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Education Briles, ex-Baylor AD McCaw added to federal suit vs. school

Briles, ex-Baylor AD McCaw added to federal suit vs. school

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DALLAS (AP) — A woman who alleges Baylor University ignored her when she reported being raped by a former football player wants ex-coach Art Briles to be added as a defendant to the federal lawsuit, according to a court filing Wednesday.

The complaint filed in March by Jasmin Hernandez named Briles, ex-athletic director Ian McCaw and university regents as defendants. Briles’ lawyers argued last month that the men could not be sued in their official role under the Title IX federal gender discrimination law. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman determined it was essentially redundant to sue the men in addition to the university, and allowed Briles and McCaw to be removed from the suit.

Hernandez’s lawyers filed an amended complaint Wednesday that cites state negligence laws as the reason for including them as defendants in their individual capacities.

“We’re not asserting any Title IX claim against Briles or McCaw, just against Baylor,” attorney Susan Hutchison said. Hernandez is seeking a jury trial.

Hernandez, a former Baylor student now living in California, contends the school knew former player Tevin Elliott had a history of assaults, failed to protect her and others and ignored her pleas when she sought help after her assault in 2012. Elliott was convicted of raping Hernandez and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify sexual assault victims, but Hernandez has spoken publicly to draw attention to the case.

Wednesday’s amended complaint alleges that Briles and McCaw were aware of assault allegations against Elliott and “had a duty to take reasonable protective measures to protect” Hernandez and others.

Briles’ attorney, Kenneth Tekell Sr., said he will file a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

“She does not have the law and facts to support any case,” he said Wednesday, declining to elaborate.

Pitman earlier denied the university’s request to temporarily halt evidence gathering while considering the school’s request to dismiss the case, allowing Hernandez’s attorneys to interview witnesses and collect documents.

Hutchison said Baylor’s former Title IX coordinator, Patty Crawford, will provide a deposition Nov. 3. Crawford resigned earlier this month and said publicly that top campus leaders undermined her efforts to investigate sexual assault claims and were more concerned with protecting the Baylor “brand” than the students.

As Title IX coordinator, Crawford was charged with enforcing federal standards meant to prevent discrimination based on gender.

Baylor fired Briles in May and McCaw resigned after a school-funded investigation found the Baptist school had mishandled allegations of sexual assault, including claims made against football players. Former President and Chancellor Ken Starr also was forced out.

The Pepper Hamilton law firm concluded the football program acted as it was “above the rules” when dealing with assault claims and rules violations.

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