Police investigate rape allegation against ex-Baylor player

MGN Online

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas authorities are investigating allegations by a woman who says she was sexually assaulted by former Baylor defensive end and NFL draft prospect Shawn Oakman.

The news comes amid heightened attention to how the university in Waco has handled athletes’ sexual misconduct and rape allegations.

Oakman, who finished his senior season in December, has not been charged with a crime. His agent, Kennard McGuire, told the Associated Press on Thursday he was aware “there appears to be the beginning of an investigation” and that Oakman was “cooperating fully.”

The woman reported the alleged assault happened early Sunday morning, according to a Waco police affidavit. The woman told police she met Oakman at a nightclub and walked with him to his apartment, where she said Oakman forcibly removed her clothing and sexually assaulted her. The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify alleged sexual assault victims.

The woman told police she was able to leave the apartment after she was assaulted. The affidavit says the woman was “treated for her injuries” at a medical center, where a sexual assault examination was performed.

Investigators searched the apartment several hours later and “briefly spoke” with Oakman, who told them he had consensual sex with the woman but denied assaulting her.

Waco police declined to comment on the investigation Friday. The allegations were first reported Thursday by the Waco Herald-Tribune.

Baylor, the largest Baptist university in the country, faces a federal lawsuit and questions over whether it failed to act effectively against football players accused of sexual assault. A former student accused the university of deliberate indifference in its handling of her complaints about one player, Tevin Elliott, who was eventually charged and convicted in 2014 of two counts of sexual assault. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A year later, a jury ruled that another Baylor football player, Sam Ukwuachu, assaulted a former Baylor women’s soccer player; he received a six-month jail sentence.

Officials have declined to address specific allegations, though President and Chancellor Ken Starr has decried the “scourge of sexual violence.” The school recently announced in February a $5 million commitment to improve its response to sexual assault and said it would add another investigator and an administrative assistant to the school’s Title IX office, which enforces compliance with anti-gender discrimination rules and will investigate claims of sexual assault on campus.

Oakman, a Philadelphia native, came to Baylor after being kicked off the football team at Penn State.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Oakman, who was already facing trouble with Penn State coaches, tried to take a sandwich and fruit juice without paying, then grabbed the wrist of a clerk who attempted to stop him.

“I was mad at myself. It was my fault,” Oakman told the newspaper. “I let myself and my family down.”

Oakman had 128 tackles and 17.5 sacks in three years at Baylor. He was suspended for the 2015 season opener for an unspecified rules violation, but told the newspaper in January he had matured and was ready for the NFL.

A football team spokesman referred a request for comment to a university spokeswoman. Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman offered a one-sentence statement: “We will cooperate fully with any investigation.”

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