A student at a conservative Christian college in Tennessee said her school banned her from campus and disciplined her for allegedly having pre-marital sex after she told school officials that she was raped by a male classmate last November.
Mara Louk, 22, a former student at Visible Music College in Memphis, Tennessee filed a complaint with the US Department of education on Wednesday claiming the school refused to investigate the incident or at the very least remove her alleged rapist from her class, NBC News reports.
According to Louk, officials accused her of breaking school rules by having pre-marital sex with an ex-boyfriend and threatened to expel her unless she signed a confession and finished the school year remotely.
The complaint says Louk was raped on Nov. 2, 2021 by a male classmate who came over to her off-campus apartment to play board games. She told a school administrator the next day and filed a sexual assault report with Memphis police on Nov. 4.
A week later Memphis police told Louk that they did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.
On Nov. 15, a Visible Music College administrator told Louk and her parents that since police did not charge the accused rapist, “there’s really nothing we can do at this point, so he will be attending classes like normal.” The college also told her that they would not investigate the alleged rape because they did not have jurisdiction over an incident that took place off campus, citing Title IX regulations, according to the complaint.
The school told her to “take it up with the Memphis Police Department” if she had an issue with their decision.
Officials then shifted their focus of the meeting to a rumor they heard from her accused rapist that she had sex with her ex-boyfriend earlier that semester.
Louk denied it but school officials said she would be disciplined for breaking school rules against pre-martial sex and wanted her to sign a “pastoral care contract,” confessing that she broke the rule.
According to NBC, the contract required Louk to finish her degree online, barred from campus and prohibited from talking to other students about her alleged assault.
“We strongly believe that these restrictions will aid in bringing some needed structure, and will ensure that you are able to address the spiritual and emotional issues behind the infringements,” the contract said.
Louk, a modern music major, refused to sign the contract.
“It felt like a movie,” she said. “It didn’t seem real; it didn’t feel real. I kept thinking this is just a crazy, horrible nightmare, and hopefully one day I’ll wake up from it.”
Louk is asking the Department of Education to investigate whether the school violated a federal rule that requires colleges to advise students who report a sexual offense of their rights and assistance options, and if the school discriminated against her because of her gender.