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Liberty University fined $14M for crime stats, sexual assault victim compliance

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(The Center Square) – Virginia’s Liberty University has been fined $14 million in response to an investigation that says the school failed to report campus crime statistics and its handling of victims of sexual assault.

The U.S. Department of Education delivered its largest fine for violating the Clery Act, requiring higher education institutions to “produce and distribute Annual Security Reports containing their campus crime statistics.”

Numerous areas of “noncompliance were identified” in the findings. The violations significantly impacted the campus community members, going as far as saying they were the cause of harm, the report said.

In part, the report said, “This finding is supported by the numerous and serious deficiencies identified in this report. It must be noted that many of these violations and their impacts contributed to, and in some cases caused, significant harm to members of the campus community.”

Also, “The university did not meet its agreed-upon regulatory responsibilities in numerous and serious ways. Such failures call the willingness and the ability of the university to meet its obligations to its students, employees, the campus community, and the department into serious question.”

The university, located in Lynchburg, was founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell Sr. and has been considered to have one of the safest campuses in the country. The university has about 16,000 students on campus and enrollment inclusive of online exceeding 135,000.

(This is a developing story. Check back for updates.)

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