Rolling Stone Backs Down on Rape Story

 By Peter Galuszka

This just in. I am sure there will be plenty of comment. It seems that the descriptions that “Jackie” had of her alleged rapists don’t match reality. The very fact that Rolling Stone now says it has “misplaced” its trust is a huge and troubling step that will seriously damage its credibility.

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49 responses to “Rolling Stone Backs Down on Rape Story

  1. THe author of the story is done – career down the tubes – and deservingly so.

    UVA is off the hook now – when they probably ought not to be.

    They’re all now gleefully picking up the sweated bullets and chucking them in the trash.

    • The author will probably receive an offer to join the editorial board of the Washington Post, which also is not known for telling the entire story or being consistent with the facts.

      • actually who among the media – left and right smelled a skunk?

        zippo.

        • It’s mind-boggling for a media outlet to interview only one side. But the Post has been doing this on many Virginia issues for years. And the Editorial Board rarely gets its facts right on editorials. Does anyone think Bezos would still pay $250 M for the Post today?

          • question – how come most ALL of the media – left and right did not get it?

            I suspect the right leaning media were like UVA – the suspected the worst and kept their heads down.

            TMT – there are TWO papers in town.. why is it up to the POST to meet the “needs” of those who consider it too “left”?

            there is a LOT of right-leaning media these days but the folks that say they want more “balanced” news – don’t support the media they say is needed as a balance … you’d think with all the folks that say they don’t like the left would not only have kept the Washington Examiner alive but by their support make it a significant competitor to the Post.

            It’s as if the Post is damned if they do and damned if they don’t .. sometimes.

          • My problem is the basic dishonesty of Fred Hiatt and the rest of the editorial board. There is a policy of non-interference between the editorial board and the reporting staff. I know quite a number of current and former Post reporters. I generally think they are pretty good whether or not I like their stories. One reporter confided in me several years ago that, despite the wall, he/she was leaned on by the editorial board not to write any negative stories about then Governor Tim Kaine.

            Editorials about Virginia often leave out facts or distort them. The editorial board rarely permits op-eds that take issue with positions on Virginia matters, while regularly accepting them on other issues. I periodically point out false and misleading statements to the editorial board and management. Silence in return. So I feel I have ample evidence to trash the Post’s editorial board, which I do on a regular basis.

          • TMT – I have the same problems in the opposite direction with the Washington Examiner, Richmond Times Dispatch, WSJ, Weekly Standard, Daily Caller, Breitbart, you name it… but that’s one reason why tend to not rely on one source for info – left or right – much less sit down and go over each one’s flaws and subjective leanings.

            Why should I expect the Examiner to not do the same thing the Post does but in the opposite direction and why would I expect them to do otherwise.

            I’m a skeptic about Tim Kaine.. there were other media – the Examiner and RTD – do they also go easy on him?

            I just think you’re expectations are not realistic.. and misplaced.. no one media source – whether you like them or not should be your primary source of news especially if you don’t trust them but to hold the Post accountable for not getting dirt on Kaine – and not the others just seems a bit bizarre.

  2. The silence of President Sullivan is now going to verge on dereliction of duty. She’s not answered the specifics of university knowledge of the case, as little or as much as was reported, and has let this gigantic media storm fester for more than 2 weeks. Putting to bed the RS story could have been done within 24 hours of publication, if she’d not been in Europe, with an ensuing investigation as deemed appropriate. Instead, the silence has caused external forces to fill the void of silence: the AG, SACS, OCS, Charlottesville PD.

    I would add that “Jackie” wouldn’t be the only first-year student to mix up the many Greek letters of Rugby Rd, Madison Lane…dates and locale may be off, whole story may be a lie, but some of these components could have been addressed. Why is there no retort, no defense, no accountability after more than 2 agonizing weeks? Bill Cosby and Sullivan must have engaged the same new PR firm. Unacceptable.

