A Baylor University football player has been declared guilty of sexually abusing a former soccer player at the Baptist university. Sam Ukwuachu faces up to 20 years in prison for the conviction, but many have criticized Baylor for mishandling the case.
According to CNN, the victimized student immediately reported the incident to Baylor administration, but the university dismissed the case on lack of evidence. She also went to police, who used a rape kit, finding bruising and signs of struggle indicative of sexual assault.
Critics argue that Baylor’s investigation should have been more thorough; Ukwuachu’s defense attorney was not permitted to use the university’s investigation during legal proceedings.
Following the convictions, Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman said the university is committed to “maintaining a safe and caring community.”
“Acts of sexual violence contradict every value Baylor University upholds as a caring Christian community. In recent years we have joined university efforts nationally to prevent campus violence against women and sexual assault, to actively support survivors of sexual assault with compassion and care, and to take action against perpetrators,” Fogleman said.
Getreligion.org columnist and Baylor alumnus Terry Mattingly pointed out that the media has not been quick to point out Baylor’s association with the Baptist Church, though it is the largest Baptist university in the world.
Mattingly said some Christian details of the assault have been glazed over altogether, including Ukwuachu’s alleged mission trip to Zambia before the rape and the fact that Ukwuachu met the victim in a Bible class.
Mattingly wrote, “...the larger truth here is that all schools tend to hide their sins, especially when sports and big money are involved.”
Publication date: August 25, 2015