William Atwell, a professor at the evangelical Liberty University, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and abduction, ABC13 reports.
Atwell was released from a Lynchburg jail after posting $3,000 bond.
In a statement, a school spokesperson said that it "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," the statement continued. "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.”
As ABC13 points out, Atwell's case comes as Liberty faces multiple lawsuits alleging that the university punished students who reported sexual assault, including one where 12 anonymous women, most of whom are former Liberty University employees or students, claim Liberty “enabled on-campus rapes” and suppressed complaints of sexual assault and rape.
Last month, Liberty University filed a restraining order to bar a former employee from revealing information related to his claim that he was fired for speaking out on the school's failure to properly address sexual assault allegations.
Read more at ABC13.