Former Baylor University fraternity president, Jacob Anderson, will not serve jail time or be put on the sex offender registry even though he allegedly raped a fellow Baylor student in 2016 at his fraternity’s, Phi Delta Theta, party. Anderson was initially charged with four counts of sexual assault but will only have to pay a $400 fine.
The McLennan County district attorney’s office offered Anderson a plea deal that dismissed the four counts of sexual assault in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of unlawful restraint. The district attorney’s office recommends that Anderson serve three years of deferred adjudication probation, pay a 400 dollar fine, and go to counseling instead of serving jail time. If Anderson does not violate the terms of his probation then the charges could be dismissed.
The case is not going to court after the judge accepted Anderson’s plea on Monday. The survivor is “devastated” and asked the judge to reject the plea deal and allow the case to go to court where she was willing to testify against Anderson. The survivor’s lawyer said the plea deal “stinks to high hell” and that he has never encountered one like it before.
Regarding the district attorneys, Hilary LaBorde and Abel Reyna, the survivor stated in her victim impact letter, “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. You both will have to live with this decision to let a rapist run free in society without any warning to future victims.”
The survivor also aimed part of her impact statement to Anderson, who allegedly gagged and choked her after the rape, saying that “it must be horrible to be you. To know what you did to me. To know you are a rapist. To know that you almost killed me. To know that you ruined my life, stole my virginity and stole many other things from me.” “By the grace of God I am alive today to fight this injustice. One breath either way and Jacob Walter Anderson would be on trial for murder.”
This week, people have been calling and sending letters to the district attorney’s office and the judge’s office to show their disapproval. An online petition expressing “outrage” at the outcome of this investigation and plea deal has already gained 85,000 signatures as well. Erin Albin, who created the online petition, said that she “thinks people are finally realizing this is a problem and that survivors aren’t taken seriously…We see time and time again, everything from the national level down to the local level of a lot of people, mainly men, getting away with things like this.”
This case is similar to one in 2016 in which a Stanford athlete was sentenced to six months after raping an unconscious woman. Turner was found guilty in March on three felony counts of sexual assault. While prosecutors asked for a six-year sentence—even less than the 14 year maximum allowed by California law—Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Aaron Persky, a Stanford alumnus, handed down a mere six months in county jail and three years of probation, saying “a prison sentence would have a severe impact” on Turner.
Media Resources: Washington Post 12/11/18; CBS 12/11/18; Feminist Newswire 6/10/16