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JLM: 2002 Rape Allegations at Liberty University

Discussion in 'Hannah Graham' started by bessie, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Jesse Matthew, U.Va. kidnap suspect, expelled from Liberty University in 2002 after alleged rape
    September 25, 2014 - 12:48 pm

    LYNCHBURG, Va. (ABC) - Jesse Leroy Matthew, the man charged with the abduction of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, was expelled in 2002 from Liberty University amid rape allegations - but no charges were ever filed, the school confirmed Thursday.

    In a statement, the university said Matthew was as a student there from 2000 to 2002 and played on the school's football team.

    Liberty said Matthew was expelled from the university in 2002 following an alleged sex attack on a female student.

    Read more: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/0...-after-alleged-rape-107507.html#ixzz3ELn5qhN9
     
  2. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Copied from General Discussion Thread #15. Thanks, Gitana.

     
  3. s3cr3tag3nt

    s3cr3tag3nt New Member

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  4. Hoosgirl

    Hoosgirl Well-Known Member

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  5. teeandcee

    teeandcee New Member

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    Just saw this. I didn't realize it had been confirmed by Lynchburg Commonwealth. Wow. :(
     
  6. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Another incident in Sept/Oct...
     
  7. Jmm124567

    Jmm124567 New Member

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    Wow.

    Please get this guys DNA and test it to the DNA in the MH case
     
  8. zelmajane

    zelmajane New Member

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    Woooow. Could that girl press charges retroactively?
     
  9. Jmm124567

    Jmm124567 New Member

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    This guy get's off with everything like his 2009 assault.

    Our justice system is pathetic
     
  10. TravelingBug

    TravelingBug Verified Insider

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    I saw some discussion in the 'discussion' thread from earlier but I figure it may fit better here so I'll drop this here for those who'd like to understand more about Liberty.

    Private Christian universities, especially those that are on the more conservative end (in any sense) and that have a "code" or "conduct" of community behaviour or expectations, etc. are definitely a unique experience, especially if you've not spent any time in a community where that is reality.

    One of the most interesting books I've ever read (well, I listened to it - which I think was probably even more interesting!) actually is about the experience of a guy who leaves Brown to go 'undercover' as a student at Liberty to try to understand what such an entirely foreign 'culture' to him was like, and then to write about his experiences.

    For anyone who's never had any experience in a really conservative church or school, it's probably even more interesting since the author was a total "outsider" going in to Liberty, and so you see the things that struck him, that he struggled with, that he disagreed with, and his attempts to make sense of all of that internally. From his "lessons" before going with a friend who was going to help him try not to curse and to use Liberty appropriate language, to him trying to do what his new peers did (like read the Bible regularly) even though it wasn't anything he'd normally crack open. He expects to feel judged and dislike most people, thinking they would be closed minded or boring, etc., yet ended up being totally shocked at the genuine love and care he experienced. And ironically, he ended up getting one of the last interviews with Jerry Falwell in 2007 before he died (it actually is the last print interview with him).

    If the thought of a 'culture' that has strict guidelines and community expectations is totally foreign, or you're curious what it would be like stepping into that as someone who never grew up in any sort of context like that, but almost everyone else has and didn't question the conduct code in place, you'd probably find it interesting.

    And even for those who have been - or still are - parts of communities (churches, schools, etc.) where that's the 'norm,' or at least tending to have a relatively community based standard to some extent, it's still quite interesting. And though you see him initially struggle with (and to some extent judge) the expectations or choices the faith community there made, it's interesting to see his progression thought wise when he saw that for most there, they'd have made many of those choices out of genuine belief in the principles behind some (or all) of them, but that love and grace were far more evident than he'd ever expected.

    It's definitely an interesting look at the culture there - and as he was there pretty close to when JM was there, it's also similar in terms of what was in place standard wise then, and the experiences of someone living in the context of the community at Liberty.

