Baylor Title IX coordinator resigns amidst scandal

For over a year Baylor University has received public attention over a Title IX civil rights lawsuit. On Monday new events took place surrounding the controversy.

Patty Crawford, Baylor University Title IX coordinator resigned after two more women came forward saying they had been sexually assaulted while attending Baylor, bringing the total to eight women involved in a lawsuit.

The two women are identified as “Jane Doe 7 and 8.” Jane Doe 7 stated she was sexually assaulted on May 2009 by two other Baylor students and Jane Doe 8 stated she was sexually assaulted on March 2015.

While this lawsuit does not involve a charge against a football player, both women are claiming the university did not sufficiently investigate their cases, and in result they suffered mentally and physically.

The initial Title IX lawsuit began in June 15 when three women filed the lawsuit. Nearly two weeks later, three more plaintiffs came forward.

Jane Doe 1 is the only woman who stated she was assaulted by a football player on April 26, 2014 while at an on-campus residence hall.

In the lawsuit, Jane Doe 1 stated that during her final exams, she reported the alleged assault to Baylor and was not given any assistance. Jane Doe 1 stated she was “left to cope with the situation alone and in fear.”

The lawsuit also states that Jane Doe 1 would see the football player when she attended games and would become upset to the point where she would leave the game. Over time Jane Doe 1 states that the stress from the incident caused her academics to drop and eventually she lost her academic scholarship, causing her to drop out after the fall 2015 semester.

In fall 2015, Baylor hired Pepper Hamilton, a Philadelphia law firm, to look into the university’s handling of the sexual assault claims.

After a nine-month investigation, Pepper Hamilton found that the Baylor had failed to respond to the sexual assault reports correctly, specifically the report pertaining to the football program.

After the Pepper Hamilton review summary was released, several Baylor coaching staff and faculty were fired or resigned. Head football coach Art Briles was fired, university president Kenneth Starr was demoted and later resigned, athletic director Ian McCaw was suspended and later resigned, and two other athletic department employees were also fired.

The Pepper Hamilton firm provided 105 recommendations to the university on how to improve their prevention and response to sexual violence, and Baylor agreed to the recommendations. As a result, a “Sexual Assault Task Force” was established, with one of the members including Crawford.

While the Baylor University did not comment the lawsuit or the two recent women that have come forward, the school did issue a statement about Crawford’s resignation.

Baylor stated that Crawford “was disappointed in her role in implementing the recommendations that resulted.”

The news release went on to say “the university is grateful for Patty’s leadership in establishing fair and equitable Title IX processes that are also supportive of the needs of survivors. We will always seek to continuously improve and are confident that the very capable Title IX staff will continue the important work of educating, supporting and responding to the needs of those impacted by interpersonal violence.”

John Sill