Former Frat President Spared Jail Time, Frustrating Activists - NBC 6 South Florida
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Former Frat President Spared Jail Time, Frustrating Activists

"He stole my body, virginity and power over my body and you let him keep it for all eternity"

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    Rape Survivor Advocates Express Frustration in Baylor Case

    Rape survivor advocates expressed disappointment with a plea deal that allowed a former Baylor university student, accused of raping a woman at a fraternity party, to avoid jail time. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018)

    Rape survivor advocates expressed disappointment with a plea deal that allowed a former Baylor university student, accused of raping a woman at a fraternity party, to avoid jail time.

    The McLennan District Attorney is defending his decision to offer the plea bargain saying it was the best possible result with the evidence they had.

    For some, the case brings up the question: What does it take to prosecute these cases?

    Tracking reports of sexual assault is a daily task at the Women’s Center in Fort Worth.

    Students Pay Tribute to New Zealand Shooting Victims With Hakas

    [NATL] Students Pay Tribute to New Zealand Shooting Victims With Hakas

    Two of the students' peers were killed in the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    (Published Monday, March 18, 2019)

    "Our total for 2017 was 830 times we responded to the hospital," said assistant director of research and training services Katharine Collier Esser.

    Esser pointed to a board posted on the wall at the center that resembles a calendar.

    Each square contains a number of times a staff member or volunteer responded to a Tarrant County hospital as rape victims who come forward undergo forensic exams.

    "You can see overall there has been a trend, an increasing trend," she said comparing 2017 numbers to 2018.

    Esser’s advocacy officer was brought to a standstill on Monday.

    "Our reaction actually was shock," she said.

    Shock after a Texas judge signed off on a plea deal where ex-Baylor University fraternity president Jacob Walter Anderson, accused of repeatedly raping a woman at a party, will avoid jail time and will not have to register as a sex offender.

    Anderson agreed to plead no contest to unlawful restraint, agreed to seek counseling and will pay a $400 fine.

    Had Judge Ralph Strother denied the plea deal, Anderson would have faced trial.

    3 Dead in Dutch Tram Shooting; Attacker at Large

    [NATL] 3 Dead in Dutch Tram Shooting; Attacker at Large

    At least three people were killed and nine others injured in a shooting that broke out on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

    (Published Monday, March 18, 2019)

    His victim is said to be outraged, calling McLennan County’s justice system 'broken.'

    "He stole my body, virginity and power over my body and you let him keep it for all eternity," the woman said.

    "It’s shocking to know that somebody who has stuck with and worked with the criminal justice system for two years, who did everything correctly," said Esser. "And that criminal justice did not prevail with offering her that justice she was seeking."

    Suspected Drunken Driver Nearly Drowns in Sinkhole After Crash

    [NY-NATL] Alleged Drunk Woman Crashes Into Fire Hydrant, Nearly Drowns in Sinkhole

    An alleged drunk driver crashes into a fire hydrant, then she nearly drowns when gushing water opens a sinkhole under her car. WESH's Michelle Meredith reports.

    (Published Tuesday, March 19, 2019)

    Esser reflects on the impact the case will have on other victims and stresses the need for more education for authorities tasked with reviewing cases.

    "We have to be talking to judges and prosecutors and police officers about what are the effects, what does [rape] look like," said Esser. "Because there isn’t always cut-and-dry evidence as though if you’re at a robbery case and you can dust for fingerprints."

    Advocates across the nation have expressed concern about what this one high profile case could have on those who have not yet come forward with their truth.

    NYC Students Join Global Strike for Climate Change

    [NATL]NYC Students Join Global Strike for Climate Change

    Middle and high school students joined a global strike in more than 100 countries to call on lawmakers to acknowledge climate change on March 15. Students gathered at Columbia University for a rally organized by the Sunrise Movement aiming to engage young people in climate change action. 

    (Published Friday, March 15, 2019)

    "A lot of time survivors will start to think: maybe nothing’s going to be done, so why would I come forward anyway," said Esser.

    NBC 5 reached out to local prosecutors to speak, in general terms, about what it takes to prosecute rape cases and the challenges that come with the cases.

    Out-going Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said in a statement:

    Global Student Walkout to Demand Action on Climate Change

    [NATL] Global Student Walkout to Demand Action on Climate Change

    Hundreds of thousands of students in more than 100 countries skipped school Friday to demand action on climate change. Kids in more than 1,200 cities across the globe are protesting a failure of governments to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. The “Friday’s for Future” rallies were one of the biggest international climate change actions yet.

    (Published Friday, March 15, 2019)

    "Sexual assault cases can be very difficult to prosecute, however we’ve got to look at each one on a case-by-case basis. We always have the rights of the victim in mind as we try to get justice for them."