United States district judge Robert L. Pitman has ruled that a lawsuit filed against Baylor involving 10 women will be permitted to proceed in court, according to Paula Lavigne of ESPN.
Attorneys will be allowed to begin the process of requesting records and conducting interviews for the lawsuit originally filed on June 15, 2016. One of the women involved in the lawsuit has alleged she was raped by a Baylor football player, and all but one of the women have alleged that their reports of sexual assault occurred in housing that is owned or operated by the university.
Pitman stated that each woman "has plausibly alleged that Baylor was deliberately indifferent to her report(s) of sexual assault, depriving her of educational opportunities to which she was entitled," according to Lavigne, citing Pitman's 27-page order that was filed Tuesday.
One of the university's previous points of contention was that the women involved in the lawsuit did not notify an "appropriate person" in regards to their claims. Pitman addressed this in his order, stating that the women made their reports to "a Baylor office established by the university specifically to provide services and support to students, such as the Baylor Police Department or the Baylor Counseling Center," deeming these outlets appropriate.
Pitman also ruled that the statute of limitations on the individual cases did not begin until spring of 2016 "when media reports regarding the rampant nature of sexual assault on Baylor's campus first came to light."
Chad Dunn, a Houston lawyer and one of the women's attorneys believes that Pitman's ruling is an important step in the journey towards justice.
"The ruling is (a) great leap forward for each of our 10 clients, and all Baylor victims," Dunn wrote in an email. "Full discovery now starts, and real transparency can come to Baylor."
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