County prosecutors want to know the details of the investigations at Baylor.
According to ESPN, the McLennan County districty attorney’s office wants “full access” into records and reports surrounding the school’s handing of sexual assault accusations. That includes access to the Pepper Hamilton law firm’s independent investigation.
The district attorney’s office wants to see if any crimes were committed by athletes or by administrators in the way they handled accusations. The 13-page summary of the Pepper Hamilton report revealed improprieties with the way Baylor administrators dealt with accusations. And after the summary was released, then-president Ken Starr continued to fumble around when trying to defend his employer.
Multiple requests have been made for the full Pepper Hamilton report, which reportedly only exists as an oral report. Baylor has cited privacy reasons as a reason why the full report wouldn’t be unveiled. And there’s also this via ESPN.
According to people familiar with the investigation, though, Baylor officials didn’t want possession of written work so they could dodge subpoena requests from victims’ attorneys and law enforcement, or requests from regulators, such as the NCAA and U.S. Department of Education. (As a private institution, Baylor is not subject to state open records laws.) But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people seeking a complete accounting of Pepper Hamilton’s findings.
State open records laws were recently adjusted to include private universities, though Baylor’s compliance with the law was limited based on, you guessed it, privacy grounds.
The request by the district attorney comes a week after a fired Baylor staffer asked for the release of the full report in a court petition to find out the cause of his firing. Thomas Hill was one of two Baylor staffers fired in the aftermath of the investigation. Football coach Art Briles was suspended and eventually parted ways with the university while Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw resigned.
Two former football players are currently imprisoned on rape charges while former defensive end Shawn Oakman is currently facing sexual assault charges and others have been accused of physical and sexual assaults. A Baylor offensive lineman, Rami Hammad, was arrested for stalking Monday and is currently not listed on the team’s roster and suspended from the team.
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