Eight lawsuits filed against Rust College over alleged sexual ab - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Eight lawsuits filed against Rust College employees over alleged sexual abuse

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MEMPHIS,TN -
(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South law firm announced new sexual abuse allegations against Rust College employees Friday afternoon.

The accusations come after former professor, Sylvester Oliver, was arrested and indicted for allegedly raping a female student when she went to him for course advice.

Oliver has not been convicted on the charge and is currently awaiting trial.

The civil lawsuits are now in the hands of the federal courts. In the documents, eight new alleged victims say they were sexually abused. 

Lawyers at The Cochran Firm claim the college's president knew and did nothing.

Six Rust College students and two staff members have now come forward with new sexual abuse allegations against former professor Oliver and another former employee.

"We actually cut it off at 1993, but we have claims back to 1978," noted one representative of the firm.

Oliver is waiting to go to trial over a charge that he raped a student who came to him for course advice.

Attorney Sam Cherry alleges Oliver left a previous job as a Memphis teacher after allegations of abusing a student there. He was never charged.

Oliver's attorney denied both the criminal allegations and the new claims in the lawsuit.

"He was aware of a lot of the sexual misconduct that was occurring and did nothing," said Cherry.

Lawyers for the firm said they would share findings with law enforcement but have not been asked. Attorneys for the alleged victims believe more people out there may have a story to tell.

"You go to these people thinking that they are people you can trust, people you can look up to, people who have your best interest at heart," added Cherry.

Rust College's president said the school does not have an updated statement. 

On Thursday, officials could not comment on the pending case and said the school would continue to focus on serving students and maintaining safety.

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