Lawyers who recommended Starr’s ouster at Baylor are former Philadelphia sex-crimes prosecutors


by Craig R. McCoy and Chris Mondics, STAFF WRITERS

The two Philadelphia lawyers whose investigation led to the ouster of former independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr as president of Baylor University are former veteran sex-crimes prosecutors who have built a practice helping institutions respond to allegations of sexual abuse.

After a 10-month probe and 65 interviews, Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie Gomez produced a damning report that said the university did not take seriously the complaints of women who had been assaulted by university football players – and even actively discouraged victims from filing complaints.

Their investigation led the Texas university on Thursday to demote Starr, whose investigation of President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment in 1998. Baylor also fired the school football coach and suspended its athletic director.

Smith and Gomez declined comment but issued a statement saying they were hopeful that their work would spur further reform at Baylor.

“We are deeply committed to improving campus policies and practices nationally, and have devoted our careers to confronting sexual and interpersonal violence,” they said.

Smith, 55, and Gomez, 45, have been working together since their days in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Smith, a graduate of Temple law school, joined that office in 1986. Gomez, a Yale law school graduate, joined in 1994.

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