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Judge: Ex-Football Player’s Lawsuit Can Proceed

Jason Scott

Former Liberty University football player Cameron Jackson’s lawsuit against the school can move forward, following a ruling from a U.S. district court judge.

Jackson’s suit alleges his Title IX and due process rights were violated during a sexual assault investigation. The school released a statement on the situation, which the suit argues was defamatory, according to The News & Advance.

Jackson was accused of an August 2015 sexual assault, which he claims never occurred. The Lynchburg Police Department investigated the alleged assault, and Jackson was never charged. The university released the allegedly defamatory news release in September 2016, prior to the end of the university’s internal investigation. Jackson was allegedly dismissed from the university prior to the conclusion of the police investigation.

The lawsuit reportedly claims that Jackson and his accuser had been involved in a sexual relationship, both prior to and following the alleged assault. The incident took place in front of witnesses, who reportedly described it as consensual. Jackson's accuser reported the incident to the university 11 months after it took place, according to the university's release. The lawsuit claims the accuser only came forward after she herself had been dismissed from the university for multiple violations of student conduct policy.

The judge allowed certain claims to proceed, including four defamation claims tied to the university’s news release, two defamation claims against Jackson’s accuser, and a Title IX claim.

The lawsuit seeks $100 million in compensation for damages to Jackson’s reputation, as well as to his academic and athletic careers. Claiming that his reputation had been "irreparably destroyed," the lawsuit states that the situation caused severe damage to Jackson’s earning potential and cost him money for attending college.

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