A former fraternity president at Baylor University walked away with a fine and no jail time on Monday morning after he was arrested on accusations of drugging and sexually assaulting a female student in 2016.
Fort Worth, Texas’ Star-Telegram reported on Monday that Jacob Walter Anderson, now 23, was given a $400 fine, a recommended three years’ probation and ongoing psychological, alcohol and substance abuse counseling. The victim, identified as Donna Doe in court records, said Anderson drugged and repeatedly raped her at a fraternity party when she was a 19-year-old sophomore.
“I am devastated by your decision to let my rapist Jacob Walter Anderson go free without any punishment,” Doe said to Texas State District Judge Ralph Strother in court, according to the “Today” show.
The young woman then addressed Anderson directly, telling the former fraternity president he could’ve killed her. Doe originally told police she woke up alone and choking on her own vomit after the alleged rape.
“It must be horrible to be you,” she said, “to know what you did to me, to know you are a rapist, to know that you almost killed me, to know that you ruined my life, stole my virginity and stole many other things from me.”
Anderson was originally indicted on four counts of sexual assault, and faced two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In October, Anderson was offered a controversial plea deal for a lesser charge of unlawful restraint, which he accepted and pleaded no contest. He was expelled from Baylor University after an investigation.
The victim’s attorney, Vic Feazell, told local outlet KWTX, “I never, ever have seen such a sweetheart deal for a defendant like this,” adding, “It pays to be rich and white in McLennan County when you’re charged with a crime.”
“Our entire system failed this young woman,” Feazell added in a statement to the “Today” show. “In 40 years of law practice, I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Assistant District Attorney Hilary LaBorde said in a Monday statement that this verdict was the best outcome given the facts of the case.
“Conflicting evidence and statements exist in this case making the original allegation difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said. “As a prosecutor, my goal is no more victims. I believe that is best accomplished when there is a consequence rather than an acquittal. This offender is now on felony probation and will receive sex offender treatment, a result which was not guaranteed, nor likely, had we gone to trial.”
Doe urged Judge Strother to put Anderson on the sex offender registry in a victim impact statement she wrote earlier in the trial.
“What will they tell the next victim when she questions why she did not know Jacob Anderson was a sex offender?” she wrote.
“How does she think the girls in his current college classes feel knowing they could have been his next victim?” Doe continued. “I am writing this letter to hold the DA accountable to do their job and seek justice. To hold Jacob Anderson accountable for his crimes. He raped me. He almost killed me.”
Baylor University has become somewhat notorious in recent years for a number of sexual assault cases involving students. Last year, a federal lawsuit filed against the school accused the university of fostering sexual violence and using sex to market its football program to players.