LU Police Department Announces Alleged Sexual Assault Incident On Campus

Liberty University’s Police Department announced in an email to all Liberty affiliates that there was an alleged sexual assault incident on campus, reported Dec. 11.

The timely notice detailed an alleged incident where a female student at the university was sexually assaulted, choked and prevented from leaving a vehicle while being driven around Liberty’s campus by a male peer. The notice also said that the alleged perpetrator has been identified and is banned from campus until the investigation is completed. At this point in time, the accuser has not filed a criminal complaint, so the accused student is not in custody.

After detailing the case, Chief of Police Colonel Richard D. Hinkley listed facts about sexual assault for safety and information, including the following:

  • Sexual Assault is against the law and is a felony.
  • It is important for everyone involved in a sexual act to give consent to all aspects of the act. Consent granted for one act does not mean consent for another.
  • Sexual Assault is not a crime of sexual desire. It is a crime of hostility and violence toward the victim. People often engage in victim blaming as a way to preserve the false belief that they will be safe from sexual assault “if only” they do not do what the victim did. However, rape is never the victim’s fault. Only the perpetrator chooses to commit sexual assault.
  • It is a myth that it can’t happen to you. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, class, religion, occupation, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, educational background, or physical description.
  • Persons that ask you for nude photos or graphically discuss sex before meeting are exhibiting potential warning signs of sexual exploitation that could lead to sexual assault.
  • Consider meeting in groups or in public locations to reduce possible risk.

He then explained the steps to accurately report a sexual assault case and gave students contact information for advocates both on and off campus.

Liberty is in the middle of a lawsuit from “Jane Does” that report the university allegedly mishandled sexual assault cases. The Champion inquired for further comment from the university and was provided with the following statement:

“Although Liberty promptly responded to the alleged incident and took appropriate actions to mitigate any potential risks to its campus community, this Timely Warning Notice was issued in an abundance of caution because of the seriousness of the allegations and Liberty’s assessment of the threat level in this particular case. We encourage everyone in the Liberty University community to read it carefully and take it into account as they go forward.”

For more information on Liberty’s Title IX office, students can visit here.

This is a developing story.

Kevin Gora is the New Editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter @Kevgora

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