A woman who filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against Baylor University in January, in which she said former Bears football players Tre'Von Armstead and Myke Chatman sexually assaulted her, reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the university on Tuesday, one of her attorneys told ESPN.
The woman, identified in court records by the pseudonym Elizabeth Doe, alleged in her lawsuit that the Baylor football program fostered a culture in which alcohol and illegal drugs were provided to recruits, and that coaches encouraged female students in the Baylor Bruins hostess program to have sex with recruits and players.
Baylor officials did not investigate the incident for more than two years, despite the school's obligation under federal law to immediately address allegations of sexual violence involving students, Outside the Lines reported in April 2016.
Armstead and Chatman were indicted on three second-degree felony charges of sexual assault by a grand jury in Waco, Texas, earlier this year, and they were arrested and released on bail. Waco police had suspended the 2013 criminal case after the alleged victim chose not to pursue charges against Armstead and Chatman, whom she accused of sexually assaulting her at her apartment.
"Though the terms will remain confidential, Ms. Doe is satisfied by the outcome," her attorney, John Clune, said in a statement to ESPN. "Perhaps more than anything, Ms. Doe feels grateful to have this case resolved. Though she still plans to testify in the criminal matters against Mr. Armstead and Mr. Chatman, having her civil rights case resolved is a healthy step towards recovery. These cases are much harder for rape survivors than some may realize. We would like to thank Baylor's general counsel as well as Baylor President Dr. [Linda] Livingstone for their efforts."
In a statement, a Baylor spokesperson said: "Baylor University has been focused on seeking the appropriate restorative remedies for survivors who have experienced past events of sexual violence within our campus community. While we can never erase the reprehensible acts of the past, we hope that today's agreement will allow Elizabeth Doe to move forward in a supportive manner.
"Over the past 15 months, Baylor has undertaken significant measures to prevent, manage and respond to the issue of sexual violence within our campus community, as evidenced by the introduction of new leadership under President Linda Livingstone and the structural completion of 105 sweeping recommendations that have impacted the entire University. Our aim is for today's Baylor to be a model institution for responses to sexual assault."
The woman's complaint is the third federal Title IX lawsuit that Baylor officials have settled with women who say they were sexually assaulted while attending the school, and the university reached financial settlements with three other women who said they were raped before complaints were filed.
There are five other pending Title IX lawsuits filed by women who say they were physically or sexually assaulted while attending Baylor, as well as one lawsuit filed by a former female employee who worked in the school's Title IX office.
At the time of the alleged incident, the woman told police she didn't want to pursue charges because she was too drunk to remember exactly what occurred. Police suspended the case after they were unable to retrieve text messages from Chatman and Armstead on her cell phone.
In 2013, the Waco Police Department wrote in an incident report that it had informed Baylor officials about the off-campus incident involving Armstead and Chatman. Waco police also told the alleged victim that they had contacted Baylor, but according to documents and interviews conducted by OTL, Baylor didn't begin looking into the allegations until Sept. 11, 2015.
Armstead was suspended from the football team in the fall of 2015 and expelled from school in February 2016 after a Title IX adjudicator found him responsible for sexually assaulting the woman. His appeal was denied.
Armstead, through his mother and attorney, had declined previous interview requests by OTL, but he has maintained that he never had sex with the woman referenced in the lawsuit. However, Chatman told Baylor Title IX investigators that the two did have sex with her.