Former Baylor frat president who was accused of assault is barred from commencement

“Two years ago we admitted a student without knowing their legal history," the president of the University of Texas at Dallas said in a statement.
Image: Jacob Anderson
Former Baylor University fraternity president Jacob Anderson walks out of the courtroom in Waco, Texas on December 10, 2018.Jerry Larson / Waco Tribune-Herald via AP

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By David K. Li

A former Baylor University fraternity president, who received no jail time in a controversial sex-assault plea bargain, is being barred from grad ceremonies at his current school, the University of Texas at Dallas, officials said Wednesday.

The president of the university in Dallas said administrators there had no idea, until this week, that Jacob Walter Anderson, now 23, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at frat party at Baylor in Waco, Texas, in February 2016.

“There is nothing more important at UT Dallas than the safety and security of our students,” university President Richard Benson said in statement released by the school. “Two years ago we admitted a student without knowing their legal history."

After the Baylor case made headlines on Monday, students and victims' advocates called for UT Dallas to remove Anderson, who was set to graduate next week, from campus. A MoveOn petition had gained more than 23,000 supporters by early Wednesday night.

He was still listed in UT Dallas' student directory on Wednesday night, as a senior finance major in the School of Management.

But the president in his statement said, “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."

"I am grateful to the UT Dallas students, faculty and other community members who have shared their concerns, disappointment and outrage over this student’s presence on our campus,” he said.

Former Baylor University fraternity president Jacob Anderson, from left, prepares to exit the courtroom in Waco, Texas on December 10, 2018.Jerry Larson / Waco Tribune Herald via AP

Anderson was allowed to plead no contest to a charge of unlawful restraint in a deal that dismissed four counts of sexual assault.

The victim in a public statement in court Monday told the judge how the alleged assault and the plea deal affected her.

"I am devastated by your decision to let my rapist Jacob Walter Anderson go free without any punishment," the woman said. "He stole my body, virginity and power over my body and you let him keep it all for eternity."

Anderson will serve three years probation but won't have to register as a sex offender.