The former Baylor University fraternity president accused of raping a 19-year-old girl has been dismissed from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Jacob Anderson, who this week accepted a plea deal for a lesser charge and avoided any jail time in the controversial rape case, had been studying at UT Dallas for two years after being expelled from Baylor.
“There is nothing more important at UT Dallas than the safety and security of our students,” UT Dallas President Richard Benson said in a statement posted to the school’s social media accounts. “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.”
The UT Dallas directory showed Anderson as a senior studying finance in the School of Management.
Despite not being able to participate in commencement or graduate school, WFAA was told that he will still receive a degree.
Anderson's online profile for BDRC Partners, where he works as a Project Coordinator, states he's also in the process of attaining a real estate license.
Earlier Wednesday, a petition calling for Anderson’s removal from UTD gained a head of steam online. It had over 20,000 signatures by the time his dismissal was announced.
“Universities claim they take the safety of the student body very seriously,” the petition reads. “If that is true, universities have a responsibility to keep potential predators off campus.”
Kelsey Casto, a 31-year-old Psychology major and senior at UT Dallas, started the petition.
She read that Anderson was now attending UT Dallas in a report from the Waco Tribune-Herald following the controversial moment in court.
"There was a blurb at the bottom that said he was a student at UT Dallas," Casto said. "The more time myself and other students talked about it, the more we felt that this is not right."
Casto said that the online petition received dozens of comments from future UTD parents and survivors of sexual assault.
"Reading some of the signatures was unreal," Casto said. "There's just a vast number of people this resonated with."
As far as the university's response, Casto said she's pleased.
"It could not have been better. They didn't pacify us. They listened and they took action, and we really couldn't have asked for anything more."
UTD acknowledged the petition in a Wednesday morning tweet and said it was reviewing the case.
In exchange for being charged with rape, Anderson pleaded no contest to unlawful restraint. Under the plea deal, Anderson received three years probation, a $400 fine and he will have to attend mandatory counseling. He will not be required to register as a sex offender or serve any jail time.
The decision, made by Judge Ralph Strother in a Waco court, sparked outrage.
Anderson’s attorneys spoke publicly about the case for the first time on Wednesday, claiming his accuser’s statements in court were “riddled with distortions and misrepresentations,” according to the Associated Press.
Anderson sent an e-mail to WFAA Wednesday night referring staff to his attorneys for comment and reaction regarding his dismissal.
WFAA is still waiting for those attorneys to respond.