Baylor's handling of sexual assault claims is once again under scrutiny.
According to a report from ESPN's Outside the Lines, Baylor didn't investigate a sexual assault claim against former tight end Tre'Von Armstead and practice player Myke Chatman for two years. Armstead was dismissed from the team in September for what Baylor said was a violation of team rules. From OTL:
In 2013, the Waco Police Department wrote in a police report that it had informed Baylor officials about an off-campus incident involving former All-Big 12 tight end Tre'Von Armstead and former practice squad player Myke Chatman. Waco police also told the alleged victim they had contacted Baylor, but according to documents and interviews conducted by Outside the Lines, Baylor didn't begin looking into the allegations until Sept. 11, 2015.
The report said Armstead, who had five catches for 62 yards in 2014, was expelled from the school in February (Chatman left after 2012 and has played the past two seasons at Sam Houston State). Neither player has been charged because the woman said she was heavily inebriated that evening and didn't want to press charges against the players.
Armstead, who through his mother and attorney declined to be interviewed by Outside the Lines, has maintained he never had sex with the woman, a fellow student; an appeal of his expulsion from school was denied last week. According to documents obtained by Outside the Lines, Chatman, who did not respond to requests to comment, told Baylor officials in 2015 that the men had sex with the woman.
Police came to the woman's house the night of the alleged assault after her friends called 911 believing that she'd been attacked. Observations by officers at the scene and a rape exam at a hospital revealed bruises, a bite mark and scratches, and witnesses told police they believed they had heard, from downstairs, noises indicative of an assault. But the woman declined to press charges, and Waco police effectively ended the investigation.
Former Baylor players Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu have been convicted of rape since the beginning of 2014 while former Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman, likely to be taken in the 2016 NFL draft, is reportedly being investigated for accusations of sexual assault.
A woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Elliott has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the school for indifference towards her complaint. The suit names Baylor coach Art Briles. Ukwuachu, who never played a down for Baylor, was convicted over the summer for an incident that happened in 2013. Women had told Outside the Lines earlier this year the school had ignored their claims of sexual assault against the convicted ex-players.
The alleged incident involving Armstead and Chatman began with a gathering at Oakman's apartment in April, 2013. The woman said she last remembers being with people at the apartment before leaving. There are differing accounts as to how she got home and who accompanied her back to her residence.
Armstead and Chatman were then allegedly at her residence and Armstead appeared to be intoxicated according to witnesses. After her roommates left believing both players were about to depart, the alleged sexual assault occurred. Another roommate and her boyfriend, after arriving to the house while the incident was allegedly occurring, called 911 after they heard noises and the woman allegedly telling the players to stop.
Chatman has admitted the three had sex.
The roommate's boyfriend told Chatman and Armstead to leave, and they did. The two witnesses described the woman as incoherent and "almost hyperventilating," with her room in total disarray with curtains pulled down and clothes and blankets strewn on the floor.
When police arrived, they noted the woman was "very intoxicated" and that she had "a bruise on her left cheek and a bite mark on her neck." The officer wrote that the woman "was very adamant that nothing had happened, and that she had not been sexually assaulted," so the officer documented the incident and contacted Baylor officials with details, but did not make an official sexual assault report.
When she woke up the next morning, the woman noticed bruises and pain in her vaginal area. She also heard accounts of the previous night from her friends and Chatman. The next day, she went to the police department to report the incident. "She remembered having a moment of pain in her stomach as if something was too deep inside of her," the report states.
The woman went to the hospital for a sexual assault exam, but when police asked her to sign a form indicating she wanted to prosecute, she declined and said she did not want to press charges.
During a follow-up interview several days later, according to the police report, the woman said "she knows it looks bad because she was drinking and can't remember. She said she ended up making the report because of how her friends said she was acting, and she was bruised. At a minimum, she wants a report made in case they do this to someone else."
She told Outside the Lines she believed she was assaulted and that police said her case wasn't strong. The investigation by Waco Police was suspended in May of 2013 and a Title IX investigation into the incident started after Ukwuachu's conviction. Armstead was expelled in February after a Baylor report determined the woman was too drunk to consent and the report said his family is considering a lawsuit against the school.
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