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Liberty University faces continued legal troubles

Liberty University seal LU w background

Among the cases still pending against Liberty is the suit filed by a woman who told police she was raped last year at an off-campus apartment complex. Attorney Drew LeFramboise says the university did not do what’s required of any school that accepts federal funding.

“They failed to investigate the incident at all, and to protect the larger student community, to provide assistance and accommodations," he explains. "The alleged perpetrator was continuing to contact her and stalk her and harass her on and around campus. Everything that was required of them they failed to do."

On the other hand, he says, Liberty required the woman to take a drug test, and when her grades fell, she was suspended.

“You know our client has been through an immense ordeal – not only, of course, the initial sexual assault, but then dealing with an administration that was openly hostile and retaliatory and indifferent to her well-being, and that acts as a compounding of the trauma.”

LeFramboise believes the school’s conduct was part of a pattern established to protect the university’s reputation.

“You know it’s part of the brand of Liberty University – that it’s a safe place, it’s a pious university. It is culturally conservative, and when it comes out that in fact there is sexual violence on campus. There’s sexual violence at the same rate or similar rates to other schools, I think the fear in the administration is that could affect their brand.”

We asked officials to talk with us about Liberty’s policies and practices in cases of alleged sexual assault, but they did not respond.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief