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ASHE SCHOW: No such thing as evidence of innocence in campus sexual assault hearings.

If a student has been wrongly accused of sexual assault on their college campus, how are they supposed to prove their innocence?

I’ve asked a similar question to lawmakers and interested parties before — how is a student supposed to prove they obtained consent in a he said, she said situation? — but received no response.

One would think there might at least theoretically exist evidence that an encounter was consensual – outside of a videotape or recording, of course. Witnesses, for example, or subsequent messages between the two students.

And indeed, such evidence does exist in some situations, the problem is that college administrators either ignore such evidence or they twist said evidence to end up being used against the accused student who brought it up.

Take contact between the two parties after an alleged incident of sexual assault. Even if the accuser appears friendly toward the eventually accused, all they have to do is claim their messages didn’t accurately portray their feelings and suddenly, those messages are used against the accused.

This occurred in the Emma Sulkowicz vs. Paul Nungesser case. After what Sulkowicz claimed was a brutal rape in which she was pinned, beaten and choked before being raped, she sent Nungesser numerous messages asking to hang out, even telling him she loved him. Nungesser tried to get those messages introduced as evidence during his Columbia University hearing, but was denied. Nungesser, who has since become the victim of a public campaign of defamation by his accuser, was exonerated anyway.

After Sulkowicz began a mattress-carrying performance art project and publicly identified Nungesser as her attacker despite confidentiality rules, Nungesser released the post-alleged-rape Facebook messages.

Sulkowicz responded to the released messages by claiming she sent them because she wanted to have a “talk” with Nungesser about the encounter. Some people still buy it.

A similar situation played out at Vassar College when Peter Yu introduced Facebook messages showing his accuser apologizing to him for the evening. She apologized for leading him on and said that she had “a wonderful time” with him. But a year later, when Yu produced these messages for the disciplinary panel, his accuser claimed they “did not correctly reflect her feelings” because she was in a state of “shock and disbelief” about the encounter.

What we’ve learned so far: Women are too emotionally immature for college. They should be kept at home until a suitable man appears, ready to marry them and assume responsibility for overseeing their poor decision-making abilities.

THEY CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH: Georgetown University demands College Republicans edit video showing angry feminist protesters.

The controversy over scholar Christina Hoff Sommers’ lecture at Georgetown University last week is not over.

Lauren Gagliardi, the school’s assistant director for the center for student engagement, emailed two members of the College Republicans to request they edit the video to remove students who did not agree to be videotaped.

In the email, provided to the Washington Examiner, Gagliardi tells the students that the “edited version needs to be released without students who did not give permission to be taped.” She also says that if the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, which sponsored the event, is “unwilling or unresponsive to the request, Georgetown will need to step in.”

The video that has Gagliardi so upset features feminist activists holding up signs accusing Hoff Sommers of being an anti-feminist or deny rape.

Yeah, well, if they didn’t want to be on video doing that, then they shouldn’t have done that. Here’s the video.

Much more here. “I wonder if Georgetown ever heard of the Streisand Effect?”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): My husband had a long affair with his aunt—starting when he was 16.

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): America’s Most Gullible Senator, Or Its Most Dishonest?

HOW OUR RULING CLASS THINKS: Gillibrand On Rape Hoaxes: ‘I Hope It’s Just Putting More Of A Spotlight On The Problem.’

CRAZY CHICK BECOMES WOMAN SCORNED, GETS ELEVATED TO FEMINIST HEROINE: Robby Soave: Student Falsely Accused of Rape By ‘Mattress Girl’ Sues Columbia U., Publishes Dozens of Damning Texts; Sulkowicz made life a living hell for Nungesser. Well, that’s certainly what it looks like.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Lesbian Teacher Pleads Guilty to Criminal Sexual Conduct With Teenage Girl. “A former Grant High School science teacher has pleaded guilty to having inappropriate sexual contact with a female student with whom she exchanged about 14,000 text messages during a four-week period last fall. Erin Katharine MacDonald, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with the female student. In exchange for the plea, four additional charges were dismissed. . . . MacDonald faces up to two years in prison when she is sentenced in Newaygo County Circuit Court on May 4.”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Columbia student defamed by mattress girl is suing. The University is complicit, of course, in this craziness and in fact put its imprimatur on her unhinged behavior. I’m glad the story mentions Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) complicity, too. “The lawsuit includes dozens of Facebook messages between the two friends — far more than were included in the Daily Beast article in which Nungesser finally told his side of the story. The messages contained many declarations of Sulkowicz’s love for Nungesser before and after the alleged rape.”

ASHE SCHOW: Joe Biden Says Sexual Assault Is Punishable As A Crime — So Why Not Treat It Like One?

Vice President Joe Biden was in Illinois today talking about campus sexual assault. I agreed with almost everything he said. Why? Because he was discussing things that no one except the worst among use could disagree with.

Having sex with a woman who is passed out is rape. Of course. Beating a woman is wrong. Of course. Rapists should go to jail. Of course.

What Biden didn’t discuss was that the issue of campus sexual assault isn’t as simple as he makes it seem. The black and white examples he gave are not the norm on college campuses. There is no “discussion,” as Biden claimed, about whether it’s rape when a woman is passed out.

Where the discussion lies is in he said/she said situations where there’s evidence and witnesses that say she was not passed out or incapacitated, and where the accuser appeared to be a willing participant until months after the encounter.

Biden even said that sexual assault is “punishable as a crime,” yet even as he discussed the historic moves the Department of Education has made in the past few years, he made no mention of the fact that sexual assault on college campuses is no longer being treated as a crime.

Sexual assault – at least on college campuses – is now being treated as a disciplinary matter, just like plagiarism (something Biden has experience with).

Biden also said that campus rapists shouldn’t just be facing expulsion, but “should go to jail.” Absolutely. The problem is that if expulsion and jail are possibilities, as they are with crimes, then both accusers and accused should have due process rights. But that might cut down on the number of students suspended or expelled, as evidence and the presumption of innocence are less valued in disciplinary hearings than accusations are.

Can I just suggest that when even Talking Points Memo calls him Creepy Uncle Joe Biden, he isn’t the best spokesman for this issue?

It’s like being lectured on taxes by MSNBC hosts.

UPDATE: Ouch.

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CAMPUS PINKSHIRTS: Oberlin Activists Posted Creepy Messages Accusing Specific Students of Perpetuating Rape Culture: Their crime? Bringing Christina Hoff Sommers to campus. “Images of the posters were sent to Reason via a source who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.”

Real nice “liberal arts college” you got there.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): LC Charter Academy teacher arrested on multiple sex charges. “Sommer Nicole Odom, 35, of Iowa, La., was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of oral sexual battery, four counts of indecent behavior with juveniles and one count of sexual battery.”

HEATHER WILHELM: Attack of the Leftist Snowflakes. “Sadly, huge swaths of today’s college campuses, supposedly pinnacles of higher learning, have morphed into a giant preteen slumber party with an alarming population of sulking corner girls.”

Related: The real victim of ‘rape culture’? Free speech. As the Christina Hoff Sommers furore shows, too many students can’t handle debate.

SADLY, THIS IS NEWS: Iowa Man Found Not Guilty Of Rape For Having Sex With Wife.

But I wonder if this isn’t the key bit: “Rayhons served 18 years as a Republican member of the Iowa House. He withdrew from the race for another term shortly before he was charged last year.” Related: “Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is a Democrat.” Note that Miller’s office tried to move the trial somewhere else, where there were fewer Republicans in the jury pool. Given the prosecutorial misbehavior we’ve seen in Wisconsin, this makes me suspicious. Has anyone asked Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller why this very unusual prosecution was brought, and if politics had anything to do with it?

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Teacher arrested for alleged sex with student; boy’s mom found texts from teacher on phone then reported her.

Amber Leigh Anderson, 27, a math teacher, engaged in the relationship with the student mostly during summer 2013 when the boy was a 15-year-old freshman at the school, according to an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office report.

In April 2013, another student gave the victim Anderson’s cellphone number. As time progressed, Anderson and the victim “became extremely close to one another,” the Sheriff’s Office report says.

Text messages between the two soon became sexually charged, and in July, Anderson began having sex with the student, the report says.

The relationship lasted a few more months until the boy’s mother found some of the text messages on her son’s cellphone that had been sent by Anderson. At that point, the mother confronted the teacher, told her to quit texting her son and “reported the matter to the school’s administration,” the report says, effectively bringing an end to the relationship between Anderson and the student.

Is it just me, or do these women all have a certain look?

