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Journalists Accused by Falwell Will Not Face Trespassing Charges For Incident At Liberty U

Jerry Falwell Jr. who is the President of Liberty University pressed charges against two journalists who he says “trespassed” onto Liberty University. The journalists were on the campus to conduct interviews about the School’s pandemic response. Those two journalists,  Alec MacGillis and photographer Julia Rendleman will not face charges according to Local news station WSET.  The decision came from Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison who announced on Friday that no charges will be pursued in the case. The complaint against the journalists was launched on April 6 of this year.

 

Her office went onto say that the decision was made after a discussion with Falwell, despite the office believing there was enough evidence to charge the two journalists. Many people were upset with Falwell’s decision to reopen Liberty U back in March when the pandemic was just ramping up.  Even Falwell’s faculty said he was “courting disaster.”

 

Jerry Falwell Jr. says that this is the only instance where the university filed charges of trespassing against journalists.  Bethany Harrison said that there were at least 20 no trespassing signs on the campus. “Liberty University Campus, Open ONLY to Students, Employees, & Those Conducting University Business, Until Further Notice, NO TRESPASSING,” the signs say. There was also a photograph of a sign credited to Alec MacGillis that had a sign that read,  “Stop, Closed for Social Distancing.”

 

Rendleman was also shown around the campus by a student who says that they did not know about the signs. The student even posed for a picture. Rendlemen also took pictures of tape off the auditorium that was blocked to enforce social distancing.

 

Harrison stated further, “Given these facts and the law, Bethany Harrison, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Lynchburg, has concluded that Rendleman and MacGillis’ actions meet the statutory requirements of proof to support a charge of criminal trespass.”

 

One does have to wonder why after all the trouble that no charges were pursued?



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