Title IX charges against LU dropped; $100 million defamation lawsuits remain
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Title IX claims against Liberty University have been dropped, but defamation charges remain in individual lawsuits brought by three former football players.
A federal judge in Lynchburg allowed former LU football player Cameron Jackson's defamation and Title IX cases against LU, Sarah Browning, and Len Stevens to move forward in August.
Jackson, Avery James, and Kyle Carrington filed suits last year alleging Liberty University botched an investigation into sexual assault allegations against them, denied them due process under Title IX, and defamed them by publishing details of the investigation and withholding key information.
Jackson claims that a press release sent out by Liberty University, saying they were investigating him for "reports of sexual assault," violated his Title IX rights.
The Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney never charged Jackson because there was "insufficient evidence."
According to the lawsuits filed by Jackson and Carrington, Liberty University released the press release "to foster a public image that the University is tough on Title IX allegations and is sensitive to the needs of women."
Joshua Farmer, the attorney representing Jackson, who was the first to file suit in April 2017 said in an email, “the court filings speak for themselves. There’s nothing more I can say at this time.”
All three former football players were accused of sexual assault by a former female student athlete.
No charges were filed following an investigation by the Lynchburg Police Department, but an LU inquiry found the three men had committed sexual assault and violated its code of conduct.
Originally, they were seeking $50 million in damages from the accuser, $50 million from Liberty and $250,000 from Stevens.
All three are still pursuing defamation charges against LU and Stevens, with a jury trial scheduled for 2018.