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A former student says she was banned from campus by a Memphis Christian college for allegedly engaging in premarital s*x after she reported being raped by a classmate.
On Wednesday, 22-year-old Mara Louk filed a federal complaint with the US Department of Education against Visible Music College, alleging that when she told the school that a classmate had choked and raped her last November , the school did nothing.
According to the complaint, on November 2, 2021, an unidentified classmate went to Louk’s apartment to play board games and ended up s*xually assaulting her.
The next day, she told a school administrator about the alleged assault, saying she shared a class with the student and wanted to make sure he didn’t harass her on campus, the complaint says.
“I didn’t expect him to be expelled, but I trusted them enough to put a plan in place to keep him away from me and other students,” Louk told NBC News.
The next day, he filed a s*xual assault report with Memphis police, but a week later, police told him there wasn’t enough evidence to make an arrest, he said.
Then, on November 15, school administrators told him that since the police did not charge the classmate, he would continue to attend classes.
At that same meeting, Louk claims school administrators accused her of violating school rules against premarital s*x with another student, even though she denied having s*x with him.
She says the accused classmate told school officials that she had s*x with her ex-boyfriend that semester and that her ex confirmed it.
Louk says the school threatened to expel her from it unless she signed a confession. Even then, she was banned from campus and she had to finish the school year remotely.
School officials also informed Louk that they would not conduct a Title IX investigation because the alleged assault did not take place on campus, according to the complaint.
Louk claims that school administrators also tried to stop him from telling anyone else at school about his alleged rape.
‘I felt like, why did I even speak?’ Louk told NBC News. “That’s how I felt for a long time because everything just seemed to get worse.”
The complaint asks the DOE to investigate whether the school violated the Clery Act, a federal campus safety law that requires colleges to support victims of campus crime, and whether the school discriminated against Louk under the Clery Act. Title IX gender equality law.
“Visible has retaliated against Mara in many ways,” her complaint says. “Instead of investigating the rape and providing support to Mara, Visible punished Mara for coming forward.”
Ultimately, Louk refused to sign the pastoral care contract and finished the fall semester online and then dropped out of college just nine credits short of earning his bachelor’s degree, NBC News reported.
The school has not addressed any of the allegations, but school president Ken Steorts, who said he has not yet seen the complaint, told NBC News the university will cooperate with any investigation.
“Visible will cooperate with any investigation of the allegations made in the complaint,” he said.
But last November they issued a statement to Louk saying they would not investigate the alleged assault because they did not have jurisdiction over an incident that took place off campus under Title IX regulations.
But Louk called out the school’s hypocrisy because he says they were willing to punish her for alleged premarital s*x that took place off campus.
“They weren’t going to help me basically because I was off campus,” Louk said, “but with a separate situation that was also off campus, they were going to handle that and punish me for it.”
Louk says that what the school did was illegal and against its supposed morals as a Christian school.
“On top of what the school did to me being completely illegal,” he said, “it was completely immoral, especially with a school that claims to demonstrate Christian morals and values.” It’s the complete opposite of what Jesus would do.’
Mara Louk Quick and Facts
- On Wednesday, Mara Louk, 22, filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Visible Music College
- Louk claims that when she told the school that a fellow classmate had choked and raped her last November, the school did nothing
- According to the complaint, school administrators told her because the police did not charge the classmate, he would continue to attend classes
- Louk claims school administrators accused her of breaking school rules against premarital s*x with another student, despite her denying having sex with him
- She says the accused classmate told school officials she had s*x with her ex-boyfriend that semester and the school said she faced discipline
- Louk says the school threatened to have her expelled unless she signed a confession and finished the school year remotely