The former Baylor University fraternity president accused of sexual assault was banned from the University of Texas at Dallas campus, where he is currently a student, after an online petition asking for his removal received more than 28,000 signatures.
The move comes after Jacob Anderson avoided jail time and being placed on the sex offender registry after a judge accepted his plea of no contest to a lesser charge.
Anderson was accused of raping a 19-year-old female student at a Phi Delta Theta party in 2016. Anderson was expelled from Baylor and was indicted on four counts of sexual assault.
On Dec. 10, he pleaded no contest to a third-degree felony charge of unlawful restraint. State District Judge Ralph Strother sentenced Anderson to three years of deferred probation, a $400 fine, and counseling. He will not have to register as a sex offender.
Following the acceptance of the plea agreement, an online petition to remove him from the UT Dallas campus received more than 28,000 signatures. Anderson is listed as a senior, finance major in the school’s online student directory.
“The students at UT Dallas have a right to feel safe on their campus,” the petition’s description reads. “Anderson submitted a plea of no contest and was sentenced to deferred probation, and will not be made to register as a sex offender. That being the case, the school has a responsibility to ensure that their decision to admit Anderson was fully informed.”
On Wednesday evening, UT Dallas president Richard C. Benson issued a statement saying, without naming Anderson, that officials were unaware of his “legal history.”
“Based on recent court action and other information over the last several days, that student will not participate in UTD commencement activities, will not attend UT Dallas graduate school, and will not be present on campus as a student or as a guest,” the statement reads.
Benson went on to thank students and faculty who “shared their concerns, disappointment, and outrage over this student’s presence on our campus.”
Benson added that if the student completes the requirements of his major, he will earn a degree.
Tim Moore, an attorney for Anderson told the Waco Tribune-Herald earlier in the day that his client will receive his diploma, adding that Anderson had already started taking graduate classes at UT Dallas.
“He is not real happy about being banned from the school,” Moore told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “He is going to graduate, but not be in the ceremony. This all just came out of left field. He is very disappointed. He was happy at the school and doing well and looking forward to getting his graduate degree. Now that is put on hold. It is an absolutely overblown frenzy.”
Moore did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.