13 Things You Need To Know About The Baylor Rape Case

13 Things You Need To Know About The Baylor Rape Case

Or in other words, thirteen more reasons why you should be pissed off with the US Criminal Justice System.

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Thanks to the #MeToo movement, there has been an increase in women coming out about their experiences with sexual assault. Although the movement has helped society progress into a more accepting, helpful environment, the justice system has not caught up.

In 2016, a 19-year-old female student attending Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, was choked and sexually assaulted by Jacob Anderson, president of Phi Delta Theta, at a party hosted by the fraternity. He accepted a plea deal in October, and it then became public. People were outraged at the lack of punishment for Anderson in his plea. A petition was soon created for the judge to deny the plea, and it received signatures from over 85,000 people around the world. The US Criminal Justice System failed this 19-year-old female, and sadly this is horrible handling of sexual assault is not shocking in today's day.

On December 10, 2018, this case was brought to national attention. On this day, the survivor made a statement to the judge on the case after he accepted Anderson's plea deal.

Instead of reading through many articles, I have compiled 13 major facts about this case because it needs to be heard.

1. Anderson left her on the ground, unconscious. 

NPR: "He led her to a secluded area on the grounds so she could get some air, and then repeatedly raped her, leaving her unconscious, alone and 'lying face down in her own vomit.'"

How does a person lack so much compassion for another person that he would force himself on her and leave her in a near-fatal state?

2. She was most likely drugged at the party.

NPR: "After sipping some punch, 'she became disoriented and felt very confused,' according to the affidavit."

Honestly, it sucks that there are so many rules for women when they drink at parties. Before I even started college, I was flooded with advice from friends and family: pour your own drinks, don't leave your drink anywhere, don't drink out of punch bowls, keep an eye on your friends, etc. Very few males, if any, have had to be educated on how to avoid being sexually assaulted, or even on how not to sexually assault.

3. The 19-year-old female was a virgin. 

"He stole my body, virginity, and power over my body." -A line from the 19-year-old's statement.

People should have sex for the first time when they want to. They have full rights to their body, and that is something that should never be taken away. This woman's rights to her own body were ripped away from her, stomped on, and thrown away with no remorse.

4. The prosecutors did not attend her hearing. 

"If I had the courage to come back to Waco and face my rapist and testify you could at least have had enough respect for me to show up today." She's damn right. Not only did the justice system fail to support her, but her own prosecutors failed to support her. Then the prosecutors made a deal that ripped away from her chance at justice. Unbelievable. The court system needs to do better. Survivors deserve support and justice.

Prosecutor Hilary LaBorde emailed the survivor that the case would not go to trial because "Our jurors aren't ready to blame rapists when there isn't concrete proof of more than one victim." 1) I'm pretty sure that should be up to the jurors, not one prosecutor. 2) Since when does a rape case need more than one victim? Ridiculous.

(This statement can be heard in the video posted at the end of this article.)

5. Anderson was expelled from Baylor University.

And rightfully so.

6. He took a plea deal.

One of the prosecutors on the case defended the plea deal. She claimed that the statements and evidence made the "original allegations difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt," which could have resulted in Mr. Anderson being acquitted if the case went to trial. She wanted to make sure that he received a consequence. The problem is that the consequences he did receive were insurmountable to the suffering he caused the victim. Such consequences were barely a step up from being acquitted in the first place. These so-called consequences are listed below.

7. In the deal, four counts of sexual assault were dismissed.

In exchange for the dismissal of four counts of sexual assault, Anderson pleaded no contest to unlawful restraint. By pleading no contest instead of pleading guilty, he did not even have to admit to unlawful restraint, a much lower charge than sexual assault. If he were to have been found guilty on counts of sexual assault, he would've served two to 20 years in prison.

8. Anderson will avoid jail time. 

Excuse me? A man can sexually assault a virgin, leave her to die, and receive no jail time whatsoever? The lack of jail time for this crime is degrading to survivors and every other woman in this country. Women are often seen as objects. Some men think that they can take women whenever they want them, and then easily dispose of the women when they are done without consequence. It seems to me that the court is telling them that they are right.

9. He will not be registered as a sex offender. 

Women should know what he did. How are we supposed to protect ourselves from rapists if we don't know who they are? My mom checks every guy she goes on a date with on the county court's online database. Since many rapists are convicted or even registered, she could end up on a date with a man who sees her as someone to take advantage of. Also, she would have no way of knowing his true self before meeting with him. The criminal justice system is supposed to protect women. Instead, it's hurting them.

10. He will pay a $400 fine and serve three years of probation.

$400. Probation. No jail time.

Yeah, that doesn't sound like justice to me either. A parking ticket can cost more than that fine.

11. If he completes his probation, his plea won't show up on his record.

No jail time, not on the sex offender registry, probation, a small fine, AND no record? The handling of this case is a disgrace.

12. The judge on this case was Ralph Strother. 

Judge Strother could have rejected the plea deal because it was quite frankly absurd, but he accepted it. Him accepting the plea deal was not a surprise because he has been lenient in sexual assault cases against other male students from Baylor University.

I had to take this statement directly from the NYT article because paraphrasing it would not do it justice:

"Judge Strother has been accused of approving lenient sentences for men in two other recent sexual assault cases. One was a probation sentence last year for a man who pleaded guilty to a 2013 sexual assault of a Baylor student. The other was a felony probation sentence imposed this year for the sexual assault of a former Baylor student in 2014 that includes 30 days of jail time to be served on weekends."

13. She wrote a response to the Judge after he accepted the plea deal. 

**Trigger warning for survivors of sexual assault.

She is on medication, getting therapy, having nightmares, and frequently has anxiety. He is ultimately a free man. She will heal, but she will never be truly free from what he did to her.

Her full statement can be read here.

If you're not pissed about this case and the lack of protection of women –– like your sisters, your mother, your significant other, your daughters –– then you're not paying attention.

The following video summarizes the case well:

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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