    • RS is blaming this on “Jackie”… It’s RS that screwed up. Heads should roll. By not doing proper due diligence – they’ve harmed UVA, they’ve harmed the woman who may have been wronged and swept under the rug by UVA and they’ve harmed the reputation of RS.

      we have no shortage of blame these days for govt and institutions – this is how this comes about. It’s not the institution – it’s the people who run it.. people… who do not value reputation – painstakingly built – incrementally then blown to bits by one or two smart asses…

  3. Ha ha ha…as usual, I was correct….go check my comments…told you guys that this was coming.

    I find it amusing that people took the word of one scribe. Journalists aren’t lawyers, and now the lawyers are going to have a field day. ha ha ha…..

    How little credibility do media sources that “ran with this story” and printed all sorts of anti-U.Va. dross have? When will this site remove its postings?

  4. Imagine what Rolling Stone did to Jackie.

    Plus UVA (its President, Administrators, and faculty) has a lot of explaining to do. The story has only started.

  5. My earlier comment on Jim’s “before Panicking” article, namely

    “The Rolling Stones article … “reports” the physical details of the crime with the vividness and specificity of an exquisitely imagined novel. Yet its 9000 words offers no hard evidence that the crime, or any of its details, did in fact happen. It’s zipper-less journalism. The article uses the tools of pure fiction writing to allege a horrendous crime then refuses to present any hard evidence that substantiates the criminal event while it shuts out any possibility of a defense to those accused by association yet not named …”

    The question now is how much, if at all, does this characterization apply to the entire Rape Culture movement?

    And does the Rolling Stone article manifest something far larger? Something akin to a modern day psychological plague or hysteria?

    What in the world is going on here? And why did so many people in the UVA community, including so many of its leaders so quickly embrace the article, and take such dramatic action, and promise so much more dramatic action, on such flimsy grounds.

  6. Larry, it wasn’t that important that I did opine that the RS author’s description of UVA’s campus being dominated by blond Super People was a bit over the top., That may well aptly describe Jim Bacon’s neighborhood but not the school which is 20 percent or more diverse.

    • well I’m okay with journalistic stylized licence – but not sloppy/inept/careless journalism. The fundamental basic rule for journalist in Larry’s book is the integrity of the writing … once that line is crossed – I cross that journalist off my list and what the employing company does (or not) also affects me.

      More than one person screwed up at RS besides the writer of the story – in my humble opinion – and blaming Jackie is cowardly as well as unprofessional.

      stand by the story – or admit that you failed to follow – really fundamental journalistic standards.

      you’re not defending them, right?

      this thing did not sound quite right from the get go.. but I got fooled because all the other media – both left and right – bought the story – as is… not even FAUX news expressed skepticism…

    • Whoa, a whole 20 percent or more! That goes from blindingly white to merely mighty white! Some of those blonde super people may actually be brunettes, or – horrors! – redheads.

      I’m curious why that detail in particular stuck so strongly in your craw.

  7. Peter and Jim,

    I have a serious question for you two.

    The Washington Post seems to have found several flaws in this story within 2 WEEKS.

    Rolling Stone says this story was in the works for MONTHS.

    As a reporter/editor….if you fact-checked a story and found one verifiable falsity, would you pull the entire piece before it ran? Obviously, the more I read the WaPo’s account, there were some fairly easy things to “fact check” that either weren’t by RS or they let it run with inaccuracies anyway.

  8. As far as my reporting, I try to get as many views as I can and if the story targets someone I try to make a lot of effort reaching him or her.

    I spent two years researching a book on Massey Energy. The principal character is Don Blankenship, the former CEO who has just ben indicted. I had interviewed him earlier but I gave as many opportunities as I could to get his views. I wrote him. I called. I personally approached his brother. I spoke with his son. I talked extensively with members of his board and others, asking them to make sure that he understand that I wanted to talk with him. He still gave no reply.

    In the Rolling Stone case, the reporter followed “Jackie’s” wishes that she not contact the frat guys. I have problems with that although I can understand the sensitivity involved. The reporter claims that she tried to verify that one man involved with the alleged rape had been a school lifeguard.That shouldn’t be too hard to do. But one big problem was that the frat now says it did not have any social events on the weekend Jackie says the party took place. That should be a red flag.That could have been easily checked. If the reporter found out no parties that weekend, step one is to clarify with the source.

    • Peter – how come it took so long for the rest of the media, ordinary folks, and UVA to see these red flags?

    • Thanks.

