The next round in sexual assault is looming for the Baylor University women’s basketball team.
On Tuesday, the school announced a two-year, $4.6 million settlement with former student-athlete Lauren Sesselman, who filed a Title IX complaint against the school after she said she was sexually assaulted at the university.
Sesselmen is a native of the Texas town of Tuscaloosa, where Baylor plays football and basketball.
She left the school and is now a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, where she played basketball and baseball for the Tar Heels from 2013-16.
She was arrested at a checkpoint on Feb. 10, 2016, in North Carolina.
The following day, she was released on a $25,000 bond and has been ordered to participate in an education program that will help her to regain her confidence and self-esteem.
Sonderman has been the target of other campus sexual assault complaints in the past.
In 2015, she said, she attended a party with another student who said she had been raped by another student.
She did not report the incident to authorities.
Two years later, Sesselmann alleged she was raped by an acquaintance at a party.
She said she reported the incident but did not have to file a police report.
In the wake of the sexual assault allegations, Sondermans father, David Sessel, called the university’s handling of the situation “unacceptable” and said he is concerned for his daughter’s safety.
“I just want to know, will my daughter be able to be comfortable in the locker room?” he said.
“Will she be able [to] do the things she wants to do with her teammates?”
“I think the university has to make sure they have procedures in place that make sure that people aren’t abused and that they’re protected from being abused,” he said, noting that the school has also agreed to pay for Sesselmans counseling and supports.
“We’re very concerned for Lauren,” David Sondemps said.
He added that he believes that the settlement is “the right thing to do.”
The NCAA has been investigating Baylor for a decade.
It has opened an investigation into the university for the first time since 2010, after former women’s volleyball player Kayla Quinones alleged she had suffered sexual assault by a former football player, and that the university failed to properly investigate and address the matter.
The university has said it is “reviewing all relevant information.”
In response to Sondernses allegations, Baylor President Gregory Fenves issued a letter to the student body that said he was “committed to ensuring that the safety and well-being of our student-volunteers is paramount to the well- being of the entire university community.”
The letter included an apology for the university and the leadership at the school.
“While I appreciate the concerns of the community regarding our students and the University’s compliance with the Title IX law, I also know that our campus has a history of responding to these allegations in a manner that is consistent with Title IX,” Fenves said in the letter.
“In the past, the University has made significant changes to its campus safety procedures, including the implementation of a campus-wide response plan, and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students, coaches, staff, faculty and students.”
Baylor officials said in a statement that Sesselerman was terminated from her position at Baylor on Feb, 10, 2019.
She will be able resume her sports activities as a student-wrestler, which she began last year.
She has been offered the opportunity to compete in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2020, and she has been given permission to continue playing professionally.
The Baylor women’s gymnastics team has also announced the hiring of former women who were involved in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The team is making a decision on its future on Feb., 20, 2019, but no specific date has been set.