I DON’T KNOW WHO ROLLING STONE’S LIBEL INSURANCE CARRIER IS, BUT I HOPE THEY HAVE DEEP POCKETS: UVA Dean Maligned by Rolling Stone Received Death and Rape Threats, Hires Lawyer

Nicole Eramo, the UVA dean of students portrayed as the face of administrative neglect of rape victims in Rolling Stone’s now-discredited story, revealed in a letter to the magazine’s publisher that she received death and rape threats as a result of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s reckless reporting.

She has hired an attorney and may pursue legal action against the magazine, which has never really apologized for defaming her.

Her letter, written to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, alleges that the magazine’s representatives claimed as recently as February that Erdely’s portrayal of Eramo was “fair.” That’s rather damning, if true; Rolling Stone should have had some idea by February that its fact-checking process had fundamentally failed and no aspect of the story was beyond reproach. And indeed, the police and Columbia investigations later determined that Eramo had directed Jackie to go the police, contrary to what Erdely wrote.

It’s seeming as if Erdely wrote a work of fiction, but used real people’s names.

SOCIAL-JUSTICE-WARRIOR HAZING: Army Cadets on Campus Forced to Wear Red High Heels and Raise Awareness of Debunked ‘Rape Culture.’

Those who did their homework in 2008 knew that when Barack Obama was elected, all aspects of American society would suffer unprecedented levels of left-wing lunacy, but did anyone think it would come to this?

Patriotic young cadets — America’s future warrior — pressured to walk around in bright red high heels on campus — against their will – or face retribution.

I don’t even know what to say.

I do, but since this is a family blog I’ll leave it at this: Punch back twice as hard.

TEACH PROSECUTORS NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Jury awards $2.3M to man falsely held as ‘Charles Village rapist.’ “A federal jury has awarded $2.3 million to a Baltimore man who was held for 15 months on charges he raped a Charles Village woman until investigators acknowledged DNA evidence they had most of the time he was in custody did not link him to the crime. . . . Humbert consistently maintained his innocence while in pretrial solitary confinement, according to the lawsuit. No physical evidence from the crime scene “even hinted” that Humbert might be a suspect, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges he should have been released after a month after two lab reports excluded Humbert as a possible suspect based on DNA evidence. But Humbert was not exonerated until August 2009, 14 months after investigators first obtained the DNA evidence, according to the complaint.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: U of A Student Arrested for Lying About Sexual Assault.

After the interview, police reviewed video footage from the Harmon Parking Garage during the time that Sweetin said the incident happened. Detectives did not find any men in the video matching the description Sweetin provided them. Detectives also spoke to potential witnesses who were in the garage at that time, and they told officers they did not hear or see anything out of the ordinary.

On March 11, Detective Josh Bowen interviewed Sweetin again at UAPD. Detective Bowen asked Sweetin if she was telling the truth about the incident, and Sweetin said no. When asked why she would lie, Sweetin said she did see a man that matched the description she gave on Dickson Street and he scared her, but that the man never followed her into the Harmon deck.

Good grief.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): U.S. cracks down on female teachers who sexually abuse students. “Child abuse experts agree it appears female teachers are being prosecuted more vigorously than in the past.”

ASHE SCHOW: We disagree with you, [insert insult here]!

We’ve reached the point where simply disagreeing with someone is not enough. One must both disagree and name-call to really get the point across.

One of the best examples of this kind of reaction comes from those who really, really want to believe that American colleges are the worst places for women on earth, despite evidence that not only are rapes and sexual assaults not the norm on college campuses, but also that they are more likely to occur off-campus.

Some students at Oberlin College have taken to their school’s newspaper to write their opposition to American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, who will be speaking at the college Monday night at the invitation of the school’s College Republicans. Because the students (and some local groups) disagree with Hoff Sommers’ viewpoint about the prevalence of campus sexual assault, they have called her a “rape denialist.”

The proper response to these pathetic losers is to paraphrase Professor Kingsfield: Here’s a dime. Go call your mother and tell her you’re too immature for college.

FIRST JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S PEDO/RAPE ISLAND, NOW THIS: Menendez co-‘conspirator’ hosted Bill and Hillary at vacation getaway.

ROSS DOUTHAT: Checking Charlie Hebdo’s Privilege. “Trudeau did not exactly say they had it coming, but he passed judgment on their sins — not the sin of blasphemy, but the sin of picking a politically unsuitable target for their jabs. . . . But on the contemporary left, the theory’s simplicity is becoming a kind of intellectual straitjacket. The Hebdo massacre is just one of many cases in which today’s progressives, in the name of overthrowing hierarchies, end up assuming that lines of power are predictable, permanent and clear. Which they are not, for several reasons.”

Yeah, if mocking savages who murder “blasphemers” is “punching down,” then I’m fine with punching down. Also shooting down, bombing down. . . .

Plus: “The terrorist’s veto on portrayals of Islam is itself a very real form of power, and as long as journalists who challenge it end up dead, the idea that they are ‘up’ and their targets are ‘down’ reflects a denial of life-and-death reality. Or, to take a related example, the hundreds of white women recently raped by Pakistani gangs in England’s industrial north were theoretically higher on a ladder of privilege than their assailants. But the gangs’ actual power over their victims was only enhanced by that notional ladder, because multicultural pieties were part of what induced the authorities to look the other way.”

Multicultural pieties are an ideological weapon, designed to paralyze societal defenders. They are not the unintended consequences of goofy good intentions, but deliberately honed tools of political power, wielded without good intentions of any sort.

ANOTHER TRAGIC CONSEQUENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING. . . WAIT, WHAT? Farming moves north with the temperatures.

A century ago, corn was not a viable crop above North Dakota’s southern third. But an average temperature rise of 2.7 degrees over that period has let North Dakota farmers grow feed corn up to the Canadian border. The growing season there is three weeks longer. In farming, that’s huge.

For similar reasons, soybeans now grow in upstate New York. And though the state’s Finger Lakes region has produced hardy wine grapes for a long time, milder winters have enabled it to nurture fancier European grape varieties.

As for New England, the hope is that some centuries-old farms will become profitable, as well as picturesque. Agriculture never disappeared there, but it had to concentrate on dairy products and niche crops, such as cranberries and wild blueberries. Warmer weather opens new possibilities. For example, peaches may become a commercial crop in Maine.

A paper out of Brandeis University predicts that by 2030, the New England region could have three times as much farmland as it does now, thanks to warmer weather. Should that happen, New England may end up producing half its food.

Oh, no!

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): A teacher had sex with a student and got a plea deal, but it’s what she did after that is truly disgusting.

GEORGE WILL: Shriveled Grapes, Shriveled Liberty. “In oral arguments Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear the government defend its kleptocratic behavior while administering an indefensible law. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 is among the measures by which New Dealers tried and failed to regulate and mandate America back to prosperity. Seventy-eight years later, it is the government’s reason for stealing Marvin and Laura Horne’s raisins.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: Even sexual assault activists want a fair campus process.

The activists point out that they do not believe what due process activists have been saying for over a year — that the pendulum has swung and that now accused students are the ones who are treated unfairly.

The activists, members of the group “Know Your IX” – named after the law that has been interpreted to require colleges to adjudicate campus sexual assault, Title IX — provide a list of some basic protections needed to ensure a fair process. Some of their requests include “the right to guidance from a trained advocate” and “the right not to self-incriminate if criminal charges are possible or pending.”

These are all good things, but the problem for activists is that a fair process might lead to fewer students being punished based solely on an accusation. It might mean having to accept the fact that some accusers truly aren’t victims (think Rolling Stone’s Jackie, Duke’s Crystal Mangum and any number of “survivors” who regretted an encounter and were coached by a feminist professor into thinking they were raped).

As to one of the requirements mentioned by the activists — having a trained advocate — some schools are looking beyond that to actual lawyers. This should be something all schools allow, because a fair process can’t stem from two scared kids who aren’t lawyers trying to adjudicate something that is actually a felony. And just as it’s not fair that the accused student is going up against an accuser with the Title IX office and current culture behind them, it isn’t fair then to provide attorneys to only the accused, since then the accuser would be going up against a trained professional.

Or, you know, we could leave the whole thing to the criminal justice system . . . which, you know, handles criminal justice problems.

SUZANNE VENKER: The truth about the so-called “Rape Culture.” “There is no rape culture on campus. (Note I didn’t say no one’s ever been raped on campus.) What there is is an awful lot of gray between the sheets.”

FIRST YOU ELIMINATE DUE PROCESS, THEN YOU INSTITUTE MANDATORY MINIMUM PUNISHMENTS: Ashe Schow: California continuing its quest to brand all men as rapists.

