Student says Memphis Christian college did nothing after rape claim

Student, 22, sues Memphis Christian college after she was ‘banned from campus for premarital sex when she complained she had been raped and choked by classmate’

  • 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 sex with another student, despite her denying having sex with him
  • She says the accused classmate told school officials she had sex 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

A former student claims that a Memphis Christian college banned her from campus for allegedly having premarital sex after she reported that she was raped by a fellow classmate. 

On Wednesday, 22-year-old Mara Louk filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Visible Music College, claiming 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, on November 2, 2021 an unnamed male classmate came over to Louk’s apartment to play board games and ended up sexually assaulting her. 

On Wednesday, Mara Louk, 22, (pictured) filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Visible Music College

Louk’s complaint is asking the DOE to look into whether Visible violated the Clery Act- a federal campus safety law requiring colleges to support victims of campus crimes. 

School president, Ken Steorts, who said he has not yet seen the complaint, says the college will cooperate with any investigations

The following day she told a school administrator about the alleged assault, telling them that she shared a class with the student and wanted to make sure he could not harass her on campus, the complaint says. 

‘I didn’t expect them to actually expel him, but I did trust them enough to get a plan in motion to keep him away from me and other students,’ Louk told NBC News. 

The day after that she filed a sexual assault report with Memphis police but a week later she was informed by police there was not enough evidence to make an arrest, she said. 

Then on November 15 school administrators told her because the police did not charge the classmate, he would continue to attend classes. 

In that same meeting Louk claims school administrators accused her of breaking school rules against premarital sex with another student, despite her denying having sex with him.

She says the accused classmate told school officials she had sex with her ex-boyfriend that semester and that the ex confirmed it. 

Louk says the school then threatened to have her expelled unless she signed a confession. Even then she was banned from campus and had to finish the school year remotely. 

‘I just felt like, why did I even speak up?’ Louk said. ‘That’s truly how I felt for a long time because everything seemed to keep getting worse’

Louk says what Visible Music College did was illegal as well as against their supposed morals as a Christian school

School officials also advised Louk they would not be conducting a Title IX investigation because the alleged assault did not take place on campus, (pictured) the complaint said

School officials also advised Louk they would not be conducting a Title IX investigation because the alleged assault did not take place on campus, according to the complaint.

Louk claims the school administrators also tried to stop her from telling anyone else at the school about her alleged rape. 

‘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.’ 

The complaint is asking the DOE to look into whether the school violated the Clery Act- a federal campus safety law requiring colleges to support victims of campus crimes- and whether the school discriminated against Louk under the gender equity law Title IX. 

‘Visible has retaliated against Mara in numerous 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 ended up wrapping up the fall semester online and then withdrew from the college just nine credits away from obtaining her 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 college will cooperate with any investigations.  

‘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 be doing an investigation into the alleged assault because they had no jurisdiction over an incident that took place off campus in accordance with Title IX regulations.

But Louk called out the school’s hypocrisy because she says they were willing to punish her for alleged premarital sex that took place 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.’

Louk says what the school did was illegal as well as against their supposed morals as a Christian school. 

‘Along with what the school did to me being completely illegal,’ she 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.’ 

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