WACO, Texas — Students at the University of Texas Dallas started a petition Monday to get Jacob Anderson, the former Baylor fraternity president who was charged with rape, removed from campus.
UTD released a statement on Twitter at 4:49 p.m. Wednesday saying it was unaware of Anderson's legal history before it admitted him two years ago, and he will no longer be present on campus as a student or guest.
Despite not being able to participate in commencement or graduate school, UTD president Richard Benson said in a letter sent Thursday that Anderson will still receive a degree, so long as he meets the requirements.
In addition to that, Benson's letter said:
Looking forward, I have asked for a full review of our application and enrollment process to help keep our campus safe. This review will include a cross-section of our community — including student and faculty representation. I assure you that UT Dallas will be a leader in providing safe learning and working environments.
These last few days have been difficult for all of us. Thank you to those who shared your concerns about this situation. Our University is better for your input and participation.
McLennan County Judge Ralph Strother accepted a plea deal on Monday that reduced Anderson's charge to unlawful restraint. He was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $400 fine.
The petition says the "students have a right to protection from predators like Anderson. He submitted a plea of no contest and was sentenced to deferred probation, and will not be made to register as a sex offender. That being the case, the school is [sic] has a responsibility to remove him from this new potential hunting ground."
The petition calls for 7,500 signatures. As of Wednesday morning, it had 6,418 signatures.
The school said on Twitter that administrators are aware of the petition and they are reviewing the situation. UTD said safety on campus is of the utmost importance to the university.
"The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are of the utmost importance to the University. While federal laws limit what we can address publicly, we are aware of the online petition and the community’s concern. UTD administration is currently reviewing the situation," the tweet said.
Anderson's accuser filed a civil suit against Anderson, five of his Phi Delta Theta fraternity brothers, the fraternity and the woman who owns the house where the incident is said to have occurred.
According to the arrest warrant, Anderson led the woman behind the house where he repeatedly assaulted her until she blacked out.
Investigators said when the woman woke up she vomited on herself then found a friend at the party who took her to Baylor Scott & White where she received a sexual assault medical exam.
The terms of Anderson's probation include 39 orders he must follow. Among them is an order that Anderson must remain within the limits of McLennan County and can only leave the county with the permission of his probation officer.
Anderson's probation can be transferred to another county with permission from the judge, according to the district attorney's office.
The terms of the plea deal are laid out in the document below. The victim's name has been redacted to protect her identity.
Assistant McLennan County District Attorney Hilary LaBorde released a statement after the plea was accepted.
"As I did when this plea agreement was offered, I believe today’s sentencing by Judge Strother was the best outcome given the facts of this case. Conflicting evidence and statements exist in this case making the original allegation difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt," LaBorde said. "As a prosecutor, my goal is no more victims. I believe that is best accomplished when there is a consequence rather than an acquittal. This offender is now on felony probation and will receive sex offender treatment, a result which was not guaranteed, nor likely, had we gone to trial."
LaBorde, in her statement, said she understands why the public is upset and urged those who are bothered by the outcome to "consider their source of information."
A Brady evidence notice filed by the prosecution on Monday shows the victim's claims were inconsistent with what she told civilians, police and a sexual assault nurse examiner on the night of the offense.
Brady Evidence Notice by Jim Hice on Scribd
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