Baylor University Offers To Release Data On Sexual Assaults Since 2003

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 27, 2017 12:33 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A Texas man is a step closer to execution after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his claim.

Erick Davila was convicted eight years ago for the fatal shooting of a five-year-old girl and her grandmother at a birthday party.

Prosecutors said he was trying to shoot someone else as part of a gang dispute.

Davila argued his legal representation was ineffective in appealing his conviction.

High Court Justices ruled five to four that a prisoner has no constitutional right to counsel in post-conviction proceedings.

The strong U.S. dollar is making it harder for Texas manufacturers to export to other countries, according to a new survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Dallas Fed Economist Emily Kerr says factories in Texas are doing well, overall, but they’re facing some headwinds.

“I think we have strong dollar weighing us down but the energy recovery is being a bit of a tailwind for us,” Kerr says.

She says they continue to hear reports from Texas manufacturers of labor shortages for both skilled and unskilled positions.

Baylor University has volunteered to share data on all sexual assaults reported to the private Baptist university since 2003. Baylor made the offer in a legal filing related to a Title IX lawsuit against the school.

The information would include details like the date of alleged assaults, the genders of the alleged victims and assailants and what Baylor did about it. No names would be released.

Attorney Jim Dunnam is representing 10 women suing the school for sexual assault, and he says he doesn’t trust Baylor to produce accurate information.

“Baylor told the federal government that they had no assaults during a multi-year time period, and we know that’s false,” he says. “So this whole concept that, ‘oh you know, we’ll tell you how many that happened and where they happened,’ I think is not sufficient.”

Instead, Dunnam says the university needs to release all the documents prepared by law firm Pepper Hamilton, which investigated sexual assaults at Baylor.

Baylor has declined to release them, saying it would violate the confidentiality of alleged victims.

But Dunnam says Baylor itself has admitted that senior administrators repeatedly failed to protect assault victims.

“It’s not enough to say we failed at it, without saying here’s how we failed, here’s who failed, here’s the period of time that we were failing these young women,” he says. “All of these things are about what Baylor’s admitted – they just don’t want anyone to know who did it, evidently.”

And Dunnam argues that when Baylor has released information from the Pepper Hamilton investigation, it’s been selective.

“For example, in a lawsuit that was up in Dallas they released pages and pages of gory details about what Art Briles might have done and press releases and things of that nature which is a football narrative. And it gets people to look the other way rather than look at the administrator problem,” Dunnam says.

Of the 10 women that Dunnam represents, only one was sexually assaulted by a member of the football team.