      I suppose what angered me when I saw people believing the story was the account itself.

      Now….if she truly broke a glass table and was gang raped by 7 guys, there is no way that any “friend” would not immediately take her to a hospital. But more than “friends”…..I have been on Rugby many times late on a Friday night……I have zero doubt that numerous “strangers” much less “friends” would have taken her to U.Va/Martha Jeff if the story was true. You don’t just see a bloodied, traumatized girl that often…..people would stop and ask to help.

      • Agreed. I spent four years in a fraternity facing Mad Bowl a stones throw away from alleged attack, and I never saw or heard of anything comparable to the alleged event. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Only that, in my experience, the account given by Jackie was highly implausible on its face.

        • I agree that I can’t say it didn’t happen with 100% accuracy. But…in my experience….the CPD/U.Va. PD are out on Rugby and the Corner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in pretty heavy patrol. Both vehicular and foot officers. It’s really tough to believe that they wouldn’t notice this either….

          Good points about U.Va.’s admin jumping on this.

          But what about those that criticized Sullivan’s initial reaction? I will guarantee that the University Counsel wrote the initial response. But as “negative PR” built, the admin didn’t just let the facts come out, they decided to “PR” it. Well, we see how that looks now…..I wonder if the whole story may collapse?

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            In early Sept I received an alum e-mail letter from Pres. Sullivan. She told of the steps UVA was taking to counter the sexual abuse culture at UVA. I had two reactions to the letter.

            First, if the problem was so bad that it required remedial action as described, then I would not send my child to UVA.

            Secondly, whatever the underlying facts, President Sullivan’s letter reeked of latent hysteria to the point that it threatened the well being of UVA students, if only from a psychological point of view.

            Under such a regime a son would live in an environment prone to witch hunt minefields of sex charges. A daughter would be exposed to the hysteria counseling of fears, anger and confusions regarding her view of half the population, in the midst of a rampant hook-up culture. What a witches brew.

            So I replied to President Sullivan, calling her letter hysterical and irresponsible to the point that it threatened harm to students.

            This was before the Rolling Stone article. It’s now apparent the UVA had been dealing with the impending Rolling Stones article for many months before the Sept. e-mail. Likely the letter was one of many steps UVA took to inoculate itself against the threat, and position itself to handle the fallout, whatever it might be.

            The threat posed in very real. For example, the Hammer of the Federal Government and accrediting agencies that now (unlike before) do the bidding of the federal government is huge. The fraternity scapegoat under the circumstances is irresistible for a whole variety of reasons. And remember too, based on the Heather Mac Donald articles like the Rape Culture Myth, hysteria and miss-information is the life blood the much of this movement.

  9. Tawanna Brawley was not available for comment.

  10. Just because there are inconsistencies in this young woman’s story doesn’t mean:

    – She wasn’t raped.
    – She wasn’t gang raped.

    • You might want to keep reading what’s coming out on this before saying too much. Her friends (not the ones who supposedly failed to help her that night of the supposed rape) are throwing her under the bus. Her “advocate” feels deceived. There has been no comment from the author.

      Are we looking at a modern Clifford Irving?

      Was there ever any woman speaking to this so-called journalist?

      If “Jackie” exists it would be a good time for her to step forward before this becomes another Tawana Brawley / Duke lacrosse team issue.

      • how long on her back pushed into shards of broken glass and no record of a hospital visit and not a single friend to vouch for her bloodied condition?

        this one of those stinks that not only won’t go away but it develops even worse aroma the longer it festers.

        sorry – this story has more holes in it than Bill Cosby has denials…

      • Agreed.

        Its possible that this young woman may well have been severely mistreated by those who wanted “her story” or “their version of her story’ for their own purposes.

        Why would Rolling Stone not allow her to back out of “her” story? Why would it then publish it anyway despite her efforts to escape her connection with story and the damage it could cause her, not to mention all the other people targeted by it. Why would RS do this after insisting how fragile Jackie was, and understandable so in all events, whether her story was partially true or a total fiction of her imagination?

        And where were her friends during all of this, allowing it to happen?

