WACO, Texas — A petition asking 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother to deny a plea deal from former Baylor Phi Delta Theta fraternity president Jacob Anderson began circulating Thursday, three days after Anderson pleaded no contest to lesser charges when he was indicted for rape charges.
If the judge accepts the deal, Anderson, who is accused of drugging and raping a fellow Baylor University student at a party in 2016, will not be required to serve prison time or register as a sex offender. Instead, he will receive three years of probation, pay a $400 fine and attend mandatory counseling.
McLennan County residents behind the petition said that wouldn't be enough for his actions.
According to the arrest warrant, the woman who was assaulted accepted a drink of punch at a party in the frat house before becoming disoriented and confused. Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said Anderson led the woman to the backyard where nobody was allowed.
The woman reported Anderson raped her behind a barn area and 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.
Erin Albin, who started the petition, said cases like this are why sexual assault survivors will often be afraid to come forward.
"Decisions like this where someone commits something horrible and violent and then they say 'Okay, you can get off with next to nothing' is just ridiculous," Albin said. "If this continues to happen then these violent crimes like this will just continue to happen because they are not accountable for their actions."
Channel 6's Jasmin Caldwell reached out to Strother, but his secretary said he did not want to comment.
Members of the District Attorney's Office said they stand behind the plea offer and believe they have reached the best result possible given the available evidence.
The judge will make his decision on Dec. 10. If Strother rejects the deal, the case will go to trial.