A former Phi Delta Theta president at Baylor University allegedly drugged a 19-year-old woman and raped her outside a party. But he won’t serve any jail time, a Texas judge ruled Monday.
Jacob Walter Anderson faced up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for four counts of sexual assault related to an incident that occurred at a frat party in February 2016. On Monday, however, Judge Ralph Strother accepted a plea of “no contest” from Anderson to avoid serving any jail time. He also won’t have to register as a sex offender. He's only getting deferred probation and a $400 fine.
"I am devastated by your decision to let my rapist Jacob Walter Anderson go free without any punishment," the woman said while addressing Judge Ralph Strother on Monday in a Waco, Texas, courtroom. “He stole my body, virginity, and power over my body and you let him keep it all for eternity.”
According to court records, the woman regained consciousness shortly afterward in the same area where she was allegedly assaulted and went inside the party to find a friend who took her to the hospital. She then underwent a sexual-assault medical exam at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, and hospital officials notified Waco police of the alleged assault, according to the Waco-Tribune Herald.
After the criminal charges surfaced, Phi Delta Theta removed Anderson from the organization, and Baylor expelled him and suspended the fraternity’s operations to investigate underage drinking and assault.
As the charges against Anderson worked their way through the system, Baylor was working to settle a 2016 lawsuit which alleged the school mishandled a female student’s complaint that 8 football players gang raped her in 2012. The settlement ultimately led to the departure of several school leaders, according to the Waco-Tribune.
Anderson joins a string of successful or well-connected male college students who have avoided serious jail or prison time for rape charges.
Most infamously, former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner served just three months of his six-month sentence after being found guilty for multiple counts of rape. Stephen Dalton Baril, a former University of Virginia student, also didn’t serve any prison time for the accused rape of a student in 2018, after his initial charges were reduced.
Cover image: Photo courtesy of Waco Police Department