Liberty University professor arrested, charged with abduction and sexual battery

58-year-old is currently free on bond

Authorities have charged a Liberty University professor with two crimes, according to online court records.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Authorities have charged a Liberty University professor with two crimes, according to online court records.

William Atwell, 58, is charged with felony abduction by force/intimidation and misdemeanor sexual battery.

Atwell, who has now been suspended by Liberty, was an associate professor teaching different American Sign Language classes.

“Liberty University takes nothing more seriously than claims that a faculty member has had inappropriate sexual contact with one of our students, something for which there is zero tolerance. We are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness, care, and concern. 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. To protect the integrity of investigation and the privacy of the student, we will limit further comment.”

Liberty University spokesperson

Campus police arrested him on Nov. 20 and was released on a $3,000 bond on November 29.

According to Atwell’s online resume, he had taught at Liberty since 2013.

His court date is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2022.


About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.