Rust College asks court to seal filing in sex abuse lawsuit

By Patsy R. Brumfield

Daily Journal

OXFORD – An attorney for Rust College asked Friday for a federal court to seal a pending motion because it allegedly contains “inflammatory accusations” against named college employees.

In a four-page motion to limit access or seal, Oxford attorney Mitchell O. Driskell III urges limited access or seal from public scrutiny for a proposed amended complaint by “Jane Doe.”

Last September, “Doe” accused Rust leadership of creating a climate of sexual misconduct and former professor Sylvester Oliver of raping her.

At the time, a Rust spokesman denied all her allegations. Last week, Oliver filed a lengthy response of denials.

Friday’s motion to seal states the amendment will “include factual allegations supposedly provided by seven or more” unnamed witnesses who will identify Rust College employees and make accusations against them, Driskell writes.

Because these named individuals are not parties to the lawsuit and are being accused by people unidentified as yet, Rust College asks that the amendment be available for viewing “by only attorneys of record and the court” or be filed under seal until its merits can be determined.

Rust College in Holly Springs is a historically black, co-educational, liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Today it is supported by the United Methodist Church.

patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com