LYNCHBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A date has been set for the federal civil trial of a lawsuit brought by a Liberty University student, who alleges that a fellow student raped her and that Liberty University administration violated her rights under Title IX by discouraging her from reporting it.
The suit will go to trial from Nov. 13 through Nov. 17, 2023, at the federal district court in Lynchburg.
The plaintiff, who was forced to give up anonymity in her suit earlier this year, alleges that the defendant, Charles Tippett, ‘roofied’ her at his home on Oct. 30, 2020, then sexually assaulted her.
Then, she claims that Liberty University discouraged her from reporting the assault to police, failed to discipline Tippett in any way and retaliated against her by removing her from a university-sponsored internship.
Tippett denies the allegations and responded to the suit by counter-suing for defamation on the grounds that coverage of the lawsuit had cost him a job. Tippett faces two civil claims for assault and battery.
Liberty likewise broadly denies the allegations and managed to have two of the plaintiff’s five claims against the university dismissed. The university still faces claims of post-assault deliberate indifference, creation of a hostile environment and retaliation under Title IX.
This isn’t the first time in recent years that Liberty University has faced criticism over its handling of sexual assaults on campus and by students. Liberty settled a suit earlier this year in which 12 women alleged that the school “condoned sexual violence” by weaponizing the university code of conduct, known as the ‘Liberty Way.’ Details of the settlement were not publicly released.