    The book is Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. It's a quick read or listen as Roose really draws you in (and like I said, I listened to the audio, which was great since he was the one who did the audio and so it's really like hearing from a person across the table from you)

    Given JM's having studied there, and this additional incident (and who knows what else we may learn) with him getting expelled, etc. I think many would find it interesting and helpful.
     
  11. zelmajane

    zelmajane New Member

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    TravelingBug, great post! I grew up southern Baptist. A lot of church folks wanted me to go to Liberty, I went to a party school instead. I spent a lot of my 20's trying to reconcile some of the hate that was thrown at me growing up. I'm more of a love and grace person. I have to note though that my parents always discussed what was said in church vs real life. They made it clear that everyone didn't believe the hate, and it don't think they did either.

    Having had a lot of friends that went there, I wonder if the woman was shamed? I mean you aren't supposed to kiss someone while there.

    I will definitely be reading that book. Thank you!
     
  12. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

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    JMO -- I'll bet a buck that Liberty U. did all it could to quiet-down this case with as little publicity as possible. It wouldn't look good at any college or university anywhere. It's a private school and parents of students have certain expectations, especially about the safety of students. Big state-supported universities do not have the same type scope as smaller private ones. Who knoze what was said & done to keep this incident out of the mass media. This is absolutely not meant as a negative comment on Liberty University itself; it's just the way many private colleges/university operate. This incident just happened to occur at Liberty.
     
  13. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

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    Seems to me she could, up to the date the statute of limitations allows... Did she have a rape kit done? That would be the 1st question from LE and her attorney. IMO, that would be the sine qua non of the investigation. Gotta have that, methinks.
     
  14. Jmoose

    Jmoose Well-Known Member

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    Not if the statute of limitations has expired
     
  15. lib's mom

    lib's mom New Member

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    I was just headed over to this thread to say the same thing, but you did it so beautifully I'll just add my recommendation. Fantastic book.
     
  16. ATasteOfHoney

    ATasteOfHoney Active Member

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    No statute of limitations on rape
     
  17. Detective Klimpt

    Detective Klimpt Member

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    That was an excellent and worthwhile post, Traveling Bug.
    While I have almost no experience or knowledge of religious colleges, I thought that there could have been perhaps an exaggeration of what happen with respect to the rape. We are not getting very much information about it. We don't know if a rape actually took place (I mean penetration).

    I don't think the college tried to sweep this under the rug at all. I think a religious college like this would do precisely what they did and expel anyone that they even suspected of doing anything immoral under their beliefs.

    I become more and more alone in my belief in innocent until proven guilty. This news about Jesse coming at this time is really bad for him. Me, I still am keeping this college ordeal when he was only 20 years old separate from the HG disappearance. I am nothing like the person I was when I was 20.
     
  18. TravelingBug

    TravelingBug Verified Insider

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    I think there's also the dynamic of what it's like if you've grown up in a 'culture' where being a virgin until you're married is emphasized.

    Using an example that most have some degree of familiarity with, think about the Duggars. They don't allow their kids to even hold hands until they're engaged, or do anything more than side hug, etc.). Obviously anything beyond that isn't allowed by them. Even just having a relationship outside (as a male or female) of the confines of the supervision of parents (esp. a father) doesn't happen and is heavily supervised.

    Now, they wouldn't allow their kids to go off to a residential college - or even take classes there without another sibling 'chaperone' - but there are certainly those who hold those same general principles, but do allow more freedom to their kids with the expectation they keep those, and trust that Liberty (or others) would help foster that.

    There's obviously the wide range of spectrum in terms of principles, but many, at least, draw a line that at keeps them on the 'saved myself for marriage' end of things.

    While not everyone at a school like Liberty truly went into having beliefs that pretty closely at least aligned with what Liberty expects, you do know that there's that expectation and you're reminded of it, you agree to it, etc. And back even just a decade or so ago - so also when JM was at Liberty - the environment on many of the more conservative Christian college campuses kept those expectations even more at the forefront.

