The law firm of Stoy Law Group, PLLC, along with the Zalkin Law Firm, PC, represent Jasmin Hernandez, a Baylor University student who was raped by a Baylor football player while she was a student at the university.
Jasmin has filed suit for Baylor’s deliberate indifference to both the sexual assault by the student athlete as well as deliberate indifference to the consequences of the assault upon Jasmin.
The Pepper Hamilton Review
In the fall of 2015, Baylor University hired the Philadelphia law firm of Pepper Hamilton to review its past treatment of sexual assault claims.
After receiving the findings of the investigation, Baylor Board of Regents Chairman Richard Willis said that the investigation “revealed the university’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students.”
The report identified a failure to identify and respond to a “pattern” of sexual violence by a football player and to take action in response to reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players.
The report is small consolation to Jasmin Hernandez who, back in 2012, was raped by the Baylor football player known to have engaged in a pattern of sexual violence.
Had the university heeded the warnings and prior claims, had the university met its Title IX obligations to protect students, Jasmin would never have had to endure the tragedy that still haunts her.
While she was a student at Baylor, Jasmin was raped by a Baylor football player, Tevin Elliott.
At the time that Jasmin attended Baylor, reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault were handled by Baylor’s Chief Judicial Officer, Bethany McCraw. Prior to the time that Jasmin was sexually assaulted by Tevin Elliott, at least one other female student (“Jane Doe” to protect her identity) and her mother met with McCraw to report that Jane Doe had been sexually assaulted by Elliott. At this meeting, McCraw informed Doe that there was nothing McCraw could do in response to Doe’s complaint that she had been raped by Elliott.
McCraw also told Doe and her mother that Doe was the sixth female student to come in to McCraw’s office to report that they had been sexually assaulted by Elliott. Doe and her mother asked if Briles knew of these reports, to which McCraw responded that Briles was aware of the reports. McCraw told Doe and her mother that there was nothing the school could do for Doe unless there was a court determination that Elliott had indeed raped Doe. Otherwise, McCraw said, it would come down to a “he said-she said” situation, and the school could not act on it.
Doe and her mother asked McCraw about filing for a restraining order. McCraw responded that all she could do was send a letter to Elliott informing him that he was not to come near Doe, and “then you kind of hope for the best.”
Baylor and Briles’s Knowledge of Elliot’s Prior Assaults
Baylor, Briles and McCraw were aware that in November of 2011, Elliott had been cited for misdemeanor sexual assault, stemming from allegations that he had trapped a community college student in her room, held her against her will, and touched her inappropriately.
One former member of Baylor’s advisory board that reviewed sexual assault response issues with community leaders has publicly stated that Baylor officials have known about the larger problem of sexual assaults committed by student-athletes for several years. T
his former member is also a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (“SANE”) for the Waco area, meaning she is the first person most assault victims talk to when they check themselves in to a hospital after being sexually assaulted. In that capacity, this SANE nurse has estimated that despite only making up 4% of the student population at Baylor, male student-athletes are responsible for 25%-50% of all reported assaults that occur at Baylor.
The Rape of Jasmin Hernandez
Jasmin Hernandez enrolled at Baylor in the Fall of 2011 on an academic scholarship for the undergraduate nursing program. On April 15, 2012, Jasmin was attending a party at a residence near campus with some friends. The group of friends was invited to the party by Elliott, as he knew one of Jasmin’s friends.
At one point in the night, Jasmin and a friend went to look for a restroom. While moving through the residence, Jamsin and her friend got separated. Elliott approached Jasmin, grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her outside, where he forcibly raped her.
Jasmin was taken to the hospital and notified the Waco police. Her mother flew to Waco on the next available plane. Upon arriving in Waco, Jasmin’s mom immediately called the Baylor Counseling Center to inform them that her daughter had just been raped, and to request that her daughter be given mental health services to help mitigate the effects of such a traumatic event. The Counseling Center informed Jasmin’s mom that they were too busy, and could not see Jasmin.
Next, Jasmin’s mom called the psychology department at Baylor’s Student Health Center to request services for her daughter, but was told that all counseling sessions were full, and they could not provide any services to Jasmin.
A few days later, Jasmin’s mom called Baylor’s Academic Services Department to request academic accommodations for Jasmin, who was still traumatized from being raped and would not be able to fully concentrate on her studies for some time. The Academic Services Department refused to provide any accommodations, telling Jasmin’s mom that even “if a plane falls on your daughter, there’s nothing we can do to help you.”
Jasmin’s mom also called Coach Briles to inform him about what Elliott, one of Briles’ football players had done. Jasmin’s mom received a return phone call from Briles’ secretary informing her that Briles’ office had heard of the allegations and were looking into it. Jasmin’s dad also called Briles’ office several times to follow up. He never received a return phone call from Briles or anyone in his office.
Despite Jasmin’s multiple reports to several administrative offices that she had been raped by another Baylor student, Baylor did not take any action whatsoever to investigate Jasmin’s claim. Despite having been accused of raping Jasmin, Elliott was allowed to remain on campus, completely unrestricted, for several months until he ultimately transferred during the summer of 2012.
Jazmine Hernandez filed suit against Baylor University Board of Regents; Art Briles, in his official capacity as head football coach; and Ian McCaw, in his official capacity as athletic director. The suit is pending in the Western District of Texas, Waco Division; Case No. 6:16-CV-00069. To review a copy of the petition, follow this link.
Baylor’s Breach of Trust
The Hernandez family entrusted their child, their beautiful and precious daughter, into the care of Baylor University. Baylor University violated that trust and knowingly subjected her and all of the young female students to a known predator in exchange for a winning football program. Years later, they have finally realized what a Faustian deal this was—a deal with the devil. But for Jasmin Hernandez, it is too little, too late.