        I suspect this rape culture movement does a lot of damage to lot of people, whether they be called victims, survivors, the accused, or the mental health of entire college communities. No wonder their is a mounting mental health crisis among college students in this country. See http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/09/crisis-campus.aspx

        • As I wrote on this blog about a week ago:

          “My guess is that there is about a 5% chance that the article is essentially true as written. There are many inconsistencies. Unfortunately, I’d guess there is about a 75% chance that something bad did happen to “Jackie” at that fraternity.”

          Maybe it wasn’t “that fraternity”. Maybe it wasn’t any fraternity. However, if there really is a Jackie then I imagine something bad happened to her.

          Of course, if Jackie is just a figment of some liberal reporter’s imagination I hope the gentlemen of Phi Psi retire early on the proceeds of the lawsuit.

      • “You might want to keep reading what’s coming out on this before saying too much.”

        I’m not saying anything. My feelings on the matter of campus rape have never hinged upon the veracity of Jackie’s story, but given the rarity of false rape reports and the amount of women who never report I’m willing to err on her side until I’m given something more substantial than the word of the fraternity named in the piece and the Washington Post, the same newspaper who tried to nail Gary Webb to the wall for Dark Alliance series.

        “If ‘Jackie’ exists…”

        So you can’t do both. You can’t say her friends and advocate are turning on her and then question is she exists.

        “before this becomes another Tawana Brawley”

        The Tawana Brawley case is so fascinating to me. You have a teenage girl who was so afraid of her abusive step father that she was willing to smear herself in dog feces rather than face his wrath, but no one ever talks about that. They just know she falsified a rape case against police officers whose names no one remembers. For the crime of being a scared 15-year-old girl who didn’t want to get beaten by her potentially molester step dad she gets to be a specter looming over every rape allegation that makes it to the press.

        The idea that this case could be Steubenville without cell phones never seemed to cross the minds of anyone here, but Tawana Brawley and Duke Lacrosse sprang forth almost immediately. I wonder why that is.

        • The issue in the UVA matter is that the Rolling Stone is backtracking, not the fraternity in question or the Washington Post. You know that and any other commentary is dissembling.

          At this point I don’t know if “Jackie” exists and either do you. There has been no direct commentary from “Jackie”, only from Sabrina Rubin Erdely. Now there are many, many inconsistencies and a Rolling Stone pseudo-apology. What’s true and what is not? Hard to tell.

          I am not sure why Tawana Brawley is hard for you to understand. Was she abused by people Close to her? Yes. Did she falsely accuse completely innocent people of doing things they never did? Yes. Did hype-artists appear out of the woodwork to profit from the accusations? Yes. What is your issue with this analogy?

          As for Steubenville – you seem to forget that the publisher of the article is in full retreat on the facts. It was the Rolling Stone that backtracked on the veracity of the article not Breitbart. Why is this hard? They published bullshit and now admit that.

          • LifeOnTheFallLine

            “They published bullshit and now admit that.”

            No they don’t, in fact here are their words:

            “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”

            This is not a full retreat. At nowhere in the note to their readers did they retract a single word of their story or say that it was untrue. They said there APPEAR to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account. There is nothing at all conclusive in the statement.

            “You know that and any other commentary is dissembling.”

            No. The impetus for the Rolling Stone statement was a letter from Phi Kappa Psi’s national organization and some work done by the Washington Post, not any internal review. Since external stimulus caused this it’s germane to examine the external sources and their own motivations and track records.

            “At this point I don’t know if ‘Jackie’ exists and neither do you.”

            True, but I wasn’t the one trying to use as evidence of this story’s lack of credibility that her friends and advocate were turning on her, so there’s that. Either she’s completely imaginary or she’s real and her allies are rebuking her, choose one.

            “What is your issue with this analogy?”

            I never said I had an issue with it, just that people always name check it without the full context, as if there was nothing specific to Tawan Brawley’s case and she was the avatar for all rape allegations. But if I were to take issue with it, it would be because:

            – Tawana was a 15-year-old girl, not a college student.
            – Tawana lived under the roof of a man she feared would beat her, not in a college dorm.
            – Tawana filed a police report, Jackie did not.
            – Tawana named names and pointed fingers at specific people, Jackie has used only aliases.

