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Baylor ordered to turn over documents from sexual assault investigation

August 11, 2017

A federal judge has ordered Baylor University to hand over recordings, notes and other key documents from its infamous Pepper Hamilton investigation, which found that Baylor repeatedly mishandled allegations of sexual assault that were made against football players and other students.  

The documents must be given to attorney and former state Rep. Jim Dunnam, who is representing multiple anonymous women who say there were raped while at Baylor. The university had claimed that the documents were privileged, since the law firm Pepper Hamilton that was conducting the investigation was doing legal work for the private Baptist school. But the judge ruled that Baylor waived that privilege when it released certain details from the investigation.  

It’s not immediately clear whether the documents will ever be fully public. District Judge Robert Pitman said information produced as a result of his order “shall be subject to protective orders already entered in this case when applicable.” Certain logs produced, he wrote, will be considered “classified.” 

But this means that they could come up in a trial if the two sides in the lawsuit chose not to settle. Baylor has vigorously fought to keep the documents privileged in past court filings.  

Minutes after the ruling was released, Baylor officials said they were still reviewing it and couldn’t immediately comment.  

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/08/11/baylor-ordered-turn-over-documents-pepper-hamilton-report/.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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