LU Officer Faces Charges

Sara Severens ~ Staff Writer

A Liberty University police officer was arrested on three felony counts of aggravated sexual battery in a case involving two minors.

Jeffery O’Brien, 56, of Madison Heights, was arrested without incident at approximately 4 p.m. on Jan. 18, according to a news release from the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office.

The charges stem from O’Brien’s interactions with two girls, ages 14 and 11, according to the Sheriff’s Office press release.

The incidents took place from January 2015 to January 2017 and were reported to law enforcement only recently. O’Brien was taken to the Amherst Adult Detention Center where he is being held without bond.

O’Brien was previously employed as a police officer at LU. The Liberty University Police Department (LUPD) was made aware of O’Brien’s arrest and released a statement to the media on Jan. 19, 2017.

“The alleged crimes are not related to Liberty University or connected to Officer O’Brien’s employment at the university, in any way, shape or form,” said LU Executive Director of External Communications Len Stevens in the statement. “As soon as Liberty University became aware of these charges, the university contacted O’Brien and informed him that he has been suspended without pay.”

As of Feb. 6, O’Brien is no longer employed by LUPD according to an addendum made by Stevens to the media statement. LU has no further comment, citing an active investigation.

O’Brien has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 20 in Amherst County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.