Last year California passed a law that defined nearly all sex on college campuses as rape unless proven otherwise. Now, in addition to making it easier to label someone a rapist for just about every sexual encounter, state legislators want to go further to ensure that accused students’ lives are severely disrupted — if not ruined — by introducing mandatory minimums for their punishment.

The mandatory minimum would be a suspension of two years for students found responsible for sexual assault. But bear in mind that the burden of proof already lies with the accused, thanks to California’s “yes means yes” law. Accusers do not have to provide any proof that that they failed to give consent or were unable to consent due to incapacitation, and now a guilty finding would carry a minimum punishment under this new proposal.

First they made it easier to brand a student a rapist, and now they want to make it easier to ruin that student’s life.

I think that men should avoid California colleges.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO, WELL, DO ANY OF THIS, REALLY: Horny Mom Threw Teen Daughter a Naked Twister Sex Party, AA Sponsor Says. “Lehnardt’s alleged story to her sober buddy only gets wilder from there. According to Augusta Crime: She initially joined in the teens’ naked game of Twister, but ended up f*cking an 18-year-old in the bathroom. Later, because she was still ‘horny,’ she brought out some sex toys and began using them on herself in the living room. The whole naked party eventually moved to the hot tub. . . . The night ended for Lehnardt around 3:30 a.m., when she woke up in her bed to find her daughter’s 16-year-old boyfriend having sex with her.”

And, of course, the piece de resistance: “Mrs. Lehnardt told [the sponsor] she and her daughter had spoken and that her daughter ‘felt guilty because the 16-year-old was 10 inches long and huge, and if she had just been able to take it, he wouldn’t have needed to rape her mother.’”

Sure, you’re saying, he initiated the sex with her. But reverse the genders and there would probably be charges. Well, maybe not: “The horny mom, arrested based on the sponsor’s story, won’t face any sex-related charges because 16 is Georgia’s age of consent.”

I’LL BET IT WON’T MAKE THE COVER OF ROLLING STONE, OR SPARK EXTENSIVE CAMPUS DISCUSSION: Third Student Charged in Gang-Rape on Panama City, Florida, Beach.

Note that when white frat boys are (falsely) charged with gang rape, their race and accompanying presumed attitudes toward rape are front-and-center in all coverage. . . .

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Wertz was charged by state police Trooper Joel Zimmerman of the Lykens station with reporting that she was raped at a home in Lykens on Sept. 9, 2014, knowing that the accusation was false. “Zimmerman said Wertz then told him she had consensual sex with the man and that she made up the rape charge because she was mad at him and at herself for cheating on her boyfriend. That same day, Wertz provided a written statement that she made up the rape charge, saying she was mad because after the two had consensual sex the man was ignorant to her and called her names.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Donald Barber, Fired B.C. Teacher, Sues After Student’s False Rape Accusations.

A Vancouver Island teacher who was falsely accused of raping and torturing a student is seeking compensation after the girl’s claims were found to be based on a popular TV crime show.

Donald Barber was suspended in 2012 after the then-Grade 10 student came forward saying the veteran teacher had been sadistically assaulting her for years.

The girl reported being raped, tortured, and burned to the point of scarring, according to an arbitration decision last year. Diary entries describe her alleged encounters with Barber, including one where she said she was sold to a uniformed police officer for sex.

Barber was arrested, then suspended. But charges were never laid due to a lack of evidence.

The Qualicum school district hired lawyer Marli Rusen to look into the case. Her 2013 investigation supported the student’s allegations, and recommended that Barber be banned from the school district altogether. Soon after, Barber was fired.

The longtime teacher with a spotless record fought for his job. Ultimately, an arbitration hearing uncovered that all of the student’s claims were lifted from the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The girl testified that she had watched every episode of the drama at least three times, and some as many as 10 times.

Hysteria: It’s real, not a male chauvinist invention.

A BOY-COTT? Number Of Applicants to UVA Drops For First Time Since 2002.

The university also has become more selective, as acceptance rates fell from about 38 percent in 2005 to about 30 percent last year.

But despite a big boost in early applications, the number of overall applications went down. The early applications were due before the release of an article in Rolling Stone — now largely discredited — detailing an alleged gang rape at UVa.

The due date came after the nationally publicized search for second-year student Hannah Graham, whose body was recovered in Albemarle County on Oct. 18.

The administration does not yet know what’s driving the decline, de Bruyn said.

Related: Learning nothing from Rolling Stone, U.Va. institutes radical sexual assault policy.

If Men’s Rights activists were like lefties, they’d haunt the UVA Admissions traveling roadshows for prospective applicants — those probably start this summer — with demonstrations about how UVA hates men.

21ST CENTURY RAPE CULTURE: “Saturday Night Live” seems to think female teachers having sex with their male students is a big, smirk-worthy joke. I blame modern women’s pervasive sense of sexual entitlement.

BRENDAN O’NEILL: The Real Problem With Rolling Stone’s Campus Rape Fiasco: The hysteria over “rape culture” is still alive and kicking.

What these responses share in common is a desire to draw attention back to the alleged real stuff: female students not being believed; a warped campus culture that needs intervention; the need to turn campuses from alleged sites of violence back into “environments of security.”

They’re still buying the core misconception of Ederly’s article, the really rotten part: the idea of a culture of rape, a culture of evil. According to Columbia’s report, Ederly wanted to find a “single, emblematic college rape case” that would show, in Ederly’s own words, “what it’s like to be on campus now… where not only is rape so prevalent but also that there’s this pervasive culture of sexual harassment / rape culture.” And much of the response to Columbia’s report is basically saying: Her emblematic case was hooey, yes, but she’s right about the pervasive-culture thing.

Only she isn’t. And if we correct Rolling Stone without challenging the rape-culture myth, then we leave the colossal problems here untouched.

Media feminists have been even more explicit in their demand that we swiftly turn our eyes away from Rolling Stone’s failings and back to the alleged tsunami of sexual assault on campus.

You know, “hysteria” is exactly the right word.

PERHAPS PEOPLE FEARED CHARGES OF RACISM IF THEY INTERFERED: Troy University students charged in Florida spring break gang rape filmed on cell phone.

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: The Obama Administration Sows Injustice in Campus Rape Cases.

CATHY YOUNG: The Media’s Believe-The-Survivor Syndrome. “Before the Rolling Stone story imploded but when Erdely was already being criticized for failing to seek comment from the alleged rapists, the left-of-center media monitoring site Media Matters pointed to several articles on campus rape in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Slate which also failed to meet that standard. But this is less a defense of Erdely—whose reporting, we now know, was indefensible—than an indictment of her colleagues.”

YA THINK? In Campus Rape Tribunals, Some Men See Injustice.

Mr. McLeod, 24 years old, is suing Duke for his diploma, arguing the university unjustly made him an example to show a get-tough approach. “I believe that I’m wrongfully accused,” he says. “I believe that it was an unfair process and I believe I had something I earned taken away from me.”

His case is part of a broad and rapid change in how U.S. colleges and universities deal with sexual-assault allegations. Campuses have rewritten policies to lower the burden of proof for finding a student culpable of assault, increasing penalties—sometimes recommending expulsion. In the process, schools find themselves in legal minefields as they try to balance the rights of accuser and accused.

Mr. McLeod’s suit is one of more than 30 that men have brought against U.S. campuses since January 2014 alleging due-process violations in sexual-assault cases, says A Voice for Male Students, an advocacy group. . . .

In the past five months, court filings show, St. Joseph’s University, Amherst College and Swarthmore College have reached sealed settlements with former students who were accused of sexual misconduct and sued in federal court. The Education Department says it doesn’t track how many accused students have brought Title IX complaints.

A judge in Mr. McLeod’s case last year granted an injunction preventing Duke from categorizing him as expelled, saying Mr. McLeod “demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits” of his arguments at a trial now scheduled for February 2016.

Mr. McLeod has a pending Wall Street job offer that requires a diploma, according to his suit. An Australian citizen, he now attends the University of Sydney to complete his degree. “I didn’t want to speak out, I just wanted my degree,” he says. “I loved Duke.”

The woman who accused Mr. McLeod didn’t respond to email inquiries. Duke says her advocate at the Duke Women’s Center, who helped represent her before the disciplinary panel, declines to comment. . . .

“I find it staggering, absolutely staggering, that these parallel judicial systems have been built up in universities,” the elder Mr. McLeod says. “They have considerable power to destroy a person’s life.”

A judge in January allowed the younger Mr. McLeod to add defendants, including the psychologist who conducted his and other Duke Title IX sexual-misconduct investigations—and whom North Carolina later barred from such investigations, citing evidence she wasn’t properly licensed. The psychologist didn’t respond to inquiries.

