the board of regents. The school has since replaced its president, athletic director, head football coach and coaching staff, and has implemented other changes.

Phillip has covered higher education for the Tribune-Herald since November 2015.