12 women sue several plaintiffs against Liberty University for “authorizing rape on campus”; LU publishes a statement

UPDATE 4:25 p.m .: WFXR News has received an official statement from Liberty University regarding the filing of a lawsuit against several plaintiffs of 12 women alleging that the university creates an environment that increases the likelihood of sexual assault.

“The allegations in the Jane Doe 1-12 v. Liberty University are deeply disturbing, if they turn out to be true. Many of the claims are the opposite of how the University‘s policies and procedures have been designed to work over the years. Liberty has invested heavily in programs and staff
to help maintain a safe campus and to support all victims of sexual assault who have come forward. Liberty has a strong non-discrimination policy, which includes an amnesty policy to encourage victims to report without fear that their involvement in other activities such as alcohol consumption or extramarital sex will be penalized under the code. of honor of the students. This policy includes a fair process for resolving disputes regarding rape, sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation, as well as the provision of supports where appropriate. It would be heartbreaking if these efforts had the results claimed in this lawsuit.
We will immediately examine each of these statements to determine what needs to be done to make matters better, if they turn out to be true. Because the claims are made anonymously and go back several years, in one case more than two decades, it will take some time to sort them out. “

Liberty University statement regarding Jane Does trial

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – A total of 12 women from across the country have filed a multi-plaintiff lawsuit against Liberty University, accusing the university of creating a dangerous campus environment that increases the likelihood of sexual assault and rape.

According to the lawsuit – which was filed on Tuesday, July 20 against Liberty University, Inc. in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of 12 Jane Does – the university created a dangerous campus environment in three ways. following:

  • The creation and militarization of “the road to freedom”, a code of student honor that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for students to report sexual violence.
  • Promotion of a widely observed policy that condones sexual violence, especially by male student-athletes.
  • The public and the repeated reprisals against women who have reported being victims of sexual violence.

Here is an excerpt from Liberty Way on dealing with sexual harassment, discrimination and assault:

Liberty University is committed to providing students and employees with an environment free from all forms of gender discrimination, which may include acts of sexual violence, sexual misconduct, and disrespect for one another. Non-consensual sex, non-consensual sexual touching, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and harassment are all prohibited at Liberty University. All members of the Liberty community should treat each one with a spirit of Christian love, mutual respect, and individual dignity.

The university offers educational and spiritual programming to promote our commitment to the biblical principles of abstinence and purity. Our programming also promotes awareness of any type of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:
• Sexual harassment; sexual exploitation
• Non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to commit it)
• Non-consensual sex (or attempts to commit it)

Other misconduct offenses, when based on sex or gender, include, but are not limited to:
• Bullying
• Domestic violence
• Domestic violence
• Stalking

The way to freedom

In addition, the Liberty Way prohibits any type of consensual sexual behavior between single students, which means “inappropriate personal contact, visiting alone with the opposite sex in an off-campus residence; entering the hallway of the residence, quad or apartment on campus of the opposite sex or allowing the same sex, or visiting an accommodation or residence with a member of the opposite sex in inappropriate circumstances ”, is considered a violation .

The Honor Code also describes a points system used to address these and other discipline issues, ranging from small fines and hours of community service to potential expulsion.

You can read the full university code of conduct below:

The lawsuit also describes an “unspoken policy of willful indifference,” claiming that several witnesses who worked in the Office of Student Conduct alleged that the university’s policy of weighting investigations in favor of the accused male students had reached the point of point where refusals from male students were regularly accepted. on the allegations of the female victims, even when they had pictures of bruises or text messages of the accused confessing to the assault.

In addition, according to court documents, several witnesses – including some of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit – say Liberty University has taken action to punish women who have reported sexual violence.

For example, the lawsuit says some women were discouraged from reporting because they would be punished for breaking the Liberty Way.

On top of that, some women who participated in the Title IX process or called the campus police were “subjected to humiliating ‘investigations’ that applied a standard of negative consent (i.e. a woman was presumed to have consented to sex unless she could prove that she had resisted his assault) ”, or they were fined and“ points ”under the Liberty Way, according to the lawsuit .

Ultimately, the documents indicate that the experiences of these victims became public, discouraging future victims from reporting their assaults.

The trial continues by providing each of Jane Does’s 12 assault experiences to college. You can read each testimony in the full lawsuit below:

The conclusion of the lawsuit sets out the following allegations by various Jane Does against Liberty University:

  • Count I: Deliberate indifference / hostile environment prior to the assault
  • Count II: Deliberate indifference after the assault
  • Count III: Hostile environment
  • Count IV: Reprisals
  • Count V: Deliberate indifference / hostile environment of the pregnant and parental woman
  • Count VI: Negligence (except Title IX)

According to the documents, the Jane Does are seeking a jury trial, asking “that this Court render A JUDGMENT in their favor and against Liberty University in an amount to be determined at trial, together with attorneys’ fees and additional amounts therein. Court judges only. “

WFXR News has contacted Liberty University for comment on this multiple plaintiff lawsuit, but has yet to receive a response at the time of writing.

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