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Home » Criminal Law » Baylor President’s Job On the Line Following Sex Scandal

Baylor President’s Job On the Line Following Sex Scandal

Kenneth Starr makes an "okay" hand gesture while a girl is held with a hand over her mouth behind himKenneth Starr, Baylor University’s president and chancellor, found himself in a sweaty situation Tuesday after several media outlets reported he’d been fired for involvement in sex scandal cover-ups.

The University’s administration, under Starr’s leadership, allegedly neglected to address multiple reports of sexual assault over the course of eight years (2009-2016). An internal investigation, headed by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, launched in September of 2015 and is still in progress.

The new reports came from unnamed sources and claimed that Baylor University’s Board of Regents recently voted in favor of Kenneth Starr’s termination.

At first, Baylor declined to comment on these claims. The Board of Regents eventually released the following statement on Tuesday:

“The Baylor Board of Regents continues its work to review the findings of the Pepper Hamilton investigation, and we anticipate further communication will come after the Board completes its deliberations.

We will not respond to rumors, speculation, or reports based on unnamed sources. But when official news is available, the University will provide it. We expect an announcement by June 3.”

Starr himself, however, has remained silent.

It started with an underdog story:

Baylor is the biggest Baptist university in the United States. Texas is proud of it, not just for that reason, but also for the school’s recent rise to fame on the football field.

For those of us who aren’t football fans, Baylor’s team competes in the Big 12 — an NCAA Division I conference in which ten universities compete. And yes, in spite of the misleading name, ten is the correct number. Five states are represented: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and West Virginia.

Before Kenneth Starr became president of Baylor University in 2010, the school’s football team was pretty notorious, for sucking. Starr immediately found himself under pressure to address this problem, and within two weeks of his inauguration, he did.

What followed was an aggressive underdog story for the Baylor Bears: under the management of Coach Art Briles, the football team rose through the competitive ranks, resulting in a newfound authority. They won a major tournament in 2013 and consistently made it to the finals of several others.

When Kenneth Starr’s efforts started yielding results, the Baylor president enjoyed heaps of flattering attention. He was running on the field before home games and everything. The Big 12 Conference even started seeking his advice on expansion considerations. In 2014, Baylor was thanking him for making it possible to build a cool, progressive-looking stadium.

He was the man.

Or maybe not.

Shit hit the fan, so to speak, in 2015. Because while Kenneth Starr and his pals were pleasuring each others’ egos over their newly successful football team, some members of that team were sexually assaulting people… and largely getting away with it.

Starr’s good image started crumbling with the media turned its spotlight on Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu. He was charged with assaulting another student, who once played for Baylor’s soccer team. On its own, the case wasn’t terribly damning for anyone besides Ukwuachu, but the attention it garnered resulted in an unexpected surge of related reports.

The press discovered Tevon Elliot, another former Baylor football player charged with sexual assault in 2014. His victim, Jasmin Hernandez, claimed that Baylor University consistently neglected to heed her allegations against Tevon Elliot, which in turn obstructed a reasonable pursuit of justice.

Hernandez wasn’t alone. Other apparent victims got brave, raising accusations against even more Baylor football players, as well as other students. Starr’s administration found itself in quite a mess. The school hired Pepper Hamilton to conduct an internal review. And if Kenneth Starr wasn’t sweating then, he probably was in February when 200+ students, alumni, and faculty organized a candlelight vigil in front of his house.

If he was hoping March would be better, he was wrong. Jasmin Hernandez filed another lawsuit, targeting the Board of Regents and athletic department. The documents allege that her mother’s attempts to communicate with Baylor University’s mental health services were ignored, and that the school’s representatives were “deliberately indifferent” to Hernandez’s reports of sexual misconduct.

All of this led up to Baylor University’s Board of Regent’s private meeting, held in early May. Pepper Hamilton gave the Board a presentation on the results of their investigation. Of course, their findings are not yet available for public access.

The scrapheap for Starr?

Although Baylor University refuses to say “yay” or “nay” in regards to Kenneth Starr’s reported termination, that stance itself is a quiet indication. Since the investigation began, suspicion has gradually shifted from Coach Art Briles and the athletic department to President Kenneth Starr. Something is going to happen — the victims, the media, and the public demand a tangible response. If Baylor plans on throwing anybody under the bus, odds are we’ve already know who it is. Those unnamed sources told us, remember?

If nothing else, this whole fiasco demonstrates with painful vividness how important legal representation is in our nation’s system of law. At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience guiding clients through the American labyrinth of legislation, and our track record speaks for itself.

Whether you’re taking legal action or defending against it, the first step is always to seek a lawyer you can trust. Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation, and meet with a skilled Nashville lawyer who’s ready and waiting to guide you toward the justice you deserve.

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