Former Liberty student recounts sexual encounter with Becki Falwell, Va. Senate eliminates mandatory minimums for assaults on officers, COVID-19 on campus, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Del. Sam Rasoul, a Roanoke Democrat and the first Muslim to serve in the General Assembly, says he’s considering a run for lieutenant governor next year. “2020 has thrown everything at us,” he said. “As we heal in 2021, I believe we can be bold in our convictions without tearing each other down.”—Roanoke Times

• A former Liberty University student says he had a sexual encounter with Becki Falwell, the wife of ousted Liberty leader Jerry Falwell Jr., while he stayed at the couple’s home after a band practice in 2008.—POLITICO

• After Liberty’s campus pastor apologized to the student body for Falwell’s “sinful behavior,” Falwell said he called the pastor and “asked him exactly what sin I had committed.” The pastor hung up, saying Falwell “was not interested in an actual, sincere discussion about his sin.”—News & Advance

• The Virginia Senate passed a bill that would eliminate six-month mandatory minimums for assaults on law enforcement officers.—Associated Press

• A Hampton defense contractor was indicted for allegedly selling the U.S. government T-shirts, swim trunks, lanyards, parachutes and barbed wire that came from China but were falsely labeled “Made in the USA.”—Daily Press

• Lawyers for ex-employees of the Washington Football Team who say they were sexually harassed have called on the NFL to suspend owner Dan Snyder and conduct an independent investigation into the claims.—Washington Post

• A Norfolk police officer who shot and killed a schizophrenic man in Chesapeake while off duty has been charged with voluntary manslaughter.—Virginian-Pilot

• Officials at Danville’s Southern Virginia Mental Health Institute told employees to keep going to work if they tested positive for COVID-19 but didn’t have symptoms. Someone in the HR office quickly questioned the guidance, but the institution didn’t reverse itself until two weeks later.—Danville Register & Bee

• Citing medical privacy laws, JMU administrators have denied a student newspaper’s FOIA requests seeking information on COVID-19 cases broken down by dorm or student housing complex. The university has reported 124 cases.—The Breeze

• UVA revealed it has 58 cases as administrators prepare for a final decision on whether to move ahead with in-person classes on Sept. 8.—Daily Progress

• Virginia Tech, which has reported just 21 cases, is grappling with its coronavirus response after a viral photo showed a packed classroom and observers “noted the irony” of the university’s football website advertising tailgate packages for large groups.—Roanoke Times

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