Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. earlier this year said that he would press charges against two journalists who “trespassed” onto Liberty University to interview people at the school about its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local news station WSET now reports that reporter Alec MacGillis and photographer Julia Rendleman will not face criminal charges.
According to WSET, Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison announced on Friday that she will not prosecute the two journalists, whom Falwell had accused of putting his students at risk by potentially coming on campus while infected with COVID-19.
In a press release about her decision, Harrison’s office said that she believed there was sufficient evidence to charge both journalists with criminal trespass, but had decided against pursuing charges after consulting with Falwell.
Falwell came under fire for reopening his university in late March during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had just started exploding across the United States. Even some faculty members were upset by Falwell’s decision to reopen quickly and accused him of “courting disaster.”