Judge allows Baylor sex assault suit to advance
Claims dating to 2004 eligible under jurist’s ruling for 2018 hearing.
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