LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University’s president is speaking out after Scott Lamb, a former Senior VP with the university, filed a lawsuit on Monday.
In the lawsuit, Scott claims that “his vocal opposition to the University’s mishandling of sexual assault and harassment complaints” led to him being fired.
Lamb said “he would not be silenced or participate in a cover-up of activities within the University that Plaintiff believes contradicted the law, including, but not limited to, the University’s mishandling of many well-publicized reports of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination on campus,” stated the lawsuit.
In response, Liberty University President Jerry Prevo released a statement to the campus community on Tuesday, saying that the media attention about the university was “prompted in part by a terminated employee who falsely alleges that the university under my leadership has attempted to mishandle the allegations made in the lawsuit.”
“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” he wrote.
Prevo then went to mention the “Jane Doe lawsuit,” referencing a lawsuit in which 12 women filed against the university, claiming that “Liberty University has intentionally created a campus environment where sexual assaults and rapes are foreseeably more likely to occur than they would in the absence of Liberty’s policies.”
The university president says he sent a message to his senior team on the same day that lawsuit was filed, which included him saying, “I hope and pray these allegations turn out to be false. Discrimination against victims of sexual assault because of their gender and engaging in sexual harassment are contrary to our Christian faith and mission, and have absolutely no place at Liberty.”
In the message Prevo said he sent to his staff, he claims he urged them to read the lawsuit and asked them to take the situation “just as seriously” as he is.
“I want to make something clear, as I did on the day the lawsuit was filed, as I did in my email to my team on the same day, as I did in Convocation to the student body this fall and in this note to you: Liberty University will not tolerate Title IX violations, sexual abuse or sexual assault in any form at any time,” wrote Prevo in the statement to the campus community.
He continued by saying, “With regard to accusations about the mishandling of Title IX in the past, there is an appropriate legal process to address those concerns in order to protect alleged victims and alleged accusers. We are embracing that legal process for the good of our institution but especially for all of those involved in these allegations.”
You can read the full statement here.