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Student Athletes Vindicated in Baylor Assault Case

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

Student athletes on college campuses sit in a unique and vulnerable position: highly visible, often treated like stars, they are also easy targets for accusations of sexual misconduct. This was the case with three former football players at Baylor University who had been accused of sexually assaulting a female student athlete in 2017. Two of the young men, John Arthur and Tre'von Lewis, were accused by an equestrian athlete of sexually assaulting her in a residence hall, and the third, Justin Harris, was accused of videotaping the woman and sharing the videos on social media. The three were subject to a Title IX investigation, a process in which, prior to 2020, had a very low burden of proof. Found to be in violation of the school's sexual misconduct policies, Arthur, Lewis, and Harris were all expelled.

Although prosecutors declined to criminally charge any of the student athletes, they were again put under fire just a few years later. Earlier this year, they were subject to a civil trial in which the jury was asked to decide whether the young men had assaulted their accuser. The trial also sought to determine whether Baylor was responsible for negligence and fraud. The lawsuit claimed that Baylor put young women in dangerous situations by housing them in a residence hall that was considered a “hot spot” for sexual assault. The jury, which reached its verdict on June 9, 2021, rejected all the plaintiff's claims and found the three young men not liable.

Fighting Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

As some of the most prominent members of campus, student athletes are often involved in some of the most high profile Title IX cases. Once accused, these athletes are generally subject to a hearing, in which the burden of evidence under Title IX is far less than it would be in either a criminal or a civil trial. Once students are found to be in violation of school policies, they face a range of consequences, with suspension generally the bare minimum.

It does not matter that there was not enough evidence to bring the Baylor football players to criminal trial, and that they were later vindicated by their civil trial: they remain expelled from the school.

Many other student athletes have found themselves in a similar situation and the results are devastating. They often have great difficulty enrolling at another school and many drop out permanently, their lives essentially ruined.

Without a proper defense strategy and the help of an attorney, students remain at the mercy of Title IX investigators and hearing panels that have been known to suspend or expel students on minimal evidence.

If you or a family member face allegations of sexual misconduct, don't wait until it's too late. Joseph D. Lento from the Lento Law Firm has helped at Baylor University and beyond, having handled hundreds of Title IX cases across the nation. Call him today at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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