Baylor Ordered to Hand Over Details in Pepper Hamilton Report to Defense

Posted by    |    August 11th, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Information could eventually become public, if case goes to trial.

A Federal Judge ruled Friday afternoon that Baylor University must turn over the majority of information gleaned from the Pepper-Hamilton investigation into charges of widespread mishandling of sexual assault allegations made against Baylor football players and other students.

Recordings and notes will be turned over to defense attorney Jim Dunnam, who is representing 10 anonymous women who say there were raped while at Baylor. The University had fought to keep the information secret, claiming that the documents were privileged information concerning legal work Pepper Hamilton was doing for the small, private Baptist school. The Judge ruled that Baylor could not make the case of privilege since portions of the report have been made public.

District Judge Robert Pitman said information produced as a result of his order “shall be subject to protective orders already entered in this case when applicable.” Certain logs produced, he wrote, will be considered “classified.”

Pepper Hamilton was brought in by the University in 2015, after Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu, had been accused of raping another student. Once Pepper Hamilton’s investigation was complete, Baylor released a 13-page document listing the findings, plus a list of recommendations for how to improve its processes. That release, the judge ruled, waived Baylor’s attorney-client privilege.

The judge did rule that any documents that could be construed as analysis of the situation, or giving advice to the Baylor administration would remain privileged.

The University has spent the last two years fighting tooth and nail to keep any details of the alleged assaults and their cover up from reaching the public. They have fought so hard that even interim President David Garland admitted in a deposition that he was not aware of why the school was investigated for its institutional responses to sexual violence, nor was he curious to learn. He also admitted to not knowing how much money Baylor paid fired football coach Art Briles in their settlement agreement.

“It was troubling to me that (Garland) was willfully ignorant,” said Dunnam, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of 10 alleged sexual assault victims, in an interview Thursday. “Not only did he not know, he didn’t care to know, made no effort to know, didn’t want to know. That’s disturbing, particularly when you have a university that claims it takes these matters seriously.”

Should the victims not settle and take the case to trial it is likely that the details turned over to the defense will become public.