Rust College Professor Charged With Rape Was Accused While In Memphis

(Holly Springs, MS) Less than 20 minutes after a Rust College professor was booked into the Marshall County Jail for rape, he posted a $25,000 bond and headed home.

Monday, News Channel 3 learned Rust College fired Sylvester Oliver following this weekend’s rape arrest.

A woman at Oliver’s home waved us off saying they did not want to comment.

The College isn’t saying much either, only that the investigation is ongoing with detectives.

Sylvester Oliver taught at Rust College for decades, but briefly worked as a teacher at  Northside High School in Memphis. 

In January 2006, he resigned, around the same time a 16-year-old girl claimed he sexually assaulted her in his classroom.

Oliver went back to Rust College as the Director of Humanities and Associate Professor of Music.

“If you already know about his history, why rehire him?,” asked student Latrice Burgess.

We asked the school that question.

The College’s Vice President wouldn’t go on camera but told News Channel 3, the Memphis allegations were never founded.

The school also released this statement: “This is both a personnel matter and an ongoing Police investigation; Rust College will have no further comments on this matter.

“They should know who to hire, who not to hire, they should always do a background check,” said student, Zavier Williams.

The School wouldn’t say if a background check was performed. 

Some students, like Williams, believe Rust College may have put students put at risk.

Especially since students say for years, they heard rumors about Oliver taking advantage of his position and the school should have done something about it.

“I  feel like, when I’m in my room or in class anything can happen, I feel unsafe,” said Williams.

The Holly Springs Police Chief says there isn’t a record there of previous rape charges against Oliver, but says if there are other victims, they should come forward.

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