Sexual assault gained attention on at Liberty in September 2016, when the university said two football players had been suspended in connection with an alleged sexual assault off the campus. A former student, who had previously been dismissed from the football program, was also connected to the incident.
The university conducted a hearing and found all three men to have violated its policy on sexual harassment and assault, but law-enforcement officials declined to file criminal charges, saying that there was insufficient evidence to go forward with the case.
The university drew scrutiny in November 2016 for hiring Ian McCaw, the former athletic director at Baylor University, to the same post at Liberty. Months earlier, Baylor had placed Mr. McCaw on probation over his role in a damning sexual-assault scandal that focused on the university's powerhouse football team. Mr. McCaw later resigned. Liberty's president, Jerry L. Falwell Jr., said that the university had reviewed the situation at Baylor and was "completely satisfied" that Mr. McCaw was "a good man and a great athletic director."
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, and strengthened its education and prevention programs, among other things.
Notification letters and data requests to university and complainant.
The Office for Civil Rights resolved this investigation by administrative closure. In a letter describing the closure, the office cited a lack of jurisdiction.
An OCR official wrote that the person who filed the original complaint was not a student at Liberty and did not have “meaningful and sustained contact” with the institution at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
The letter also stated that the alleged assault "did not occur in connection with a university education program or activity.”