On Thursday, University of Texas at Dallas announced that a certain student will no longer be allowed to attend graduation ceremonies, be admitted to the university's grad school, or even step foot on campus. Although the school didn't name the student, CNN reports that the statement from UT Dallas refers to former Baylor frat president Jacob Anderson, who was accused of raping an unconscious teenager but was given a plea deal that required no jail time.
Bustle has reached out to UT Dallas for clarification on whether the student in question is in fact Anderson, and whether he will still be allowed to receive a degree from the university. A spokesperson for the school told CNN that it can't answer those questions due to federal privacy laws.
"There is nothing more important at UT Dallas than the safety and security of our students," UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson said in the statement, which he posted on Twitter. "Two years ago we admitted a student without knowing their legal history. Based on recent court action and other information over the last several days, that student will not participate in UTD commencement activities, will not attend UT Dallas graduate school and will not be present on campus as a student or as a guest."
Anderson was indicted on four counts of sexual assault after a student at Baylor University, where Anderson used to attend, accused him of violently raping her, choking her, and leaving her unconscious outside after a frat party in 2016. But in a decision that sparked outrage nationwide, the prosecutors and judge in the case approved a plea deal in which Anderson won't serve any time in jail or be required to register as a sex offender. Instead, he'll serve three years probation, attend counseling and pay $400. If he completes his probation as required, his record will be wiped clean, KWKT reports.
Anderson has not publicly addressed the allegations. As part of his plea deal, he pleaded no contest to one count of unlawful restraint, but the sexual assault charges against him were dropped.
The woman who accuses Anderson of raping her delivered an excoriating statement in court to Judge Ralph Strother, who approved the sentence, in which she described her alleged sexual assault in graphic detail, excoriated the McLennan County justice system for letting Anderson free.
"I am devastated by your decision to let my rapist Jacob Walter Anderson go free without any punishment," the woman, who hasn't been publicly identified, said. "Rape is a violent crime that alters the victim’s life and the life of everyone around them forever. He stole many things from me the night he raped me. I will never be the same again. Jacob Anderson will most likely rape again. He is now free to roam society, stalk women and no one will know he is a sex offender."
As The Washington Post noted, this was at least the third time that Strother approved a lenient sentence for an accused rapist in Texas. In 2017, Strother gave no jail time to man who pleaded guilty to raping a former Baylor student in 2013, The Post reports. In 2018, the judge gave a 30-day jail sentence to a man convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, also a former Baylor student, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Strother allowed the man to serve his jail sentence on weekends.