jim dunnam

Jim Dunnam

Two women claiming they were sexually assaulted while attending Baylor University joined a Title IX lawsuit against the school Monday in U.S. District Court in Waco.

Waco attorney Jim Dunnam filed the lawsuit June 15 naming Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 as plaintiffs. Thirteen days later, three more Jane Does were added.

Jane Doe 7 and Jane Doe 8 on Monday claimed Baylor failed to adequately investigate their cases.

“These two young ladies are making the tough choice to stand up and shine the light of day on what has really happened at Baylor,” Dunnam said in an email. “Despite Baylor’s daily PR effort claiming accountability and transparency, what these eight young women have experienced and are still experiencing is the exact opposite.”

Baylor spokeswoman Tonya Lewis declined comment, saying the university does not comment on pending litigation.

Doe 7 enrolled at Baylor in 2008 and was raped by two Baylor students in May 2009, the lawsuit alleges.

She reported the incident to a neighbor, who was a Baylor employee, and a physician, who performed a rape examination, the lawsuit states. The examination confirmed that forcible sexual intercourse occurred, the lawsuit alleges. The suit does not specify the location of the attack.

In the following week, Doe 7 reported the incident to Student Services, a professor and the Baylor counseling center, the lawsuit says, and she informed the director of counseling services of all details of the assault. According to the lawsuit, Doe 7 was never informed of services Baylor could provide.

“One professor told Jane Doe 7 that her sexual assault was not really assault,” the lawsuit states, and she then performed poorly on exams, lost her scholarships and retook the failed courses, which added about $25,000 to her student debt.

Doe 7 also encountered the assailants daily for two years at Baylor, the lawsuit says, and she had to pay for ongoing counseling after using the 10 free sessions Baylor allotted.

While battling depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety, Doe 7 graduated from Baylor, and her resulting GPA prevented her from gaining acceptance to the post-graduate degree program and university she planned to attend, the lawsuit alleges.

“The lack of knowledgeable staff and the nonexistence of a Title IX office substantially impaired Jane Doe 7’s physical and mental health as well as her higher education experience,” the lawsuit states.

Doe 8 enrolled at Baylor in August 2012 and was sexually assaulted by a Baylor student in March 2015, the lawsuit says. After reporting the incident to a friend and a roommate, the roommate reported to a professor, who reported to the Title IX office.

The Title IX office emailed Doe 8, telling her she had the right to report, but did not inform her of her rights or remedies and did not perform an investigation, the lawsuit alleges.

In June 2015, she was not scheduled an appointment with Baylor’s counseling center, despite her informing the center of her assault, according to the lawsuit.

After reporting to a professor, Doe 8 was directed to counseling at the Student Life Center, which referred her to outside counseling, the lawsuit states, and during this time the assailant became a Baylor employee.

Doe 8 then had meetings with the Title IX office, the Baylor Police Department and Human Resources, the lawsuit says.

BUPD told Doe 8 she did not have a claim and discouraged her from pursuing claims, Human Resources did not inform her of options while accommodating the assailant, and the Title IX office misinformed her of rights and options and discouraged her from requesting a traditional Title IX hearing, the lawsuit alleges.

“Jane Doe 8 suffered severe physical and mental health impairments as a result of Defendant University’s actions and inactions,” the lawsuit says.

The location of the attack on Jane Doe 8 also was not specified in the lawsuit.

Baylor faces three Title IX lawsuits amid a scandal that culminated May 26 when Baylor’s board of regents reported “fundamental failure” in the implementation of Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act.

Baylor has settled with at least one sexual assault victim, reaching an undisclosed agreement last year with a former student-athlete raped by Sam Ukwuachu, a former football player convicted last year of the 2013 incident.

Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP conducted a nine-month investigation of how Baylor handles sexual assault claims and found football program personnel not reporting sexual violence and dating violence to administrators outside of athletics, according to the board’s summary of findings.

Ken Starr was fired as president, Art Briles was fired as head football coach, and Ian McCaw resigned as athletics director after being sanctioned. Two other athletics staffers were fired.

Baylor is implementing the 105 recommendations Pepper Hamilton gave the university regarding institutional response to sexual assaults.

Staff writer Tommy Witherspoon contributed to this story.

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