The Baylor offensive lineman arrested Monday on stalking charges was previously accused of sexual assault by a different woman. And the timing of the accusation once again raises questions about the way Baylor has previously handled those types of allegations.
According to ESPN, Rami Hammad was accused of sexual assault by a female student in the fall of 2015. The student reported the allegations to Baylor’s Title IX office and even received a no-contact order from the school after she was confronted by Hammad, who wanted to know why she made the allegation.
He then allegedly found her three days after the order was issued and the matter was reported to police. She declined to press charges “believing the Title IX office would pursue the matter.”
The Pepper Hamilton law firm completed an independent investigation into the school’s handling of sexual assault accusations in May. The report – only released as a 13-page summary to-date – said, among other things, that members of the football staff had inappropriately handled allegations.
She additionally told Outside the Lines she was shocked and disappointed that Hammad was allowed to play in Baylor’s game against Texas Tech a few days later and the remainder of the season. She said hearing of the felony charges from Monday was “very disheartening.”
“This is all Baylor’s fault,” she said. “Had they taken my case slightly more seriously and put some kind of ‘warning’ on him, this wouldn’t have happened. … The mannerisms that she described are so similar. It’s not just something I wanted to remember.”
Hammad, a projected starter on Baylor’s offensive line, allegedly waited for his ex-girlfriend after class after she told him to leave on Monday. She was walked out of her class by her professor and the two went to the professor’s office, where Hammad followed them. The two then called police after Hammad was knocking on the door to the office.
Hammad has been suspended from team activities following his arrest. He was contacted by ESPN and referred questions to his attorney.
The woman who reported the incidents last fall to Baylor told Outside the Lines she had met Hammad at a Baylor chapel last September. They agreed to hang out a few days later. When he picked her up, he said he had some laundry to do and drove over to his house. She said he took her into his apartment bedroom, where he forced her into a sexual act.
She said she was stunned but let him take her home. She said she didn’t report the incident to the police because she didn’t think what happened would mean anything to a police officer because she did not perceive what happened to be rape, and she said she was worried about the repercussions of reporting a football player. It was only when an acquaintance told her she had had a similar encounter with Hammad that she, and that acquaintance, decided to report him to Baylor’s Title IX office later that month.
“I thought Title IX was like the school’s version of the police,” the woman told Outside the Lines.
Schools are mandated under Title IX law to investigate allegations of sexual assault. The woman told ESPN she had an investigator speak on her behalf at her Title IX hearing and her only communication after the hearing was in the form of an email in November.
The email, reviewed by Outside the Lines, stated the woman needed to start taking a certain exit from a science building to avoid coming in contact with Hammad. It also stated that if the woman needed to access any building on campus where she did not have a scheduled class, or outside of her scheduled class time, that she must email McCraw at least 24 hours ahead of time to get her approval.
“I never got a result from the trial, and now I’m being told how to exit the building as if I’m the one who’s being charged?” she said. “I felt like I was being punished and treated like a criminal.”
She also said she was told by Baylor staffer she wasn’t allowed to find out what happened at her hearing. Baylor stated it informs both parties of the result of Title IX hearings.
ESPN reported Wednesday that the McLennan County district attorney’s office was requesting full access into the reports of the way Baylor has handled allegations
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