A professor at Liberty University has been arrested and charged with felony abduction by force or intimidation and misdemeanor sexual battery, acts he allegedly committed against a student at the evangelical college. The school’s own on-campus police force arrested the professor and, “with the student’s consent,” referred the matter to the Lynchburg County attorney’s office.
Associate Professor William Atwell was arrested on November 20th, one day after he allegedly committed the act of abduction or intimidation. The alleged sexual battery occurred on September 15th, but most details about the alleged acts have not been publicly disclosed or confirmed. Atwell was arraigned and posted bond, leading to his release on November 29th.
LGBTQNation reports that it’s not clear how long school officials knew about the matters, but Atwell’s students were in the dark until news of Atwell’s charges broke, and a student came across his mugshot. Prior to that, he had been out of work since November 4. He repeatedly told students he was sick, according to emails obtained by Liberty Champion News student reporter Robert Locklear. One of the days he called out “sick” was November 19, when he allegedly committed one of the criminal acts. The school then told students he was still sick after the Thanksgiving break.
BREAKING: on November 20, Liberty University professor William Atwell was arrested. He is charged with Sexual Assault and Kidnapping. I will update with more info as I’m covering the situation. Stay tuned while I learn more details!
— Robert Locklear (@rob_locklear) December 1, 2021
A former Liberty student who spoke to LBTQNation also took classes with Atwell before leaving the school altogether suggests that other faculty at the school have acted similarly. “I took one fall semester and I just saw a lot of things I wasn’t a fan of. I’ve had personal experiences like the one stated and it’s scary,” Hannah Couch told them.
The statement also said “With the student’s consent, the university turned the matter over to the appropriate legal authorities and the faculty member in question was arrested. The faculty member has also been suspended by the university pending the outcome of this matter…” pic.twitter.com/nYv7V5Y1Bc
— Cynthia Beasley (@CynthiaABC13) December 1, 2021
Other allegations about faculty misconduct have emerged repeatedly over the last few years, and several sex scandals attached to the son of the university’s founder, Jerry Falwell, Jr., caused him to resign his position from the school or any groups affiliating with it.
the founder of Liberty University’s son and former president Jerry Falwell Jr was forced to resign after he invested in a house of prostitution and other strange behavior like orgies on his yacht. these are the kind of things that make a Liberty degree respectable and prestigious pic.twitter.com/XwPnhELrSc
— ✈️ 𝚁𝚘𝚢 𝙳𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚜 𝙹𝚛✈️ (@chiweethegod) December 3, 2021
Read the full profile at LGBTQNation.