US & Canada

Baylor University sexual assault suspect walks free after plea deal

Jacob Walter Anderson's mugshot Image copyright CBS
Image caption Jacob Walter Anderson was given three years' deferred probation

A woman in Texas says the justice system has failed her after the man she accused of repeatedly raping her avoided prison.

Jacob Walter Anderson, 24, faced charges of sexual assault after allegedly attacking the woman at a fraternity party two years ago.

But after agreeing to a plea deal on a lesser charge, the former Baylor University student was given three years' deferred probation.

The woman said she was "devastated".

"He stole my body, virginity and power over my body and you let him keep it all for eternity," the woman told Judge Ralph Strother in a Waco courtroom after he agreed the deal, NBC News reported.

"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," the woman added, according to a family statement.

"I have to live with the fact that after all these years and everything I have suffered, no justice was achieved."

This is the third time Judge Strother has approved probation for sexual assaults of Baylor students in the last two years, news agency AP says.

However, District Attorney Abel Reyna has defended the deal, which saw four counts of sexual assault dropped in return for a "no contest" plea to unlawful restraint, as achieving "the best result possible with the evidence at hand".

The woman, who has not been named, alleged she was repeatedly raped at a party by Jacob Walter Anderson in February 2016.

She accused him of attacking her after she was given a drink which made her feel ill. He had offered to take her outside for some fresh air, where she alleges he assaulted her until she passed out.

Jacob Walter Anderson, who was president of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, has agreed to get counselling and pay a $400 (£317) fine as part of the deal, which meant he did not admit any guilt to the charge of unlawful restraint but did not offer any defence.

If he had been found guilty of the original charges, he would have faced years in prison and been made to register for life as a sex offender.

Neither Judge Strother nor Jacob Walter Anderson have commented to local media.

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