And folks, mostly white folks, mostly white male folks, say there’s no such thing as white privilege.
Jacob Anderson, the former president of Baylor University’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity, was accused of raping a woman at an off-campus party in 2015. The victim, then a sophomore at Baylor, says she was given a drink at an off-campus frat party and “became very disoriented.” She says she was taken “to a secluded part of the grounds behind a tent in order to get some air, however once away from everyone else attending the party” Jacob Anderson sexually assaulted the woman. She lost consciousness during the rape but awoke all alone a short time later; she returned to the house, found a friend, and went to the hospital.
This past fall, the district attorney’s office offered Anderson, who was originally indicted on four charges of sexual assault, a plea deal for a lesser charge of unlawful restraint, which is a third-degree felony. Anderson pled no contest.
Jacob Anderson will not serve any prison time.
Jacob Anderson will not be required to register as a sex offender.
Jacob Anderson will pay a $400 fine and receive counseling.
If he completes three years on deferred probation, he won’t even have a criminal record.
The victim’s family learned of the plea deal via an email from Hillary Laborde, the assistant district attorney:
“I’ve accepted an offer on Jacob Anderson. It’s for probation on the charge of felony unlawful restraint, not sexual assault—therefore, he will not have to register as a sex offender. I realize this is not the outcome we had hoped for or that I had originally offered, but I tried a very similar case to this one last month, and lost. In light of the similarities between the cases, it’s my opinion it would be worse to try Anderson and lose and have the entire matter wiped from his criminal history than to accept this plea offer.”
It appears that because she lost one case, Hillary Laborde won’t bother with rape cases that are hard; sad, because even if she lost the case Jacob Anderson would have to go to court and defend his indefensible actions, but, because of Laborde, he gets a pass.
Vic Feazell, the former McLennan County District Attorney, who represents the victim’s family:
“As a former DA, I never, ever have seen such a sweetheart deal for a defendant like this. It pays to be rich and white in McLennan County when you’re charged with a crime.”
Well, if you’re a white man charged with a crime, because, as much as it pains me to say this, had Jacob Anderson been black or Hispanic, there would have been a trial; there would have been a guilty verdict; there would have been jail.
But being white, Jacob Anderson, rapist, walks free.