University of Texas at Dallas senior Jacob Anderson has been banned from the school's campus, university President Richard Benson announced late Wednesday afternoon. Earlier this week, Anderson agreed to a controversial plea deal in McLennan County following allegations that he raped a fellow student while president of a Baylor University fraternity in 2016.
Despite facing up to 20 years each on four counts of sexual assault, prosecutors allowed Anderson to plead no contest to one count of unlawful restraint. The deal requires Anderson to serve three years of deferred-adjudication probation. He will not spend any time in jail, nor will he have to register as a sex offender. Baylor expelled Anderson after a separate investigation.
The woman who accused Anderson said that after she became disoriented while drinking at a frat party, Anderson led her behind a tent and raped her.
“There is nothing more important at UT Dallas than the safety and security of our students,” Benson said in his statement. “Two years ago we admitted a student without knowing their legal history. Based on recent court action and other information over the last several days, that student will not participate in UTD commencement activities, will not attend UT Dallas graduate school and will not be present on campus as a student or as a guest. I am grateful to the UT Dallas students, faculty and other community members who have shared their concerns, disappointment and outrage over this student’s presence on our campus.”
According to media reports, Anderson was listed as a senior finance major in UT-Dallas' student directory.
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Following the announcement of Anderson's plea deal on Monday, a Change.org petition calling for his being kicked out of UT-Dallas quickly picked up steam. By Wednesday morning, more than 20,000 people had signed the petition, leading to an acknowledgement from the school.
"The safety & well-being of our students, faculty & staff are of the utmost importance to the University. While federal laws limit what we can address publicly, we are aware of the online petition & the community’s concern. UTD administration is currently reviewing the situation," the school said.
Speaking publicly about the case for the first time since the announcement of the plea deal, Anderson's attorneys said Wednesday that the account of the alleged assault given by their client's accuser was "riddled with distortions and misrepresentations,” according to The Associated Press. Witnesses saw Anderson and the woman "kissing passionately" at the party, the attorneys said.