Judge Ralph Strother accepted the plea deal Monday morning between McLennan County prosecutors and a former Baylor University student once accused of rape.
24- year- old Jacob Walter Anderson, who was indicted on four counts of sexual assault in connection with a suspected rape in which the victim was left lying outside unconscious, pleaded no contest in October to one count of unlawful restraint.
He was also sentenced to three years unadjudicated probation, meaning it will be wiped from his record, and will also not be required to register as a sex offender.
Baylor University expelled Anderson and kicked Phi Delta Theta off campus after a Title IX hearing on the accusations.
Fox 44’s reporter was in the courtroom and witnesses how aggressive Anderson’s family members got when trying to get in the elevator.
The family members tried to shield Anderson from the reporters getting video of him, they even shoved some of them.
The victim’s attorney Vic Feazell told us back in October of 2018, “The evidence is incredible, he nearly choked her to death, he raped her violently, he left her passed out in her own vomit – the rape exam confirmed rape.”
Feazell was present inside the courthouse and says he was shocked to hear the judge accepted this plea deal.
While he didn’t want to talk on camera, he emailed us that he is disappointed and that the entire justice system failed this young woman.
He added he has never seen anything like this in his 40 years of law practice.
During the hearing the judge said there has been a lot of misinformation out there about this case -fueled by social media frenzy.
Anderson got a $400 fine and three years probation.
Upon hearing this the woman cried and then took a stand to read her statement.
Feazell is a former McLennan County District Attorney Vic Feazell.
He has filed paperwork with the court objecting to the plea bargain.
In it, he says Assistant District Attorney Hilary LaBorde earlier promised not to accept a plea from Anderson.
But then she emailed the victim’s family earlier this month, saying she accepted an offer for probation on the charge of Felony Unlawful Restraint, Not Sexual Assault – which means he will not have to register as a sex offender.
Below is the full statement from the victim as she read it in the courtroom:
” I am devastated by your decision to let my rapist Jacob Walter Anderson go free without any punishment. Rape is a violent crime that alters the victim’s life and the life of everyone around them forever. He stole many things from me the night he raped me. I will never be the same again.
On February 21, 2016 when I was a 19 year old, Sophomore at Baylor University, Jacob Walter Anderson took me to a secluded area behind a tent and proceeded to violently and repeatedly rape me. He repeatedly raped me orally and vaginaly while choking me, gagging me and physically forcing my body into positions so he could continue to rape me.
I had no control over my body and no way to stop him. (please see my original written police statement) When I collapsed on the ground he pulled down his pants and shoved his penis in my mouth and down my throat gagging me. When he forcefully picked me up and shoved me into a wall to rape me vaginally from behind he calmly and coldly said “It’s fine. You’re fine” When I tried to pull up my pants or sit he shoved me to the ground and shoved his penis back down my throat and continued to choke me.
When he forced me up again and started to rape me vaginally again I blacked out permanently. When I was completely unconscious he dumped me face down in the dirt and left me there to die. He had taken what he wanted, had proven his power over my body. He then walked home and went to bed without a second thought to the ravaged, half dead woman he had left behind.
Jacob Anderson will most likely rape again. He is now free to roam society, stalk women and no one will know he is a sex offender. Jacob Anderson and all rapists who get away with their crimes will never be cured, never change. If anything they will be emboldened by their power over women and their ability to escape justice and punishment.
They will think they are invincible and most definitely increase their violent pathological and predatory behavior. Everyone knows Jacob Anderson violently raped me repeatedly and almost killed me. The evidence is overwhelming. Now, I not only have to live with his rape and the repercussions of the rape, I have to live with the knowledge that the Mclennan County justice system is severely broken.
I have to live with the fact that after all these years and everything I have suffered, no justice was achieved. I have to live with the fact that my rapist will go home smiling and happy and laughing at me. He stole my body, virginity and power over my body and you let him keep it for all eternity. Hilary Laborde (where are you Ms. Laborde? Are you here in the courtroom? No?) and you Abel Reyna (where are you? Are you here? No?)
If I had the courage to come back to Waco and face my rapist and testify you could at least have had enough respect for me to show up today. You both will have to live with this decision to let a rapist run free in society without any warning to future victims. I wonder if you will have nightmares every night watching Jacob rape me over and again.
Of my body lying unconscious and alone in the dirt waiting to die. Of my face transforming in your nightmares into someone you love. Your mother, your daughter, your niece, your granddaughter, your best friend, your wife, your girlfriend. Jacob Walter Anderson. It must be horrible to be you. To know what you did to me. To know you are a rapist. To know that you almost killed me. To know that you ruined my life, stole my virginity and stole many other things from me.
I would have loved to have stayed at Baylor. Laughed and made memories with my friends. Learned from my professors. Run in the Baylor line one final time my Senior year and walked in my graduation ceremony in my cap and gown with my family proudly cheering me on. I would love to be living away from home pursuing my career the way I had planned. Not be on medication. Not be getting therapy. Not be in and out of the doctor’s office. Not having nightmares. Not be triggered daily into anxiety. Not be fearful. Not be sad. Not be afraid of every man that looks at me or thinks I’m nice and just wants to meet me and get to know me.
To be happy and carefree and enjoy daily life. I am none of these things, because you raped me and almost killed me and stole them all from me. To the two women who created the petition of outrage over this plea I thank you. To the over 85,000 people around the world who signed the petition to deny this plea I thank you! To all my friends and family, doctor, teachers and lawyers who believed in me and stuck with me over the past three years I thank you. You held me up and kept me strong. To my parents and siblings thank you. I would not be alive without you.
You kept me going when I could no longer handle living. It’s been a very difficult three years. It will continue to be rough for a very long time. I know it has impacted all of you and yet you never left my side. You never stopped loving me. You never stopped protecting me. You never stopped fighting for me and you never left. You never left. Thank you.”
Below is the statement from Hilary LaBorde, Assistant District Attorney for McLennan County:
“As I did when this plea agreement was offered, I believe today’s sentencing by Judge Strother was the best outcome given the facts of this case. Conflicting evidence and statements exist in this case making the original allegation difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. As a prosecutor, my goal is no more victims. I believe that is best accomplished when there is a consequence rather than an acquittal.
This offender is now on felony probation and will receive sex offender treatment, a result which was not guaranteed, nor likely, had we gone to trial. I would also urge those upset about this agreement to consider their source of information. Any lawyer can issue a statement, but taking a statement and proving the truth of its contents beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury, when a complaining witness is subject to cross examination, is a different task entirely.
Given the claims made publicly, I understand why people are upset. However, all of the facts must be considered and there are many facts that the public does not have. In approving this agreement, Judge Strother had access to all the statements that have ever been made by all people involved and agreed that the plea agreement offered was appropriate in this case.”