The former Phi Delta Theta fraternity president at Baylor University accused of raping a 19-year-old woman during a frat party in 2016 will get no jail time and will not have to register as a sex offender as part of his plea deal.
State District Judge Ralph Strother approved the deal for Jacob Walter Anderson, which also includes a $400 fine.
Anderson, 23, of Garland, was accused of raping a 19-year-old student, referred to as Donna Doe in court documents, at a Phi Delta Theta party in 2016. He was arrested, expelled from the university and, in June 2018, indicted on four counts of sexual assault.
On Oct. 15, Anderson was offered a deal that would result in probation and counseling but no jail time, sparking declarations of outrage and protests in the community.
Under the deal, Anderson agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of felony restraint. In exchange, the district attorney’s office agreed to dismiss the four sexual assault charges he was indicted on. The deal includes a recommended three years of deferred adjudication probation, a $400 fine and psychological, alcohol and substance abuse counseling for Anderson, according to a representative with the McLennan County district attorney’s office.
Prosecutor Hilary LaBorde said in a statement that Judge Strother’s sentence was appropriate given the facts of the case:
“Conflicting evidence and statements exist in this case making the original allegation difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” the statement read. “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.”
But many were outraged by the outcome, including Doe, her attorney and her family.
Attorney Vic Feazell said the agreement was “a sweetheart of a deal” and that in all his years as an attorney and district attorney, he had “never seen anything like this”, adding: “It stinks to high hell.”
In her statement, Doe stressed her concern that if Anderson did not have to register as a sex offender, he may assault another woman.
“What will they tell the next victim when she questions why she did not know Jacob Anderson was a sex offender? How does she think the girls in his current College classes feel knowing they could have been his next victim?” she wrote in her impact statement. “I am writing this letter to hold the DA accountable to do their job and seek justice. To hold Jacob Anderson accountable for his crimes. He raped me. He almost killed me.”