Liberty University, a far-right Christian University for young MAGA scholars, has a sex crime problem. "Feds say Liberty University created 'fear of reprisal' for sexual violence survivors," says a USA Today headline from October 3. "How Liberty University Discourages and Dismisses Students' Reports of Sexual Assaults," is the title from a 2021 ProPublica report. "New plaintiff claims Liberty University mishandled sexual assault report," reads the headline from an April 2022 issue of The Washington Post.
In a Fox News piece published today, Liberty University's president, Dr. Dondi E. Costin, is very upset. Not about his school's history of covering up sex crimes and discouraging victims from reporting assaults, but at the Department of Education for allegedly leaking a report that claimed the university covered up sexual assault incidents and underreported crime on campus. Costin expressed concern that the leaked report would impact ongoing negotiations with the Department of Education and accused someone of leaking the report to "poison the well," as if it weren't already seething with toxic waste. Liberty University denies the reprprts allegations and claims it contains factual errors.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post published a piece based on the Department of Education allegations titled, "Liberty University broke safety laws for years, government asserts." As reported in The Post, the allegations include that:
- Liberty University failed to keep its campus safe and violated the federal Clery Act.
- The university discouraged people from reporting crimes and underreported the claims it received.
- Gas leaks, bomb threats, and acts of sexual violence were not properly addressed or warned to the campus community.
- Liberty University officials destroyed evidence after a government inquiry began.
- The school used its honor code, known as the Liberty Way, to discourage reporting of sexual assaults.
- Suggestions for improvement were rejected or ignored by management.
- The university did not issue timely warnings or report incidents in its crime statistics.
- Records required for oversight were not adequately maintained, and some records were selectively destroyed or removed.
- Crime statistics were systematically underreported, and the university may have fabricated them.
- The university engendered a culture of silence and retaliated against those who spoke up.
None of this is surprising, given that Liberty University was run for 13 by Jerry Falwell, Jr., who was forced to resign in disgrace in the aftermath of a personal sex scandal. According to Wikipedia, In March 2012, Falwell Jr. and his wife Becki met a 20-year-old pool attendant, Giancarlo Granda, at a hotel Miami Beach. This meeting led to an intricate personal relationship. In August 2020, amidst allegations of an affair between Becki and Granda, Falwell Jr. issued a public statement acknowledging his wife's "improper relationship." Granda, however, claimed the affair was long-running, from 2012 to 2018, and that Falwell Jr. was a willing participant, sometimes observing and recording their sexual encounters. Granda provided audio, emails, and text messages to Reuters as evidence.
wut is happening pic.twitter.com/8iEOr9EeRQ— Robert Downen (@RobertDownen_) August 3, 2020