It’s a debacle. Thanks, Obama.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Destrehan High School teacher accused of having sex with 16-year-old accepts plea deal.

Shelley Dufresne, one of two former Destrehan High School teachers accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student, has agreed to a plea deal that will allow her to avoid any prison time or having to register as a sex offender, at least for now.

The St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s Office and Dufresne’s attorney, Deanne Williams, announced the deal during a status conference Thursday morning at 29th Judicial District Court in Hahnville.

Dufresne, 32, was facing one felony count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, which carried a potential sentence of up to a decade in prison and a $5,000 fine. The charge stems from an alleged sexual encounter with the teenager at a home in Montz.

As part of the deal unveiled Thursday, Dufresne pleaded guilty to one felony count of obscenity and received a deferred sentence of three years in prison, three years of active probation and a $1,000 fine.

I rather doubt that a male teacher would have gotten such a good deal, but I may be wrong.

USUALLY, IN A JOURNALISTIC FRAUD OR PLAGIARISM SCANDAL, THE FIRST CASE YOU FIND OUT ABOUT IS JUST THE FIRST CASE YOU FIND OUT ABOUT: Ashe Schow: Has the Rolling Stone gang-rape author EVER corroborated a story?

In the wake of Rolling Stone’s refusal to fire the author behind its now-retracted and now infamous University of Virginia gang-rape story, one has to wonder if this is a rare mistake or a pattern of behavior.

There are some big hints that it is the latter.

Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author in question, actually has a history of writing articles based solely on one person’s account, with no indication that she even tried to corroborate the story or hear any other potential side. . . .

Every story Erdely writes begins the same way — with a story about her main source’s experience written as if Erdely witnessed it herself. From there the article only seeks to bolster the source’s account — all with a credulity that lends itself more to fiction writing than journalism.

The question is whether Rolling Stone will do what the New Republic did in the wake of the Stephen Glass controversy — that is, to review Erdely’s past work and decide whether she should continue to be trusted as an author.

Well, I know the answer to that question already, but yeah.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Campus Rape and the ‘Emergency’: It’s Always an Excuse for Authoritarianism.

Want to make the “emergency” go away? Make the “cure” something that campus administrators don’t like.

REMEMBER, IT WAS PERFECTLY TIMED TO GO WITH A WHITE HOUSE CAMPUS-SEX-OFFENSE CAMPAIGN: How Deep Is This Education Official’s Involvement In The Rolling Stone Hoax?

A top-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has emerged as a potentially key figure in Rolling Stone’s false article, “A Rape on Campus.”

Catherine Lhamon, who heads the Department’s civil rights wing, was identified in a letter sent last month by University of Virginia Dean of Students Allen Groves to Steve Coll and Sheila Coronel, the two Columbia Journalism School deans who conducted a review of the Nov. 19 article, written by disgraced reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely.

Groves’ letter was included as a footnote to the Columbia deans’ report, which was released on Sunday and cataloged the failures and lies that led to the article’s publication.

In the letter, Groves wrote that he has suffered “personal and professional” damage as a result of Erdely’s reporting and comments Lhamon made about him which were included in the article.

As the Rolling Stone article fell apart, Lhamon’s involvement has gone virtually unmentioned. But a deeper look reveals her ties to Emily Renda, a University of Virginia employee and activist who put Erdely in touch with Jackie, the student whose claim that she was brutally gang-raped by seven members of a fraternity on Sept. 28, 2014, served as the linchpin for the 9,000-word Rolling Stone article. . . . Lhamon has been invited to the White House nearly 60 times, according to visitor’s logs. Renda has been invited six times. Both were invited to the same White House meeting on three occasions.

I wonder if anyone has put in a FOIA request for her emails, and I wonder if they’ll “disappear,” you know?

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY ON THE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY DEBACLE:

Last Monday afternoon, Entertainment Weekly posted a story in its Books section with the ominous headline: “Hugo Award nominations fall victim to misogynistic, racist voting campaign.”

Within a few hours, the headline changed to: “Correction: Hugo Awards voting campaign sparks controversy.”

That’s some correction. So what happened?

Both versions of the EW story were about the annual Hugo Awards given out to science fiction and fantasy writers. In the original version, EW’s Isabella Biedenharn claimed that “misogynist groups lobbied to nominate only white males for the science fiction book awards,” urging their followers to “cast votes against female writers and writers of color.”

Turns out that the slate of authors recommended by one of the groups, at least, did include women and minorities. Several of them, in fact.

The group’s campaign, in fact, had nothing to do with women or minorities, but an effort “to get talented, worthy, deserving authors who would normally never have a chance (to be) nominated for the supposedly prestigious Hugo awards,” according to Larry Correia, who along with Brad Torgersen, started the “Sad Puppies” campaign to bring more ideological diversity to the Hugo nominations.

“I started this campaign a few years ago,” Correia wrote on his blog, “because I believed that the awards were politically biased and dominated by a few insider cliques. Authors who didn’t belong to these groups or failed to appease them politically were shunned.”

But since the EW reporter didn’t bother to reach out to Correia, or anyone else involved, to check her facts, she apparently didn’t know this.

This story, like the now-completely discredited Rolling Stone “campus rape” article, shows the dangers of an increasingly biased mainstream news media.

Yep. And charges of racism, misogyny, etc. are almost always just political tools to defend insiders against outsiders nowadays.

RICHARD BRADLEY — WHO FIRST SMELLED A RAT IN THAT ROLLING STONE STORY — HAS A POST-MORTEM: In the End, It’s All About Rape Culture—or the Lack Thereof.

Again, in the spirt of full disclosure, there is one thing that bugs me about the reference to me in the report, the acknowledgment of my “early if speculative” blog posting calling Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article into question. I’ve encountered this theme—that I was “speculating”—repeatedly since I wrote my blog, and it frustrates me. By framing what I wrote as speculation, a number of mainstream publications, such as the Times and the New Yorker, feel free to ignore my blog when detailing how Erdely’s story was dismantled by press critics.

The supposition that I was “speculating” misses the larger point of what I wrote;the foundation of my argument was not “a hunch,” but basic professionalism. Any decent editor who is honest with him or herself would tell you the same: Even if Jackie’s story turned out to be true, it still shouldn’t have been published as it was reported and written. Will Dana should have sent it back to the editor and writer with a note saying: “You don’t have this story. Go back and do your jobs.” It was not “speculative” to say that the story should not have been published without further reporting; it was Journalism 101, the kind of thing that they teach (I assume) in the first couple weeks at Columbia Journalism School. And I didn’t have to have access to all the fact-checker’s notes and interview transcripts to know that; any reader with some small degree of journalism experience could know that—and, frankly, should have.

My suspicion that Jackie’s story was not true was based on the idea that if it were, Rolling Stone would have shown us the reporting to back it up. Since Rolling Stone did not, one had to conclude that the evidence to support Jackie did not exist.

That’s not speculation, that’s observation. Plus:

With a story this sensitive, good libel lawyers—and I assume Rolling Stone has very good lawyers—are, or should be, very much in the mix. On sensitive stories, they become something akin to editors with a law degree. You simply could not publish such an accusatory article without having it very heavily lawyered; there is, or ought to be, a lot of discussion between the editor-in-chief and the magazine’s libel lawyer(s). That Rolling Stone won’t disclose their lawyers’ advice suggests that the magazine did not take it, or did the least amount possible to satisfy legal concerns. After all, if the lawyers argued that the magazine had done excellent work and was on safe ground publishing the story, disclosing that information would likely have discouraged any potential lawsuits—like the one Phi Psi is now pursuing against the magazine.

In other words: It’s highly likely that Rolling Stone had a prepublication warning that this story had significant problems—and published the story anyway. Because they knew it was a sexy story, and they were willing to take the risk.

Oops. That’s “reckless disregard.” Plus, sheer bigotry:

Sabrin Rubin Erdely started with a thesis and went in search of someone—and some place—that fit her thesis. She found Jackie and the University of Virginia. But, she admits, if she had discovered that Jackie was a liar, it wouldn’t have caused her to question her thesis. (To which the only response is, if that doesn’t cause you to question your thesis, what would?) Instead, she’d just go find another person who would better conform to what she already wanted to write.

And if that person proved to be a fraud as well, she’d find another…and another…

I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know if Phi Psi has a strong case against Erdely and Rolling Stone. But if the famed “actual malice” test—you are intending to defame someone—is relevant, it seems to me that Erdely has just given the fraternity some explicit evidence of such malice. Even if her “victim” was a liar, Erdely has no doubt: Frat boys are rapists.

