Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu’s sexual assault victim and her parents have retained attorneys, including one who represents the woman who accused Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston of sexual assault.
Ukwuachu, a freshman All-American at Boise State before transferring to Baylor, was convicted last week of raping a former Baylor soccer player at his South Waco apartment in October 2013.
The woman, who is now playing soccer at another Texas university, and her family have hired John Clune and Chris Ford of Boulder, Colorado, to “investigate a number of issues surrounding the case,” the lawyers confirmed to the Tribune-Herald in a statement Friday morning.
“We are glad to see that President Starr and Baylor have chosen to conduct their own investigation and look forward to learning the outcome of that process,” Clune said in the statement released by his firm, Hutchinson Black and Cook LLC of Boulder.
“Regardless of what facts these investigations may bare, there is a significant teachable moment here for all in higher education and we are hopeful that Baylor University embraces that great opportunity.”
Baylor President Ken Starr announced after a jury sentenced Ukwuachu to probation Aug. 21 that he had appointed Baylor Law School professor Jeremy Counseller to conduct an internal inquiry into how Baylor handled the allegations against Ukwuachu.
Referring to the victim’s family hiring attorneys, Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said Friday, “This is the first we have heard of this,” and declined additional comment.
Starr announced Friday evening that Baylor’s internal investigation had concluded, and that the university would seek an independent review of how it handled the Ukwuachu sexual assault investigation.
According to the law firm’s website, Clune has handled ground-breaking federal lawsuits in sexual assault cases involving athletes since a 2004 case dealing with the University of Colorado.
Clune represents the woman who accused Winston, the former Florida State quarterback, of raping her in December 2012.
Baylor conducted its own investigation into the woman’s allegations against Ukwuachu and concluded there was insufficient evidence “to move forward” with the case. Baylor cleared Ukwuachu to play before he was indicted in June 2014 on the sexual assault charges.
Waco police also investigated the matter, closing the matter without arresting Ukwuachu. Police officials sent the case to the district attorney’s office for its review of the evidence, and a grand jury indicted Ukwuachu three months later.