Liberty University Board Votes for Independent Investigation into Allegations of Mishandling Sexual Assaults
The Liberty University board of trustees voted Friday for an "independent and comprehensive review of its Title IX policies and processes."
According to WSLS 10 News, the vote came after complaints that the university mishandled sexual abuse allegations from students.
As part of the decision, the university will hire a third party to investigate the allegations and "to make things right with the Jane Doe Title IX plaintiffs, regardless of how long it has been."
As Christian Headlines previously reported, Liberty University is facing a lawsuit from 12 Jane Does that allege the school violated Title IX rules, repeatedly threatened victims with honor code violations and downplayed sexual assault allegations.
President Jerry Prevo also announced at the board meeting that the college would install up to 1,000 security cameras across the university campus, and emergency "blue light boxes" would also be placed in key locations on campus. The initiative costs about $8.5 million.
The advocacy group for sexual abuse survivors, Justice for Janes, had asked the university for an in-depth investigation and enhanced security measures on campus.
"Last year, Liberty hired an accounting firm to review its finances," Justice for Janes' website reads. "How much more important is a review of the systems that are meant to protect Liberty students?"
According to the lawsuit, a 15-year-old reported being sexually assaulted at a Liberty University camp in 2000, but university police reportedly blamed her for violating the "Liberty Way" and needlessly had her stripped and searched.
Liberty allegedly 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. Her attacker, Jesse Matthew Jr., went on to murder two female college students years later.
"It just boggles my mind that these people who claim to be Christians cared more about covering it up than they cared about actually helping me," one plaintiff, Jane Doe 2, said in an interview.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.