Former football player files $102 million defamation lawsuit against Liberty University
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- A former Liberty University student is suing the university.
According to documents, the student is seeking over $102 million for defamation.
The defendant, Cameron Jackson, says that a press release sent out by Liberty University last September violated his Title IX rights.
In that press release, Liberty announced they were investigating Jackson and another football player for "reports of sexual assault" involving another student athlete and it also included reports that Jackson was found responsible for violating the honor code and the sexual assault policy.
But Jackson and his teammate were later cleared.
A month later, the Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney announced they would not seek charges against Jackson because there was "insufficient evidence."
Now, Jackson is saying Liberty's decision to send a press release has caused him tremendous emotional distress, loss of athletic opportunities, as well as damages to his reputation.
The student athlete and five employees are named in the lawsuit.
Liberty University issued a statement on Wednesday:
Because of federal privacy regulations, there are limits to what can be revealed from a student’s records about allegations of student conduct code violations and the disciplinary proceedings to find whether the student was or was not responsible. Therefore, this statement is general in nature and focused on process.
Liberty University has carefully calibrated its Title IX policies and procedures to comply with requirements of federal law and agency guidance, and in the process, to be equally fair to complaining students and accused students alike, whether male or female. These even-handed policies and procedures were followed in Mr. Jackson’s case.
Liberty University has not breached any agreement or obligation to anyone accused of violating its Title IX policies. Mr. Jackson is no exception.
Liberty University has consistently provided those accused of Title IX violations with proper process both before and during their appeals. Mr., Jackson’s case was no exception.
Liberty University anticipates engaging counsel on behalf of its employees sued over how they performed their jobs. Of course, they are free to also engage their own counsel.