(Holly Springs, MS) There’s disturbing claims from a former Rust College professor about a cover-up of sexual abuse at the school dating back years.
Over the weekend Sylvester Oliver was arrested by Holly Springs police and charged with rape.
A freshman student says the alleged crime happened in Oliver’s Rust College office last month.
A former professor News Channel 3 spoke with Tuesday didn't want to be identified because she`s afraid of retaliation by someone connected with Rust College.
She tells us, for years, Dr. Oliver's students have been afraid to come forward.
“The student sexual abuse on Rust College campus is ridiculous and it must be stopped,” said the former professor.
But the former professor says it never has been.
Instead, she claims the school knowingly ignored sexual misconduct allegations against Oliver and other staff members, calling the organization corrupt.
“How far does the corruption go?,” asked News Channel 3.
“I dare not say, I don`t think there is a limit to it,” said the former professor.
By phone, the school`s vice president told News Channel 3, “People will say all kinds of things about a case like this. We can`t even attempt to address everything and we won`t. Our official statement is all we have to say.”
Monday the school released an official statement calling the story a “personnel matter” and saying it declined to comment.
Since Oliver’s recent arrest in Holly Spring, Rust College fired him.
News Channel 3 also learned he was charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl while working at Northside High School in Memphis in 2006.
The charge was never dropped and he was re-hired by Rust College in 2006.
The university admits it didn’t know Oliver still faces charges, something the former professor says is a big problem.
“They are young people. They need protection and learning they do not need to be exploited, its unspeakable,” said the professor.
Rust College is part of the United Methodist Church. News Channel 3 reached out to the church about the charges and Oliver’s employment Tuesday, but never heard anything back.
“Rust College must become an institution of higher learning and it must cease supporting, promoting, allowing any sexual misconduct,” said the former professor.
At this time, the Holly Springs Police Department is not investigating any other Rust College faculty member for sexual misconduct.
So far, no other students have come forward