A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Liberty University implicating that the university covered sexual assault claims and rape.
On Tuesday morning, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern of New York by a dozen former students and employees of the Evangelical university. The complaints involved include several cases of stalking, assault, and rape. The lawsuit, which was provided in advance to local Virginia outlet WSET before its submission, goes into vivid detail about the university's mishandling of claims.
One notable case involved a 15-year old girl on the university campus in 2000. According to WSET, "Liberty threatened to charge the teenager with filing a false report, made her ride in a police car with her alleged attacker and questioned her without water or food for eight hours — all while failing to investigate her alleged attacker properly." In other cases, the university allegedly demanded that a student marry their sexual assailant after becoming pregnant or else be at risk of being expelled.
The lawsuit in question is directed at the university's Title IX Office. The plaintiffs currently claim that the office, which any university legally requires to receive any federal funding, had failed to investigate multiple claims of sexual assault.
Liberty University has been under significant scrutiny in recent years due to its conduct. Jerry Falwell Jr, Liberty's past president, was caught in a sex scandal last year, leading to his eventual resignation. The university is now suing Falwell over his using the university for his profit. Liberty is also currently being sued by a former executive over claims of racial discrimination.