Former Regent's Comments About Female Students Bring More Attention To Baylor Sex Assault Cases

Jul 3, 2017

From Texas Standard:

Some eyebrow-raising comments made in 2009 by a then-member of the Baylor University Board of Regents made headlines in Texas this weekend.

 

In emails to a faculty adviser, then-Regent Neal "Buddy" Jones, referred to a group of female students he suspected of drinking alcohol as "perverted little tarts," "very bad apples" and "the vilest, most despicable of girls."

The news comes as the university faces ongoing litigation over a sexual assault scandal that rocked the Baylor community.Phillip Erickson, a higher-education reporter for the Waco Tribune, first reported the news. He says the emails from Jones surfaced as part of a Title IX lawsuit against the university. 

“The emails were submitted in an effort to show that, from the highest levels of Baylor, even at the Board of Regents, there was a bad view of alcohol," Erickson says.

"Obviously, Baylor is a Baptist university but this regent claimed to have photos of certain sorority members who he believed to be drinking alcohol," he says.

Erickson says the emails were included in the lawsuit to illustrate a culture of victim-blaming. Findings of fact have shown that restrictive alcohol policies at Baylor deterred women from reporting sexual assaults.

After the emails came to light, Jones, an Austin lobbyist and Baylor regent from 2009 to 2013, released a statement saying he regretted the comments, made almost a decade ago.

"They were written in a moment of anger and emotion," he said. 

"Anyone who has followed Baylor over the years knows that … this might not be totally surprising to hear from him," Erickson says.

Erickson says Jones’ comments did not appear to be connected to any of the lawsuits against Baylor.

Baylor faces six Title IX lawsuits, along with investigations by the Texas Rangers, the NCAA and Big 12 athletic conference.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.

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