            “Now there are many, many inconsistencies…”

            Since Rolling Stone is the only source that matters to you, which inconsistencies did they list?

  11. Meanwhile … the penalty for the absolutely, completely false charge of rape?

    32 days in jail.

    http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2014/10/24/woman-sentenced-windsor-rape-hoax/17841039/

    Time to get tough on rapists.

    Time to get tough on those who falsely claim rape.

  12. LOTFL:

    You have to go beyond the Rolling Stone semi-retraction. There are plenty of articles that question and attack the narrative in the “story” (and it is increasingly looking like a story). Say what you want but Tawana Brawley lied at the behest of others and accused innocent people of heinous crimes they didn’t commit. I’d actually agree with you that she was young, vulnerable and far from the focus of evil in that case. But that would ignore the point. The point was the false allegation. So false, in fact, that Brawley was ultimately forced to pay damages. She now lives in Virginia and has paid little of her court mandated damages. Seems like she might need to spend a bit of time in jail until she gets serious about her obligations under the law.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/05/209194252/15-years-later-tawana-brawley-has-paid-1-percent-of-penalty

    • “the Rolling Stone semi-retraction.”

      That went from bullshit to a semi-retraction in less than an hour…impressive.

      “There are plenty of articles that question and attack the narrative in the ‘story'”

      So we’re allowed to go to outside sources for the discrepancies, but we’re not allowed to question those outside sources. Yeah, that sounds rational.

      “I’d actually agree with you that she was young, vulnerable and far from the focus of evil in that case. But that would ignore the point”

      Uhm, no, that would actually make my point quite succinctly. That the specifics of her case are such that trotting out her name as just “FALSE RAPE!” is so reductionist to be absurd, especially since, in your words, she was young, vulnerable and far from the focus of evil.

      “Seems like she might need to spend a bit of time in jail until she gets serious about her obligations under the law.”

      This is perfectly logical. She’s working as a nurse and is on a payment plan to meet her obligations, but she’s not doing it fast enough so let’s throw her in jail where she’ll make even less money and meet her obligations even less quickly.

      This conversation is good though because it shows the difference between a legal system and a justice system.

      In a system where justice was paramount it would be inconceivable that a 15-year-old who the state failed to protect from her predator stepfather and was clearly lead around by the adults in her life would at some future point be forced to pay out damages to a man whose career was so hurt he went on to become New York Assistant State Attorney General and who blamed his divorce in 2000 on what happened in 1987. A man who, by his own admission, has moved on.

      In a legal system, though, that makes total sense.

  13. I do find it interesting that when these stories come up everyone always go to Tawana Brawley and the Duke Lacrosse case, two incidents where fingers were pointed at white men who were eventually cleared in court and suffered no legal consequences as a result.

    Yet, Brian Banks actually spent time in prison in what could only be described as a total failure of our legal system and missed prime football playing years behind a false accusation. Of course, Brian Banks is black.

    It’s almost like people don’t actually care that much about false rape accusations and just want to make sure that there are no white men getting inconvenienced. At least, that’s the conclusion one could draw from the cases they choose to site…

    • I note the author of the RS article is an award winning person who has mostly reported on this issue… over the years…

      ” Erdely has written extensively about persons who have alleged rape and bullying. Currently a freelance journalist, she previously wrote for Philadelphia”

      ” Erdely’s 1996 story for Philadelphia, in which a woman alleged to have been raped by her gynecologist, was nominated for an American Society of Magazine Editors award. A 2012 story for Rolling Stone, alleging purported bullying of gay students in Minnesota, was similarly nominated.[1] Erdely’s 2013 Rolling Stone story “The Rape of Petty Officer Blumer” chronicled the alleged drugging and rape of a U.S. Navy female petty officer by three U.S. Army soldiers.”

      My point here is that she is not a wet-behind-the-ears journalist who one might think committed novice-type blunders in journalism.

      And for that matter – RS itself – her editor and others who reviewed her article also were likely not neophytes.

      and yet – ordinary people – not trained in journalism – saw fairly obvious consistency issues…

      I don’t give UVA a bye here. They were apoplectic when the issue broke – acting more like a guilty party – found out – than showing that they had a good program that had reported rape before and in general had a good record of dealing with the problem – for both supposed victim and alleged perpetrator.

