Ex-TX Frat President’s Lawyers Defend Plea Bargain

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Attorneys for former Baylor University fraternity president Jacob Anderson came out swinging in response to an uproar over Anderson’s plea bargain, as supporters of his accuser criticized the judge and prosecutor and started a petition to remove Anderson from a Dallas college a week before he graduates, reports the Waco Tribune-Herald. Anderson, 23, was placed on deferred probation for three years Monday after Judge Ralph Strother approved a plea agreement in which prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges in exchange for Anderson’s no-contest plea. He will serve no jail time and won’t be required to register as a sex offender. His lawyers said the woman’s victim-impact statement was “riddled with distortions and misrepresentations.” They said it omitted “passionate kissing, groping and grinding by this girl and Mr. Anderson that occurred in front of more than 100 people at this party.” The woman’s claims that she was choked is “absolutely contrary” to the physical evidence and her statements to police and medical personnel that night, they said.

Strother, a former hard-nosed prosecutor known for his law-and-order conservatism, accepted the plea bargain in spite of the victim’s impassioned pleas that he reject it so she could have her day in court. She angrily recounted, often in graphic detail, her claims that Anderson raped her, choked her and left her unconscious at an off-campus fraternity party in 2016. Kelsey Casto, a 31-year-old senior at the University of Texas at Dallas, said she learned Anderson is attending the same college by reading a new account of the sentencing hearing. She posted a petition on MoveOn.org that asks university officials to ban Anderson from campus. Anderson, who works for a Dallas real estate development company, is slated to graduate next week with a finance degree. The petition got more than 1,500 signatures within 12 hours.

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