    It'd tend to be maybe if the school had a good athletics program that you'd get some who had no intention of abiding by the expectations, and some others who felt like it might be too extreme or strict, but the vast majority either held some degree of the same beliefs and expectations on themselves anyway, or at least regarding many of them, and would at least go along with it while there. It's far more common now to see discussions on campuses like Liberty about whether those guidelines should be enforced or a matter of person decision and conviction, etc.

    Keeping in mind that Liberty tends to be on the far more strict (both in standards of the guidelines that the community there lives by, and also in terms of being far more apt to actually strictly enforce them) end of things than even many other conservative Christian campuses - especially a decade or so ago - it's not far fetched to see it be a self-imposed decision to not speak out and keep something like a possible assault under the rug on behalf of the victim, to the point that the school doesn't even know about many that happen.

    (Continuing below...)
     
  19. TravelingBug

    TravelingBug Verified Insider

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    If you've got a student who is from a family that at least had some degree of a relationship consensually that perhaps extended beyond the bounds of what their family may have outright (or more subtly) expressed as being acceptable, something involving the physical side of a relationship can be even more sensitive.

    A student, perhaps, from an environment more like the Duggars grew up in could easily be fearful of what people would think if they knew they spent time alone with a person of the opposite gender, for instance. Whether they held the beliefs of their family or not, even something completely innocent could be something they'd not want known.

    Or taking it a step further, someone who was allowed to have a relationship but it was more standards on what was permissible physically that they might push.

    Even in consensual relationships in those instances, just even being in a situation that crossed the lines of what their community or family expected could mean anything happening with an individual could prompt fear or shame and not wanting people to know.

    So then if you've got someone who was assaulted or raped, whether it was in the context of a relationship that had been going on and things (whatever the degree of relationship at that point was) that were consensual initially, or someone who was assaulted by a stranger, you've got a at least a percentage of people in that 'culture' who even have self-imposed expectations on their standards physically, who then want to forget it ever happened.

    Whether it's fear of someone finding out perhaps they had been in a relationship that there was expectations wasn't happening from the beginning, meaning they were fearful sharing about an assault 'outing' them having been in a situation some might say they shouldn't have been in to begin with, or someone who is afraid that being sexually assaulted would make them less 'perfect' down the road in terms of when they were perhaps intending to marry.

    It can be just as much self-imposed fear or shame that keep victims from saying anything in that context where purity is so often prized so highly (particularly back even just last decade) that someone won't even tell a friend, let alone someone in authority over them, or LE, or their families.

    And if it's been in the context of what had been a consensual relationship initially, it complicates things even further in many ways.

    I attended a university with a conduct code - nowhere near as strict as Liberty was (then or now) and nowhere near as strictly enforced - and while there were students and profs who were from even more conservative backgrounds, that was definitely a minority of the population. And still the fear and shame factor came into play to a much greater extent than victims often feel otherwise.

    It's a really unique dynamic in such a community - especially even just a decade ago and in an environment that wasn't as strict as Liberty was in any sense.

    I would honestly be shocked if we don't hear of another Liberty student or two that comes forward about a similar interaction with JM - or with someone from a church he attended or such - down the road, even if virtually no one even knew it had happened, let alone ever had even really considered reporting it.
     
  20. TravelingBug

    TravelingBug Verified Insider

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    That's another thing that wouldn't shock me to hear may not have happened (whether with this victim or any other potential ones that may come out from the Liberty context alone)

    The number of people I even know personally (who were way too 'worldly' to have even been accepted by Liberty in most cases) who wouldn't go to an ob/gyn until they were getting married - except if there were truly an issue - is way, way higher than I think many people would expect.

    If you've got someone who may well feel even a regular preventative type internal exam is too invasive to do until really necessary, or at least almost certainly hadn't had one at that point, and add in that person being a young student (possibly away from home) and the 'cultural' issues typically at play, fear of (or unwillingness to) having to allow a rape kit to be done can often be a huge factor in NOT reporting an assault.
     

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