19th Century lynch mobs were equally certain about black men. Also:

I have seen a lot of published fretting—not just in Erdely’s statement—about whether this fiasco will discourage victims of rape from going public. This sentiment, which I have seen far more of than I have seen empathy for the people Erdely falsely accused of rape, strikes me as odd. A horrific story of rape, which, following its publication in a national magazine, had an enormous impact, is discovered to be a fraud. And the response is: Well, we should all worry about the potential impact on rape victims’ ability to come forward to speak the truth.

I have a different take: Let’s agree that if you don’t lie and claim that you were gang-raped as part of a fraternity initation ritual, you’ll be treated with respect. And if people treat you disrespectfully based simply on past frauds, then shame on them.

But in the meantime, let’s remember that the only known victims of this story are members of the Phi Psi fraternity, fraternity members in general and the University of Virginia. These individuals and institutions suffered in tangible ways; you might even say that some of the fraternity members were “traumatized.” The argument that the people we should worry about first are rape victims could actually—if I may borrow a phrase from Sabrina Rubin Erdely—re-traumatize them.

But they don’t count because in Erdely’s world they’re the Evil Other. Like black men in the 19th century South.

And, finally: “Sabrina Rubin Erdely is not just a horrible reporter, she is a deeply dishonest one. According to the Coll report, two sources in the story publicly claimed that they did not say that Erdely attributes to them.”

ASHE SCHOW: Few, if any, consequences for those involved in perpetrating rape hoaxes.

When a sensational rape story is found to be fraudulent, there are few ramifications for those who perpetrated the hoax in the first place.

To take the most recent example, no one is getting fired at Rolling Stone for its fraudulent article about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia. The fact-checkers who failed to raise sufficient concerns about the lack of corroborating evidence, the editors who removed crucial details that would have made the article’s weaknesses clear, and the author who sought a sensational story to fit an agenda will all keep their jobs. . . .

And beyond those at RS who allowed the hoax to go forward, those who helped spread the story once it was published faced no consequences either. U.Va. president Teresa Sullivan offered no apology for her role in treating Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity accused in the RS article, as guilty from the start. Similarly, there appears to be no investigation to discover the vandals who smashed windows and spray-painted hateful messages at the fraternity house.

Jackie, the source of the false article, still has her privileged status as a victim, despite there being no evidence that she is the victim of anything.

The same was true of the Duke lacrosse hoax nearly a decade ago. Richard Brodhead is still the president of the university. Wendy Murphy, who spread lie after lie about the case on television throughout the ordeal, is still being asked for her opinion (in fact she was quoted in the now-retracted Rolling Stone article — go figure). The activists and professors who smeared the lacrosse players were never held accountable.

At least with Duke, the prosecutor who targeted the lacrosse players to advance his own personal ambitions was disbarred. The police officer who helped railroad the students was merely reassigned. (He retired in 2008 and committed suicide in 2014, although it is unclear whether his role in the hoax had anything to do with his death.) The accuser, Crystal Mangum, faced no repercussions for filing a false report, and in fact went on to write a book. But in an unrelated twist, she is now serving a prison sentence for second-degree murder.

In the case of Tawana Brawley — arguably the most famous rape hoax in modern U.S. history — she eluded paying defamation damages for 25 years. Al Sharpton, who embraced and lied about that case, has his own show on MSNBC today. Although he was ordered to pay damages as well, he refused for years before his friends finally paid his debt for him.

Meanwhile, in each of these cases, those accused in the initial hoax suffered far greater punishments than the liars who created the hoax. Phi Kappa Psi had their house vandalized and reputation greatly tarnished by the media without receiving an apology from anyone. (They’re now suing.) . . .

Even when rape hoaxes are exposed, political correctness and a demand to adhere to the ultimate “rape culture” narrative keeps false accusers insulated while the wrongly accused suffer.

Yeah, that needs to stop now.

JOHN MCWHORTER: The Truth About UVA and Ferguson Isn’t Good Enough for P.C. Crowd. “To many, the Columbia Journalism School report on Rolling Stone’s account of an alleged University of Virginia rape case will seem to be a story about media addicted to seeking sensationalism over accuracy. But the whole sordid affair has been about something much larger: the idea that the pursuit of justice can be separated from facts; that metaphorical truth can be more important than literal truth.”

ASHE SCHOW: Columbia dean discusses problems in campus sexual assault reporting.

Rolling Stone’s hoax story about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia is not the only example of poor journalism when it comes to reporting on campus sexual assault.

Sheila Coronel, Columbia University’s dean of academic affairs, spoke with the Columbia Spectator following a televised press conference on the scathing review of the Rolling Stone story, issued Sunday night by Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. Coronel discussed how journalists need to get both sides of the story when writing about campus sexual assault. . . .

Coronel was specifically asked about Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia student who claimed she was raped during an otherwise consensual sexual encounter and now carries a mattress around campus because the school didn’t find the man she accused responsible. For months, the Sulkowicz story consisted solely of her account of the incident, which led to the student she accused being labeled a rapist even though he was found “not responsible” by a campus court.

It wasn’t until Cathy Young at the Daily Beast told the accused student’s side of the story that journalists realized that the case was not as cut and dry as Sulkowicz made it seem. Young published Facebook messages between Sulkowicz and the accused that indicated she was not the victim she claimed to be.

“Ideally, if you’re reporting this story, all of these things [details about interactions between Sulkowicz and her alleged assailant] should have come out in the beginning rather than pieces of it in dribs and drabs,” Coronel said. “Some of the same lessons [from the Rolling Stone article] we see there: It’s always better to get the other side of the story.”

“It’s hard to establish guilt or innocence, particularly in a case of rape, especially in colleges, where frequently the assaults take place when both parties are drunk and there are few witnesses,” she added.

One would think these difficulties would make people more cautious about assuming guilt without evidence.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Connecticut High School Teacher Charged With Sex Assault. “A 24-year-old science teacher at a Connecticut high school has been charged with sexual assault and providing alcohol to a minor after allegedly having sexual contact with a male student, authorities say.”

I blame our pervasive culture of female sexual entitlement.

CHARLES C.W. COOKE: Fighting Against ‘Rape Culture’ Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry. “Even if we suspend our disbelief and give Erdely an extremely generous benefit of the doubt – if we assume, that is, that she made all of her mistakes in a good-faith attempt to spare the feelings of her source – we will still come up against a considerable institutional problem: that being that whether or not they are setting out to deliberately mislead their audiences, journalists writing about claims of rape are operating under rules of engagement that have been set by zealots. . . . Over the last decade or so, we have witnessed the rise of a political movement that hopes to set the investigation and punishment of sexual assault outside of the limitations that are imposed by respect for due process, for rational inquiry, and for common intellectual decency. By and large, this movement is populated by people who despise the truth if it contradicts the narrative; who regard evidence and process as tools of oppression; who interpret skepticism and questioning as acts of hostility; and who, at least as it relates to ‘rape culture,’ consider unthinking credulity as a virtue and not a vice.”

THE INSTAWIFE: If “Facts Are Conservative,” Then Are Lies Liberal?

Well, that seems to be the gist of this Elizabeth Bruenig piece at TNR. Excerpt:

The right, on the other hand, tends to understand politics on the individual level, which fits in neatly with a general obsession with the capital-i Individual. Thus, the right tends to pore over the specific details of high-profile cases like those of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, concluding that if those particular situations were embattled by complications or mitigating factors, then the phenomena they’re meant to represent must not be real either. And if a few highly publicized rapes turn out to be murkier than first represented, then rape itself is not a crisis, just a regrettable and rare anomaly. The positive version of this approach is the elevation of people like Joe the Plumber, individual cases that purportedly show the value and effectiveness of conservative politics. It isn’t great reasoning, but it is very appealing on a sub-intellectual level.

So to Breunig, it works like this: Left: Here’s a really, really important fact that totally proves my general point! Right: Your “fact” is a lie, and thus doesn’t support your argument at all. Left: That isn’t great reasoning, but it is very appealing on a sub-intellectual level.

Well, someone’s sub-intellectual here. And TNR seems to be doing a lot of hiring along those lines lately.

UPDATE: And, of course, the usual childish lefty response to criticism:

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 1.00.46 PM

ASHE SCHOW: Despite lack of evidence, Rolling Stone’s Jackie still labeled a rape victim.

There’s no evidence to suggest that University of Virginia student “Jackie” — the source of a now-retracted Rolling Stone article about a brutal gang rape — was actually raped, yet she’s still being labeled a victim.

