Sex scandals continue to plague Liberty University, the Christian school founded by the late Jerry Falwell and more recently overseen by his son, Jerry Falwall, Jr., until his removal from day-to-day management responsibilities. Falwell Junior himself was involved in a financial and sex scandal that involved his wife and a gay Miami Beach “cabana boy.”
The recent round of allegations of sexual misconduct at Liberty University involves at least 12 women who claim they have been sexually assaulted or raped at the school. The women include both former employees as well as students of the school.
One of the female complainants raising issues of sexual misconduct is a girl of 15. The girl reported that she was sexually assaulted at a Liberty University camp. The aftermath of the sexual assault was horrific, according to the 15-year-old:
The girl reported to Liberty University officials that she was sexually assaulted by a young man associated with the school during her time at the University camp.
When she appropriately lodged the sexual assault, Liberty University police blamed her for violating something called the “Liberty Way.”
After making the accusation that the girl violated the Liberty Way, police officers for the school forced the girl to undress and then forced her to spread her “butt cheeks.”
The teenager was then forced to submit to an interrogation herself. The interrogation lasted for eight hours, during which time she was not provided with water or food. When that concluded, she was forced to ride in a car with her assailant.
The school failed to investigate properly her report. Liberty University ultimately threatened to have the teenager charged with filing a false report, when in fact her allegations were truthful.
The man alleged to have committed a sexual assault against the girl was a man named Jesse Matthew, Jr. Ultimately, following the sexual assault the of the teenage girl Matthew went on to murder two Liberty University students. Charges against Matthew for murder were lodged about two years following the assault on the 15-year-old girl.
Following this horrific situation with the 15-year-old girl attending a Liberty University camp, multiple other women – students and employees alike – came forward to detail being subjected to sexual assault and rape. These victimized women made it clear that the university not only failed to undertake suitable investigations of this potentially criminal misconduct but engaged in retaliation against women with credible claims of sexual victimization (again, including rape).
This retaliation included threatening victims with honor code violations. As was the case with the teenager sexually assaulted at the Liberty University camp, these other women (students and employees alike) were told that their complaints about being sexually abused and even raped represented conduct that was “against the Liberty Way.” In other words, seeking justice for being the victim of sexual abuse is “against the Liberty Way.” On the other hand, perpetrating sexual assaults and rape within the confines of the university setting is not “against the Liberty Way.”
While it is true that incidents of sexual assault and rape did occur during the prolonged tenure of disgraced former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., these types of misconduct have also occurred under the “new” university leadership. In other words, what appears to be a pattern and practice of enabling sexual exploitation, sexual assault, and even rape is a persistent and pervasive issue at the institution.
If you are a student who has been sexually assaulted in a college or university setting, The Doan Law Firm sexual assault lawyer team is available to you. Our experience, compassionate legal team can be reached any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000. A nationwide law firm, we can schedule an initial consultation with a sexual assault lawyer at any one of our 40 offices, located from coast to coast in the United States. We can also arrange a personal consultation and case evaluation for you virtually and online as well. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm personal injury lawyer.
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