According to The Zalkin Law Firm, the attorneys representing Jasmin Henandez who was raped by former Baylor football player and East Texas native, Tevin Elliott, former Baylor head football coach Art Briles did not show up for mediation between Hernandez and Baylor after his lawyer promised he would be there to personally apologize to the victim.
Late last year, Baylor commissioned Pepper Hamilton, a Philadelphia law firm, to conduct a complete investigation of Baylor’s history of handling sexual assault claims. Following that investigation, Pepper Hamilton provided the Baylor University Board of Regents with a scathing account of Baylor’s indifference, lack of diligence and lack of response to sexual assault of female students resulting in a culture of discrimination against women. In particular, the Pepper Hamilton “Findings of Fact” was highly critical of the level of sexual assaults within the football program that were ignored or poorly investigated.
On March 30, 2016, Hernandez filed her lawsuit against Baylor, Briles and former Athletic Director Ian McCaw. Baylor and Ms. Hernandez agreed to attempt to resolve their differences through mediation. During the week of June 13, 2016, Hernandez’s local Texas attorney Susan Hutchison was contacted by Briles’ lawyer, Ernest Cannon, indicating that Briles was going to file a motion with the court to stop the mediation. Later, he called and informed Hutchison that Briles planned to appear at the mediation and intended to apologize to Hernandez and try to be helpful to her.
On June 16, 2016, Briles’ attorney filed an emergency motion with the federal court in Hernandez’s case, claiming attorneys for Baylor interviewed and obtained information from Briles under the disguise they were acting as his lawyers, when, in fact, they were representing Baylor and not him. Instead they used this information to support suspension and termination of Briles. Briles argued that Baylor’s lawyers were not acting as his lawyers when they obtained that information and that Baylor and its lawyers had a conflict of interest and should be sanctioned.
Unexpectedly, Hernandez’s legal team says Briles reached a resolution of his contract dispute with Baylor and did not show up to the Hernandez/Baylor mediation.
“We were shocked when Briles didn’t show to the mediation after promising to come and support Jasmin and her family, until we heard on the news that he had settled with Baylor,” Hutchinson said.
Alex Zalkin, of The Zalkin Law Firm, another of Hernandez’s lawyers stated, “Our client was heartened to know that Briles was going to apologize to her and would be supportive. His failure to show up adds insult to injury and left her feeling even more betrayed.”
Baylor and Hernandez did not resolve the matter.