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Former Baylor tennis player named as suspect in alleged sexual assault

Former Baylor tennis player named as suspect in alleged sexual assault

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A former Baylor University men’s tennis player is named as the lone suspect in a sexual assault case that has been active for more than eight months, Waco police records show.

Police responded to a call placed Aug. 29 of last year about an incident that occurred in a South Waco home, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. He would not comment further, saying the case is still active.

Swanton said police are “very, very cautious” in protecting sexual assault victims.

The Tribune-Herald is not naming the suspect because he has not been arrested. Records show the alleged incident occurred Aug. 28 of last year sometime between 12:55 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The player, who was a member of the tennis team when the alleged incident was reported to police, did not compete in fall 2015 or spring matches this year, but was named to the Baylor Dean’s List and Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll in the fall. He is no longer on the roster or an active Baylor student.

Baylor spokeswoman Tonya Lewis said the suspect attended Baylor from fall 2013 through fall 2015. She would not clarify whether he was expelled, suspended or voluntarily left the university, citing federal privacy laws.

Athletics Director Ian McCaw deferred all questions to Lewis, and calls and emails placed to Executive Associate Athletics Director Nick Joos and Assistant Director of Athletics Communications Sean Doerre were not returned.

Men’s tennis head coach Matt Knoll also declined comment.

The suspect played on the tennis team for his freshman and sophomore years in both singles and doubles matches.

He is the sixth Baylor athlete who is known to be accused of sexual assault since 2012.

Former football player Tevin Elliott was convicted of sexual assault in 2014 and sentenced to a 20-year prison term. Three other women testified at Elliott’s trial that he also raped them, while a fourth was prepared to testify.

Jasmin Hernandez, who twice was sexually assaulted by Elliott at an off-campus party and gave the Tribune-Herald permission to use her name, has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the school, alleging officials knew of previous allegations against Elliott and failed to take proper action.

In 2015, former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexual assault in a 2013 incident. After being kicked off the team at Boise State University, he arrived at Baylor in 2013.

An ESPN report in April claimed Baylor waited nearly a year and a half before taking action against former football players Tre’Von Armstead and Myke Chatman, who were named in an April 2013 incident report involving sexual assault, but were not charged. Armstead was dismissed from the football program in September 2015 and expelled in February. Chatman transferred to Sam Houston State University. Though Armstead and Chatman were not charged in the alleged incident, the Tribune-Herald is using their names because they were identified in the initial ESPN report, which was widely circulated by many media outlets.

Former football player Shawn Oakman was arrested April 13 on sexual assault charges stemming from an April 3 incident.

Oakman also was named in a January 2013 report alleging physical violence against an ex-girlfriend. He was previously kicked off the team at Penn State University after being accused of physically assaulting a female cashier at a campus store.

Since September, Philadelphia-based law firm Pepper Hamilton LLC has been investigating how Baylor handles sexual assault allegations. President Ken Starr has said he will best determine how to share the firm’s recommendations.

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