The attorneys for a woman who was raped by a former Baylor football player are speaking out against former Bears head coach Art Briles.
The woman, former Baylor student Jasmin Hernandez, was raped by former Baylor linebacker Tevin Elliott in 2012. During the trial for Elliott, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, accusations of rape by three other women, plus a misdemeanor charge for another attempted assault, against Elliott emerged.
Hernandez filed a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor, Briles and former athletic director Ian McCaw in March. The suit said Baylor "failed to properly train and educate" employees in "appropriate response to allegations of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and retaliatory conduct."
According to ESPN.com, her attorneys say Briles “backed out of a pledge to support and apologize” to Hernandez.
Briles, who was fired after eight seasons with the program on May 26, has reportedly agreed to a contract settlement with Baylor. Before a settlement was evidently reached, Briles’ attorney, Ernest Cannon, filed a motion to separate the coach from the school’s representation in the Hernandez suit. Afterward, ESPN.com reported, Cannon called Hernandez’s representation to say Briles would appear at a mediation session on Friday.
After Cannon filed the motion Thursday, he called Hernandez's Texas attorney and said that Briles "promised" to come to Friday's mediation session "to support Jasmin ... and help her, and to apologize to her and her family," Zalkin told Outside the Lines.
Zalkin said Hernandez was "cautiously optimistic" upon hearing the news. "She was definitely appreciative that he wanted to help and that he wanted to apologize," Zalkin said.
However, once Briles and Baylor agreed to a settlement about his removal as head coach, Cannon withdrew the aforementioned motion, meaning Briles again was represented by Baylor’s attorneys in the Hernandez case. Cannon and Briles were then reportedly no-shows for a scheduled Friday meeting.
Neither Briles nor Cannon showed up for the mediation meeting on Friday, Zalkin said. The mediation ended without a deal, Zalkin said.
"[Briles] used the threat of helping Jasmin in her lawsuit against Baylor as leverage to negotiate his wrongful termination claim against Baylor," Zalkin said. "He doesn't care about victims. He never cared about victims. He's using victims. He used them to help build up his football program, and now he's using Jasmin to leverage more money out of Baylor."
Hernandez "was hurt. ... She was upset and she was offended," Zalkin said. He said Cannon did not offer an explanation for not showing up when reached Friday, only "that they decided not to come."
Briles was “suspended with intent to terminate” on May 26 after Baylor’s board of regents released the “Findings of Fact” from a law firm’s independent investigation into the school’s handling of sexual assault accusations, including several involving Baylor football players.
The investigation, conducted by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, found “specific failings within both the football program and athletics department leadership” and said there were “significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of student-athlete misconduct.”
On top of the removal of Briles, McCaw resigned after assisting in the hire of former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as acting head coach. Ken Starr was initially removed as president, but eventually resigned as chancellor as well.
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