      They have a dysfunctional, questionable process and they themselves put credence into an article that was problematical from the get go.

      But back to the author – this seems to be her specialty – and she’s a veteran at it – and she makes these kinds of journalistic faux pax?

      I smell a rat – either someone at RS pushed her hard to “produce” or she got lazy and/or crossed the line on something she was passionate on – and lost her objectivity. I don’t know which it is but something went sideways big time and her reputation and RS – painstakingly built over the years – is now in tatters and justly deserved.

      I still think the colleges, including UVA should get out of the business of trying to adjudicate these issues and let the law do it per the real law not some honor code supplanting Va code.

      It does trouble me that over the years there are no referrals from UVA ? Is that true?

    • In fact, I’ve written extensively on people accused and convicted of murder before being exonerated while on death row. Here is an example from August – http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2014/08/the-problem-with-the-death-penalty.html

      You should review the case I cited – Earl Washington.

      Mr. Washington was falsely accused of both rape and murder.

      Your arguments tend to be simplistic and poorly researched. That’s a shame. You seem like a bright person. However, your comments appear to be the result of some sort of cultural brainwashing from the left. I see the same pattern in many Tea Party “members”.

      • “In fact, I’ve written extensively on people accused and convicted of murder before being exonerated while on death row.”

        Apples and oranges based on what my premise was.

        “Mr. Washington was falsely accused of both rape”

        And yet when the subject of false rape came up you neglected to mention Mr. Washington’s plight – which you were familiar with enough to write about previously and took place in Virginia – and went straight to Tawana Brawley. Now maybe it’s because those falsely accusing Mr. Washington were the police instead of a woman, but if it’s not comparable why bring it up now?

        In fact, all the cases you brought up previous to my point – Tawana Brawley, Duke Lacrosse, Lena Dunham, Colorado – have one thing in common: the men accused were all white, and this tends to be the case for the majority of people who talk about such things, which is odd when you consider that the Exoneration Project found that black citizens make up 62 percent of the exonerated population when it comes to rape (http://www.blackvoicenews.com/news/news-wire/48803-blacks-are-still-majority-of-the-wrongfully-convicted.html).

        Now, maybe it’s not a bias in you, just a bias in the information sources you frequent…

        “Your arguments tend to be simplistic and poorly researched.”

        You know that’s not true. I bring more sited studies and statistics than just about any other poster on this site. And if my arguments were so simplistic they’d be much easier to dismantle and I’d be much less – oh, what’s the word Bacon used to describe me – “frustrating.”

        “You seem like a bright person.”

        Thanks, I think you’re cute, too.

        “the result of some sort of cultural brainwashing”

        You know what’s interesting here? I posted a thesis that was essentially “I see a cognitive bias in the types of false rape accusations that people tend to bring up” and supported that with actual examples.

        Your response is essentially “Nuh uh, no you!” without any sort of evidence.

        But I’m the one accused of brainwashed simplicity.

  14. Lets hope that Life On The Fall Line and RonR are getting some well earned sleep after their “All-Nighter” last night.

  15. Amongst the many comments on this thread and earlier, how is it that no one mentions any of the following:
    • that sexual assaults at colleges nation-wide have been going on for a very long time, whether at frat houses, dorms, or anywhere else near academic communities;
    • that women are frequently too embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid to report these assaults to authorities; historically women who have endured attacks are stigmatized, or otherwise defamed; to a certain degree this still happens.
    • young women are often bullied into recanting their stories and are often easily intimidated.
    • the few assaults that do get reported are often not handled appropriately;
    • perpetrators always deny any allegations, and will often go to great lengths to distort the claims of the victim or otherwise slander her. If they can afford to, offenders will employ lawyers skilled at deflecting rape charges.
    • again, historically, rapists often ‘get off’ with minimal sentences.
    • it is rare indeed that a woman will totally fabricate a rape for revenge or other reasons, although obviously it happens occasionally.
    • at European colleges, sexual assaults are small in number compared to their US counterparts. (this topic is worthy of a separate discussion altogether).