In her apology, RS author Sabrina Rubin Erdely used the phrase “Jackie and her account of her traumatic rape,” as if it was an established fact. This despite the 12,000-word Columbia Journalism School report on how Erdely’s article about Jackie’s alleged rape was completely false.

Throughout all of this, the suggestion from activists has always been that Jackie was indeed raped, just not in the way she told Rolling Stone. In fact, it’s not any more reasonable to assumes omething happened to her than it is to rule out the idea completely. There’s no evidence that she wasn’t raped, but given that everything she has said about her ordeal has turned out to be false so far, it’s hard to put much faith in the idea that she is a victim.

Nope. The only clear victims were the falsely accused.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Audio Recording Exonerates Uber Driver Falsely Accused Of Rape.

A Chicago Uber driver’s instinct to record his conversation with a woman he picked up for a ride in November has saved him from spending years behind bars.

Maxime Fohounhedo, a 30-year-old native of Benin, was released from a Cook County jail on Monday after spending the past four months there.

Fohounhedo was arrested in December after a 22-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her at his apartment on Nov. 16. The woman claimed that she was passed out during her ride in Fouhounhedo’s car, but his secret recording provides evidence that she was awake and carrying on a conversation. After prosecutors verified the audio they consulted with the accuser, and she decided to drop charges.

“He had a gut feeling he needed to protect himself,” Shady Yassin, Fohounhedo’s attorney, told CBS Chicago of his client’s decision to record his fare.

She was a predator. He should sue her for costing him four months in jail, and her name should be public now. She’s not a victim of sexual violence, she’s a perpetrator.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Rolling Stone Can’t Even Apologize Right. “I think at this point we can stop dancing around the fact that ‘Jackie’ is a fabulist. The Rolling Stone report adds some detail to this, including the suggestion that the two additional alleged victims of gang rapes at Phi Kappa Psi were also creations of Jackie’s imagination. But dealing with fabulists isn’t some kind of rare hazard that journalists can’t be expected to anticipate. People lie to journalists all the time, for fun and profit. They tell self-serving lies designed to get them out of trouble, or self-aggrandizing lies designed to puff themselves up. They tell lies of kindness to shield others from shame or worse, and lies designed to hurt people they hate. They also tell bizarre lies about things that bring them no benefit at all, for reasons that a psychologist might be able to explain but I cannot. And unfortunately, reporters get taken.”

JAZZ SHAW: The Rolling Stone rape hoax story pulls back the curtain on narrative journalism.

TWEET OF THE DAY: We still know more about a rape that never happened at UVA than Obama’s college years.

NOT EXACTLY A SHOCKER: Fraternity pursuing legal action against Rolling Stone. “The fraternity at the center of a now-discredited Rolling Stone rape article says the story was defamatory and reckless and they are pursuing legal action against the magazine. Phi Kappa Psi said Monday in a statement that the article was viewed by millions, led to members being ostracized and there was vandalism of the fraternity house. The fraternity’s statement came as the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism released a report, saying the magazine’s shortcomings ‘encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking.’”

But note the pro-Obama spin from the AP at the end: “Nonetheless, the article heightened scrutiny of campus sexual assaults amid a campaign by President Barack Obama. The University of Virginia had already been on the Department of Education’s list of 55 colleges under investigation for their handling of sex assault violations.”

Note that the CJR report shows that “activist” Emily Renda, who served at both the White House and the UVA President’s office, was the instigator here. Instead of giving this the “nonetheless” treatment, how about asking some tough questions? You know, journalism?

MORE CRITICISM OF TERESA SULLIVAN AND THE UVA ADMINISTRATION FOR INJUSTICE ON THE FAKE RAPE STORY: “The University of Virginia is, I think, also responsible for not thoroughly investigating and sort of going beyond what would be responsible for an administration to make sure that justice is served. I think they have failed on pretty much every level.”

Yes, as I said last night, Teresa Sullivan took the word of a music-and-drugs tabloid and, without any independent investigation of her own, punished the victims and stood by while they were subjected to mob justice. These were students under her care, and she betrayed them in the interests of politics and PR.

Related: Rolling Stone author apologizes — but not specifically to the fraternity that her story accused. Sullivan hasn’t apologized to them either.

UPDATE: From the comments, the term “Scottsboro Feminism.”

MORE ON THE ROLLING STONE DEBACLE, from Erik Wemple at the WaPo, who was instrumental in exposing the fraud. “Rolling Stone’s behavior seemed consistent with a purveyor of bias.” Do tell.

Plus:

Credit Rolling Stone with opening its files to Columbia, an act of transparency that included a 405-page archive of Erdely’s materials. Not enough media organizations put their blunders into the hands of smart and disinterested parties like Coronel, Coll and Kravitz. Yet the team faced a stiff-arm when it came to inquiries about the legal review that “A Rape on Campus” had undergone. The magazine’s outside counsel said it “would not answer questions about the legal review of ‘A Rape on Campus’ in order to protect attorney-client privilege.” Makes sense: Rolling Stone, at this point, understands how many reputations it has trashed.

I’m sure the lawyers are already in negotiations.

THEY RUIN EVERYTHING: How Campus Progressives Ruined Liberalism for the Rest of Us.

I have some confessions to make: I am a liberal. I am pro-choice. I favor the legalization of gay marriage and marijuana. Given supreme authority, I would drastically cut our military budget and use the money to institute a single-payer healthcare system (certainly not something many of my colleagues at the Independent would agree with). I even voted for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, in the last presidential election. However, despite my overwhelmingly liberal political leanings, the progressive movement – particularly as I’ve seen it manifested on college campuses – has made me embarrassed to identify myself as a liberal.

Well, the embarrassment is justified. Plus:

To question the guilt of Darren Wilson was to be a racist, and to question the veracity of Sulkowicz’s story was to be a sexist rape apologist. Doing either of these things would almost certainly get you branded as a conservative. As a liberal who did both of these things, I have been appalled by the irrational mob mentality displayed by my fellow liberal students at events like the Ferguson protest and the “Carry That Weight” march in support of Sulkowicz. I am struggling to come to terms with this new reality wherein sticking to an objective view of the facts is considered a conservative trait. The campus left’s complete unwillingness to adjust their opinions of these cases to fit with the facts shows a thought process completely devoid of reason.

Reason and facts might interfere with a political goal. So safer to stick with emotion and tribalism.

ASHE SCHOW: 16 things we learned from the review of the Rolling Stone gang-rape story.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Rolling Stone’s Rape Hoax: Why Did It Happen? “Notably missing from Erdely’s apology, at least by any specific reference, are the people she actually hurt: members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, whom Erdely accused of casually (and, one might infer, habitually) encouraging the gang rape of young women who wander into their parties, and the administrators at U. Va. whom Erdely accused of self-interested callousness toward rape victims. Ms. Erdely seems to believe that her story was really ‘true’–men who belong to fraternities are animals, and university administrators are corrupt buffoons–and she only chose the wrong vehicle to express these verities.”

A FEW ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON THE ROLLING STONE STORY: One person who shouldn’t get off the hook here is UVA President Teresa Sullivan. She essentially found the fraternity guilty based on a story in a music tabloid. She could have told the University community that “we don’t convict people based on stories in the media,” that she was going to independently investigate the accusations, and that people named in tabloid stories should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty in the American tradition. She did no such thing. She hastily imposed a group punishment on the entire Greek system, and pretty much stood by while angry crowds mobbed and vandalized the fraternity house. (Faculty members didn’t help by staging their own marches; they may want — especially now — to characterize those marches as “anti-rape” or “pro-woman,” but there’s no getting around the fact that they were perceived at the time, and probably meant, as targeting the accused. In this case, the falsely accused.) As I’ve said before, there’s no place in America today where the authorities are more likely to be found siding with (or at least enabling) a lynch mob than on a university campus, and that’s a disgrace.

University presidents, along with the rest of the administration and faculty, talk a lot about a “university community.” But when it comes time to show students who produce bad press the kind of fairness that any member of an academic community should expect as a matter of right, they often drop the ball. At the very least, Sullivan owes these fraternity guys, and the Greek community, an open, public, and contrite apology. If I were on the UVA Board of Visitors, I’d be demanding her resignation.

UPDATE: U.Va. president: Rolling Stone story “damaged serious efforts” to combat sexual assault. “Sullivan, in her statement Sunday, made no apology to those fraternity members she treated as guilty without evidence.”

