Judge al­lows Bay­lor sex as­sault suit to ad­vance

Claims dat­ing to 2004 el­i­gi­ble un­der ju­rist’s rul­ing for 2018 hear­ing.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - Dallas Morn­ing News Bay­lor

Sex­ual as­sault vic­tims at Bay­lor Univer­sity have un­til the spring of 2018 to sue if they be­lieve the school had lax and dis­crim­i­na­tory poli­cies that put them at a greater risk of be­ing raped, a fed­eral judge ruled Tues­day.

The de­ci­sion came as part of an or­der that al­lows the largest Ti­tle IX law­suit against Bay­lor to go for­ward. Both sides will now be able to re­quest ev­i­dence and call wit­nesses to give tes­ti­mony out of court, a much-an­tic­i­pated stage in the le­gal process for crit­ics who con­tinue to ac­cuse Bay­lor of be­ing se­cre­tive in its han­dling of the sex­ual as­sault scan­dal.

For some Ti­tle IX claims, U.S. Dis­trict Judge Robert Pit­man de­cided, the two-year statute of lim­i­ta­tions shouldn’t be mea- sured from when an as­sault was re­ported, but from when the pub­lic first learned of Bay­lor’s fail­ure to prop­erly re­spond to sex­ual as­sault cases last spring.

Pit­man’s de­ci­sion means that the court could hear claims from women who re­ported be­ing raped as far back as 2004.

“Plain­tiffs have not al­leged that Bay­lor had knowl­edge of ac­cu­sa­tions against their spe­cific as­sailants prior to their ini­tial as­saults, but what they have al­leged — a wide­spread pat­tern of dis­crim­i­na­tory re­sponses to fe­male stu­dents’ re­ports of sex­ual as­sault — is ar­guably more egre­gious,” Pit­man wrote.

The rul­ing was in re­sponse to a law­suit in which 10 women claim they were sex­u­ally as­saulted at Bay­lor in cases that span from 2004 to 2016.

In each case, the woman al­leges she re­ported her as­sault to Bay­lor but re­ceived an in­ad­e­quate re­sponse, from a lec­ture

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