    Given all of that, in the highly sexualized and permissive society of the US, some frat parties unfortunately provide an ideal place for such assaults to occur, esp. when fueled by alcohol and drugs. A lot of girls can find themselves in uncomfortable and even dangerous situations that they didn’t think could happen. Although sexual assaults happen at all types of schools, whether ivy-league or not, it seems that the more prestigious the school, the more vigorous will be the denial of charges from what I’ve observed and know of personally.

    Finally, all sexual assaults at any school should be prosecuted by the police, because academia does not have the legal authority to do so. They can only dismiss students who commit such crimes.

    • Not only do I agree with what you wrote I made many of those same points.

      Colleges and universities are poorly equipped to handle investigations of criminal misconduct.

      The bigger issue at hand here is the matter of three alleged rapes and two alleged murders at the hands of Jesse Matthew. Press reports have claimed that Mr. Matthew was thrown out of two different Virginia colleges on allegations of sexual misconduct before being arrested for multiple rapes and murders some years later.

      Would Morgan Harrington and Hannah Graham be alive today if either / both Liberty University / Christopher Newport University would have reported his alleged sexual assaults to the police?

      We’ll never know for sure but Matthew had a history of sexual assaults allegations in college before he was accused of multiple murders.

      • that’s an excellent observation – of real harm as the result of inappropriate handling of issues originally.

        However, you also talked about wrongful convictions and I’m having my doubt why there are not hard charges against this guy at this point. there are some warning signs..

        • Matthew has been indicted for the sexual assault in Fairfax County from 2005. That victim is alive and is expected to testify against him. That assault “forensically’ led investigators to believe that Matthew was involved in the Harrington abduction and murder. Authorities are not disclosing what “forensically” means. There is a security video that ties Matthew to the Hannah Graham abduction and murder.

          My assumption is that the authorities think they have their man. I certainly hope they are right. Otherwise, an innocent man is being charged and the real perpetrator is still out there. I further assume that the authorities don’t feel obliged to rush since the indictment in Fairfax County will keep Matthew off the street while they continue to investigate.

          • yup.. and there is a guy named Darrell David Rice who can attest to what authorities “think”.

            I think if they truly had their man – dead to rights – they’d not be playing semantic games with the charges… at this point…

  16. Ron R raises the case of Lena Dunham see http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/12/03/investigation-lena-dunhams-republican-rapist-story-falls-apart-under-scrutiny

    Here a young woman turned a sexual encounter into an abusive sexual event whose latter characterization is arrived at through the victim’s slow later psychological realization of what really had been done to her that night once she mulled it over for a long time afterwards in her head. The reader gets to go along on her ride. The reader shares the experiences of what happened to Dunham as those events morph into abuse in her head over time, and so the reader shares vicariously in narrator’s revelation as well as various versions of what she thinks was happening to her at different points in time.

    Its an ingenious narrative strategy. Its effectiveness is enhanced because its presented as non-fiction. Its a memoir, the vivid physical and psychological experiences of the writer before, during, and after the sexual abuse.

    The story’s power and vividness is compounded by the assertion that this post-party “ill-fated Lovemaking” took place at Oberlin College after the narrator invited a prominent campus Republican (or Conservative) up to her apartment. Only the abusers first name is given. But vivid surrounding details are provided to build a sense of veracity, and authenticity, and will lead anyone interested to the accused if one undertakes a Google search.

    The book is a fabulous success. A new Times best seller, Dunham is now a celebrity and rich, the publisher’s advance to her reportedly $3.7 million advance.

    According to Breitbart News: “After a month-long investigation that included more than a dozen interviews, a trip to Oberlin Campus, and hours spent poring through the Oberlin College archives, her description of the campus remains the only detail Breitbart News was able to verify in Durhams story of being raped by a campus Republican named Barry.”

    The merger of journalism, fiction, memoir writing techniques used in Dunham’s “memoir” on what happened to her one night at Oberlin College seems to match in many ways with those deployed in the Rolling Stone “investigative” report on what happened to Jackie at UVA one night.

  17. Her career isn’t done, she’ll be recognized and lauded as was Dan Rather with his bogus and untrue story about George W. Bush. For the corporate media there are no journalism standards, anything that can be published to further the approved political agenda is valid.

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