REMEMBER, THIS IS THE MODIFIED-LIMITED-HANGOUT VERSION, LIKELY PUT TOGETHER IN CONTEMPLATION OF LITIGATION: Rolling Stone and UVA: The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Report. It’s still devastating for Rolling Stone. And why not identify “Jackie” for the public, now that it’s clear she’s not a rape victim, and that there never was the described “rape on campus?”

And here’s the big takeaway:

CONSEQUENCES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: No firings at Rolling Stone over flawed story, ‘A Rape on Campus.’ By “flawed,” they mean “false and dishonest.” Hey, it’s not like anyone criticized the Obama girls’ outfits.

SABRINA ERDELY AND ROLLING STONE HAVE DONE DAMAGE THAT AN APOLOGY CAN’T FIX.

How about finding a way to teach journalists not to lie? Oh, who am I kidding? Meanwhile, I’m betting that Erdely’s apology will say that, well, this story may not have been true, but there’s a lot of campus rape that doesn’t get covered in Rolling Stone and we should really be focusing on that, not on her misdeeds. . .

WELL, WELL: Author of Discredited Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story Will Apologize Tonight; Columbia’s report will be released at 8 p.m.:

Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of Rolling Stone’s much-maligned story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, plans to formally apologize for her mistakes, according to CNN’s Brian Stetler.

Erdely stopped responding to questions and interview requests at the beginning of December, as reporters began to call into question the details of the story. (Richard Bradley and I were the first to do so.) Since then, the story has completely collapsed and was essentially confirmed as false by The Washington Post and the Charlottesville police department.

Essentially?

CONFESSIONS OF A VULTURE JOURNALIST. Meh. I don’t mind the journos who circle around tragedies so much. I mind the ones who — as with Ferguson, the UVA rape hoax, or the Indiana pizza parlor — actively incite tragedies for political and pecuniary gain. With Ferguson, the purveyors of the “hands up, don’t shoot” lie were perhaps too numerous to call to account, though someone should try. But with UVA it was Sabrina Rubin Erdely and Rolling Stone, and with the Indiana Pizzeria it was Alyssa Marino and ABC57 News, all of whom are identifiable defendants. . . .

That said, author Winston Ross, with his unselfconscious language about “a family of wingnuts,” is probably a putz.

ASHE SCHOW: Why aren’t we taking rape seriously? “You would think the issue was being taken seriously, given the mattress-carrying demonstrations and numerous marches with hand-made signs spouting catchy slogans like “non-consensual sex is rape.” But according to the activists, the solution to this problem — this so-called rape culture — is not to send serious crimes to the police, but to campus courts where the worst an accused student can face is expulsion.” That’s because it’s about empowering activists, and campus administrators who work hand-in-hand with the “activists,” rather than about actually solving the problem.

OPPOSING TOTALITARIANISM: Paper: Don’t ‘turn colleges into overseers of student sex lives.’

Colleges and universities in New York and, presumably, elsewhere shouldn’t enact “yes means yes” consent policies that force colleges to oversee student sex lives, according to an editorial in the New York Daily News.

The Daily News’ editorial page typically leans slightly to the Left (with the notable exception of endorsing Mitt Romney in 2012), which makes its editorial all the more interesting. The editorial comes on the heels of an op-ed by K.C. Johnson, who co-wrote the book on the Duke Lacrosse hoax, which expressed similar sentiments.

Given the quick debunking of the Rolling Stone article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, the Daily News editorial board suggests colleges rethink their current scorched-earth methods of handling campus sexual assault. Specifically, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support of the controversial “yes means yes” consent policies that require college students to obtain “clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed and voluntary agreement” before each individual sexual act from kissing to touching to intercourse. These policies not only leave college students vulnerable if they cannot prove they obtained such consent, but also void consent if the accuser had been drinking.

“Nice idea, but unrealistic,” wrote the Daily News. “Without getting an openly stated yes and then another and another, a party who failed to get an explicitly positive response to the question, ‘May I?’ would be subject to sexual assault discipline. Even a thousand yeses might not suffice if a partner had been drinking, as does happen at college.”

The Daily News also faulted Cuomo’s policies for providing a “bill of rights” for students making accusations of sexual assault that provides no due-process rights for the accused. The editorial board also faulted Cuomo and President Obama for continuously citing the debunked statistic that one in five college women have been sexually assaulted.

How many politicians could survive an “affirmative consent” regime?

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Danbury teacher charged with sexually assaulting student. “A Danbury High School teacher is accused of sexually assaulting and giving alcohol to a student. A first-year science teacher, 24-year-old Kayla Mooney, turned herself into Danbury police late Tuesday afternoon. She’d been on administrative leave for the last seven weeks while police investigated allegations that she had been engaging in inappropriate conduct with a student.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Or, well, something. Cops: Teacher Had ‘Secret’ Thing With 11-Year-Old; Geraldine Alcorn allegedly planned to run away with her student.

ASHE SCHOW: Why the Rolling Stone gang-rape story will never be labeled a hoax.

By now it’s clear that the brutal gang rape reported last November in Rolling Stone did not occur. I write that, knowing full well the backlash I could receive from not adding the caveat that something could still have happened to Jackie, the accuser in the story.

Activists have clung to the idea that something probably did happen to make a young woman tell a tale of a brutal gang rape and become a campus activist to keep the hoax claims isolated to a small subset. These same activists bent over backwards following the Charlottesville Police press conference last week to claim that Jackie probably wasn’t lying, because such a false accusation “flies in the face of statistics,” as one CNN panelist said. Of course, the statistic that only 2 percent of reported rapes are false – doubtful anyway – only applies to rapes actually reported to police, which this one was not.

But in any event, the faint possibility that Jackie may have suffered some other horrific event is not the reason this story will not be labeled a hoax by activists or most in the mainstream media.

No, the reason it will not be labeled a hoax comes from an anonymous McGill University student, using the pseudonym Aurora Dagny, who wrote last year that dogmatism is in part to blame for activists’ refusal to accept evidence contrary to their worldview.

“One way to define the difference between a regular belief and a sacred belief is that people who hold sacred beliefs think it is morally wrong for anyone to question those beliefs,” Dagny wrote. “If someone does question those beliefs, they’re not just being stupid or even depraved, they’re actively doing violence. They might as well be kicking a puppy. When people hold sacred beliefs, there is no disagreement without animosity.”

Because the activists behind the Rolling Stone story hold a “sacred belief” that thousands, perhaps even millions, of college students are sexually assaulted each year, any evidence to the contrary is seen as detrimental to the cause.

It’s why Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was able to continue calling Jackie a “victim” of a crime for which there is no proof. It’s why the University of Virginia’s president, Teresa Sullivan, and those responsible for vandalizing the fraternity named in the Rolling Stone article have not had to apologize for their rush to judgment.

This is too kind. Jackie, Gillibrand and Sullivan won’t apologize because they’re political liars, and they’re lying to a constituency that doesn’t care about the truth, and the press — which is part of that constituency to a large degree — won’t punish them for it.

Related: Cathy Young: Jackie Is A Serial Liar. Why Not Say it?

It is, of course, nearly impossible to prove a negative. Short of a surveillance tape documenting Jackie’s every movement, one cannot know for certain that she was never sexually assaulted at UVA. But the evidence against her is damning. It’s not simply that there was no party at Phi Kappa Si, the fraternity named by Jackie, anywhere near the time when she said she was attacked. It’s not simply that her account changed from forced oral sex to vaginal rape and from five assailants to seven, or that her friends saw no sign of her injuries after the alleged assault. What clinches the case is the overwhelming proof that “Drew,” Jackie’s date who supposedly orchestrated her rape, was Jackie’s own invention.

Back in the fall of 2012, Jackie’s friends knew “Drew” as “Haven Monahan,” an upperclassman who supposedly wanted to date her and with whom she encouraged them to exchange emails and text messages. However, an investigation by The Washington Post and other media last December found that “Haven’s” messages were fake; the phone numbers he used were registered to online services that allow texting via the Internet and redirecting calls, while his photo matches a former high school classmate of Jackie’s who lives in a different state. No “Haven Monahan” exists on the UVA campus or, apparently, anywhere in the United States (at least outside romance novels). The catfishing scheme seems to have been a ploy to get the attention of a male friend on whom Jackie had a crush—the same friend she called for help after the alleged assault.

Is it possible that someone sexually assaulted Jackie on the night when she claimed to be going out with her fictional suitor? Theoretically, yes. But it’s also clear that her credibility is as non-existent as “Haven Monahan.”

