Convicted murderer Jesse Matthew Jr. named in Liberty University lawsuit

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A lawsuit involving a dozen women accusing Liberty University of creating “a campus environment where sexual assaults and rapes are foreseeably more likely to occur,” names Jesse Matthew Jr. as someone who sexually assaulted a then-15-year-old girl.

According to the lawsuit, a copy of which can be found below, the teen was attending a summer debate camp hosted by Liberty University in the summer of 2000.

The victim, only identified as Jane Doe 12, says as she was returning to her dorm room, Matthew grabbed her and carried her into a bathroom. She was able to escape, but Matthew reportedly caught her again and groped her before attempting to strangle her. The victim then bit Matthew’s hand and arm, so he finally relented.

Details continue in the lawsuit, with the victim saying she identified Matthew to the Liberty University Police Department. She said at least one of the officers asked Matthew for an autograph, “remarking that it would be worth a lot of money someday.”

Jane Doe #12 claims officers accused her of making up the story and threatened her to withdraw her claim. She declined to withdraw the report.

Matthew is currently serving four consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths of 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, and 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. Matthew also pleaded guilty to abduction with intent to defile in both cases. 

Gil Harrington, the mother of Morgan, says Jane Doe 12 has been on her mind given the fact she claims to have been assaulted by the same man who killed Morgan nine years later.

“Jane Doe 12 is now about the same age that Morgan would be if she had lived through her interaction with Jesse Matthew,” Gil said. “And maybe Jane Doe 12 can kind of flip the situation and think that she was one of the lucky ones. She got away. She lived.”

Gil says she does think educations culture tends to allow a certain amount of sexual violence; however, she does not think it’s unique to Liberty University.

Liberty University has responded to the lawsuit, saying it will look into every allegation:

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