Mara Louk says Visible Music College punished her for coming forward about the alleged rapist.
A student at Visible Music College, a Christian college in Memphis, Tennessee, claimed the institution did not protect her after she reported being raped by a classmate last year. Mara Louk alleged that a male classmate had choked and raped her last November and she spoke to an administrator about it. The 22-year-old hoped school officials would help her file a police report and arrange a safety plan but she said they didn't.
Former Visible Music College student Mara Louk filed a complaint with the Department of Education on Wednesday, claiming the school refused to remove her alleged assailant from her classes or even investigate the alleged rape https://t.co/OvhHG3mR2e— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 1, 2022
In fact, they accused her of breaking school rules forbidding premarital sex, with a different student—her ex-boyfriend. The institute threatened to expel her unless she signed a confession. She claims that she did not have sex with her ex-boyfriend and had to finish school remotely that year. “I just felt like, why did I even speak up?” Louk told NBC News. “That’s truly how I felt for a long time because everything seemed to keep getting worse.”
Louk declined to sign "the pastoral care contract" where she would have to confess to breaking rules on premarital sex. Based on the contract, she would be barred from campus and have to finish her degree online. She would also not be allowed to talk to other students about her alleged assault. The college did not investigate the alleged assault claiming that it had taken place off-campus. But according to her, the school planned to punish her for allegedly having premarital sex off-campus. “They weren’t going to help me basically because it 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.”
school officials also would not remove her attacker from her classes because he had not been arrested,— Peter Whiseheart (@PWhiseheart) May 1, 2022
Student claims Christian college barred her from campus after reporting rapehttps://t.co/Mkt91TZQXk
Louk wants the Department of Education to investigate Visible Music College, to check if the school violated a federal campus safety law requiring administrators to tell students of their options for help when they report sexual offenses. Another investigation would be whether the school discriminated against her under the gender equity law Title IX. According to her complaint, “Visible has retaliated against Mara in numerous ways. Instead of investigating the rape and providing support to Mara, Visible punished Mara for coming forward.” Cari Simon, Louk’s attorney, added, “Any victim would be discouraged from coming forward after that.”
Student, 22, sues Memphis Christian college after she was 'banned from campus when she complained she had been raped' https://t.co/j80ZDInx02— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) May 1, 2022
As per Yahoo News, Visible said it had not received official word from the DOE. "We are aware of the recent story including a former student," the college said in its statement. "As of Friday, April 29 at 4 p.m., we have not received an official complaint from the Department of Education and therefore cannot respond with any further information at this time. However, we would like to assure everyone that we are taking this situation very seriously and addressing the matter with the utmost care, as we have been since Fall 2021."
Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Tinnakorn Jorruang | EyeEm