Liberty University works to ensure safety after 17-year-old allegedly assaulted by Uber driver on campus

The reported assault happened last Thursday

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University is taking steps to ensure safety after a student was assaulted on campus in an Uber.

10 News sat down with school officials Monday to see how they’re working on being more transparent when it comes to reporting incidents.

Ashley Reich, the Senior Vice President of University Compliance, handles all Title Nine-related incidents at the university.

”We first and foremost want complainants and respondents to know that our office is a safe reporting environment,” Reich said.

This incident comes just weeks after a federal report was released, claiming Liberty historically underreported crime.

”We evaluate the severity of it, and it was a threat to our community, do we feel like other students could potentially be harmed in those situations? And with this one, you know we’re responsible for being compliant with the Cleary Act,” Reich said.

10 News also met with Marcus Tinsley, the Vice President of Safety and Security for the University.

He said to always trust your instincts when it comes to a potentially unsafe situation, and if you get into a situation, to know your resources.

”This victim knew exactly what to do in the instance and was able to deal with that and engage with us very quickly, so we were able to take the steps to deal with the situation. It’s important to know that these resources are available to help 24 hours a day,” Tinsley said.

One of those resources - the Champion Safe app.

”This app puts a blue light in your hand. It gives you safety resources, it gives you step-by-step instructions in some of the worst incidents, it gives you direct communication to our dispatch center,” Tinsley said.

We reached out to an Uber spokesperson to see how they are addressing the issue. They sent us the following statement:

“We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior in the Uber community. We removed the driver’s access to the app as soon as this was reported to us, and we stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.”

Uber

Liberty officials said they’re also working on a three-phase project to install security cameras across campus.


About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.