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Professor at Falwell’s Liberty University Charged With Abduction and Sexual Assault After Student’s Allegations

Professor at Falwell’s Liberty University Charged With Abduction and Sexual Assault After Student’s Allegations

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.

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.

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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.

Read the full profile at LGBTQNation.

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