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lunedì 28 novembre 2016

Baylor football gang rape: school ignored sexual assaults

Baylor regents recently disclosed that 17 women had reported domestic violence or sexual assaults that involved 19 football players since 2011, including four gang rapes.

Two women who claim they were gang-raped by Baylor University footballers have reached a settlement with the school

The settlement was announced Tuesday night in a joint statement by Baylor interim President David Garland and the lawyers representing the women. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

'It breaks my heart that even one student would be sexually assaulted while a part of this university. I offer my sincere apologies, both personally and on behalf of the university, that we did not do more to prevent, respond or support the care of these young women,' Garland said.

Baylor has been hammered by months of criticism that it ignored or mishandled assault claims for years.

The settlements were the latest development in a scandal that has rocked the nation's largest Baptist university.

An investigation by the law firm Pepper Hamilton earlier this year found that the school mishandled assault claims for years. 

Football coach Art Briles was fired, school President Ken Starr was demoted and eventually left, and Athletic Direct Ian McCaw resigned.

Baylor regents recently disclosed that 17 women had reported domestic violence or sexual assaults that involved 19 football players since 2011, including four gang rapes.

The school is facing several federal lawsuits by women who say the university ignored or tried to suppress their claims of sexual and physical assault. 

ESPN reported that the women who settled their cases had not sued the university.

Details of the attacks on the women who settled were not disclosed, but the statement said that both reported in 2015 they had been sexually assaulted by multiple football players in 2012. 

One of the women also reported being physically assaulted by a football player in 2013.

Garland said the football players implicated in the assaults and the athletic department official who received a report of the physical assault are no longer at Baylor.

Baylor said that since the time of the reported assaults, it has established a full-time Title IX office to investigate and respond to claims of assault and gender discrimination, revamped school policies and adopted a prevention and education program for students, faculty and staff.

'We commend Baylor for its work with Pepper Hamilton in its effort to improve its handling of sexual assault reports,' said John Clune and Chris Ford, the Boulder, Colorado attorneys representing the women who settled with Baylor.

Fans of the school created controversy earlier this year by wearing shirts celebrating Briles before a home game.

The black shirts had '#CAB' - meaning Coach Art Briles - emblazoned across the front in white writing, with many fans stopping to purchase one ahead of Baylor's game against TCU.

About 400 shirts were sold, and a banner with the same slogan was unfurled in the stands during the Bears 62-22 loss to the Horned Frogs.

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