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Lawsuit against Liberty alleges mishandling of sex assaults

The lawsuit alleges that Liberty’s strict honor code makes it “difficult or impossible” for students to report sexual violence.
Credit: AP
Liberty University's football stadium is empty as students were welcomed back to the university's campus, Tuesday March 24 , 2020, in Lynchburg, Va. Officials in Lynchburg, said Tuesday they were fielding complaints and concerns about the hundreds of students that have returned from their spring break to Liberty University, where President Jerry Falwell Jr. has welcomed them back amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Twelve women are suing Liberty University, accusing the Christian institution of a pattern of mishandling cases of sexual assault and harassment, and fostering an unsafe campus environment. 

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York made various claims under the federal law that protects against sex discrimination in education. 

The lawsuit alleges that Liberty’s strict honor code makes it “difficult or impossible” for students to report sexual violence, and it says the university retaliated against women who did make such reports. 

The Lynchburg, Virginia, university said in a statement that the allegations were “deeply troubling" and pledged to investigate each of them.