Moreover, the police investigation has debunked another one of Jackie’s claims: that in spring 2014, when she was already an anti-rape activist, some men harassed her in the street off-campus and threw a bottle that hit her face and (improbably) broke. Jackie said that her roommate picked glass out of a cut on her face; but the roommate disputes this and describes the injury as a scrape, likely from a fall. Jackie also said she called her mother immediately after that attack, but phone records show no such call.

Despite all this, Chief Longo wouldn’t call Jackie’s story a false allegation and even referred to her as “this survivor” (though amending it to the more neutral “or this complaining party”).

Meanwhile, in the CNN report on the March 23 press conference, anchor Brooke Baldwin, correspondent Sara Ganim and legal analyst Sunny Hostin were tripping over each other to assert that “we have to be very careful” not to brand Jackie a liar and that “she could have been sexually assaulted.” Hostin argued that the idea that Jackie made it all up “flies in the face of statistics,” because “only about 2 percent of rapes that are reported are false.”

This is a bogus statistic, which Hostin misattributed to the FBI. (According to FBI data, 8 to 9 percent of police reports of sexual assault are dismissed as “unfounded”; the reality of false rape reports is far more complicated, and it’s almost impossible to get a reliable estimate.) Even if it were true, it would say nothing about Jackie’s specific case. What’s more, statistics on false allegations generally refer to police reports or at least formal administrative complaints at a college—neither of which Jackie was willing to file.

CNN never mentioned the evidence that Jackie fabricated “Haven Monahan.” Neither did the New York Times, which said only that “the police were unable to track Mr. Monahan down.”

Jackie’s defenders argue that rape victims often change their stories because their recall is affected by trauma. It is true that memory, not just of traumatic events, can be unreliable; a victim may at various points give somewhat different descriptions of the offender or the attack. It is also true that, as writer Jessica Valenti argues, someone who tells the truth about being raped may lie to cover up embarrassing details (such as going to the rapist’s apartment to buy drugs).

None of that, however, requires us to suspend rational judgment and pretend that Jackie’s story is anything other than a fabrication. While Jackie is probably more troubled than malevolent, she is not the victim here. If there’s a victim, it’s Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity branded a nest of rapists, suspended and targeted for vandalism—as well as UVA Dean Nicole Eramo, whom the Rolling Stone story painted as a callous bureaucrat indifferent to Jackie’s plight.

Jackie lied, Erdely lied, Rolling Stone lied, Teresa Sullivan — at best — went along with a lie. All should face more consequences than they have so far experienced.

Plus: “For the rest of us, this episode shows how extreme and irrational ‘rape culture’ dogma has become, and how urgent it is to break its hold on public discourse. The current moral panic may be an overreaction to real problems of failure to support victims of sexual violence. But when truth becomes heresy, the pendulum has swung too far, with disastrous consequences for civil rights and basic justice.”

UPDATE: Ann Althouse says I should be calling for “more speech,” not “consequences.” The very first commenter on her post busts her on this, correctly:

The proper remedy for perjury is not “more speech”.

The proper remedy for filing a false police report is not “more speech”.

The proper remedy for slander is not “more speech”.

The proper remedy for all of the above are “consequences”.

Yes, “more speech” is a remedy for opinions one doesn’t like. When speech falls into the category of actions — which false accusations certainly do — it calls for more than simple talk as a response. (But note that Jackie was smart enough not to file a police report, though that should have been a tip-off). And I should note that the fraternity in question was the victim of violent mob action that was ginned up in part by the University of Virginia itself. Is the only remedy for officially-inspired thuggery “more speech?” No. That’s one remedy, but it’s not the only remedy, nor should it be.

ASHE SCHOW: Harry Reid’s War On Women.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is retiring. Although he was a faithful steward of the “war on women” political theme his party has used against Republicans, the Nevada senator wasn’t exactly a feminist warrior.

In 2014, he spent months blocking the Debbie Smith Act, which would have helped speed up the rape-kit processing and reduce the current backlog. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, tried to pass it as a stand-alone bill rather than let it get bogged down along with a larger and more controversial Justice authorization package. Reid blocked the bill, hoping to use it as leverage for passing the other measure, but relented about five months later.

Reid also pays women in his office less than men, despite his self-righteous rhetoric on the issue. Women in Reid’s office made an average of $13,500 less than men, according to Fiscal Year 2013 data compiled by the Capitol City Project. Based on the same (misleading) metric he frequently used to condemn all other employers, Reid actually carried a wage gap in his own office roughly the same as the national average. Men in senior-level positions earned more on average than women, and Reid was also more likely to promote them. Reid’s chief of staff, legislative director and communications director are all men.

Finally, there’s Reid’s treatment of women politicians in his own party.

Read the whole thing.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Girl who cried rape after threesome with two soldiers has been jailed.

A girl who falsely accused two army soldiers of trying to rape her because she felt ashamed about sleeping with them both has been jailed.

Nicole Richess, 20, had a drunken threesome with the two servicemen at a friend’s house and then her own home at the end of a night out.

The following day her boyfriend, Alex Ganter, heard rumours she had been unfaithful and confronted her.

Richess ‘panicked’ and made up the false claim that the two innocent men, aged 23 and 24, had forced themselves on her because she was too ashamed to tell Mr Ganter she had cheated on him.

Mr Ganter, her partner of three years, made her go to the police to report the ‘attack’.

Richess even gave a ‘tearful’ account of the co-called crime to officers and ‘illicitly gained their empathy.’

Her ‘deceitful web of lies’ resulted in the arrest of the two soldiers, leaving them ‘distraught and petrified.’

However, officers began to realise Richess was lying when they gathered the accounts of the soldiers and her friends and she was charged with perverting the course of justice.

Funny, I’m constantly being told that women never lie about rape. And I like this:

Judge Jonathan Fuller QC said: “You made a determined and prolonged attempt to weave a picture of deceit to further your ends and you were prepared to make wholly false allegations of attempted rape against these innocent young men.

“The impact on these victims cannot be understated and false allegations of rape and attempted rape can have dreadful consequences.

“Every occasion of a proved false allegation has an insidious effect on public confidence, sometimes allowing doubts to creep into when one shouldn’t exist.

“Your offence has a corrosive effect on criminal justice.”

Lying about rape is a very serious offense, one that deserves serious punishment. But note that it’s still a man’s fault somehow:

In mitigation, Tony Ventham said Richess – who is seven-and-a-half months pregnant by her current partner – said she felt pressured in to reporting the false claims because her former boyfriend was ‘violent’ and ‘controlling’.

Richess had also taken cocaine for the first time that night.

Mr Ventham said: “She called the police because she was in a panic and because she’s stupid and immature.”

He added: “In December the following month she tried to commit suicide and had been struggling with depression ever since.”

Richess was told she would start her sentence in a young offenders’ institute.

Still, at least there’s some accountability.

WELL, WELL: Sources Say, Erik Prince was hired by crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together a 800-member battalion. “Erik Prince billionaire founder of Blackwater was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by a reputable source. The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show.”

ASHE SCHOW: Looks like the J-School investigation of that Rolling Stone story is going to be quite a doozy.

The original story claimed that a U.Va. freshman, Jackie, was gang-raped by seven members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity during a wild party. The whole thing was allegedly part of a fraternity initiation orchestrated by Jackie’s handsome date for the evening. Bruised and bloodied, Jackie escaped through a side door and called her friends, who encouraged her not to report the crime.

But facts came to light after the article was published that painted a completely different picture. There was no party at Phi Psi the night of the alleged incident. Jackie’s friends said they did encourage her to report the crime and that at the time she claimed she was forced to perform oral sex on five men.

It was also discovered that the man Jackie supposedly had a date with that night, Haven Monahan, did not exist.

Rolling Stone apologized for the errors in its reporting, including the absence of any investigation to find the men Jackie claimed had raped her.

But President Teresa Sullivan has not apologized for running with this story, and for breaching her duty of fairness to the falsely accused students.

Related: UVA Professor Urges Rolling Stone Lawsuit: Says Fraternities Have Strong Legal Grounds. Plus, the possibility of suing Jackie, and bringing her up on an honor charge.

And since we know she lied now, can news reports please start using her full name?

WENDY MCELROY: ‘The Hunting Ground’: Reaping Profit from Rape Hysteria.

When the ‘documentary’ “The Hunting Ground” premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it was advertised as a “piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses.” In fact, its objectivity and perspective have been systematically dismantled since then. The film is best understood as a volley in the campus consent wars now raging across North America. It is part of a manufactured and coordinated hysteria about campus rape that imposes a politically-correct agenda and strips accused male students of due process rights.

Peel back the panic and you will often find profit. Some PC advocates profit from the power and prestige that being a savior can bring. The New York Times article “An Unblinking Look at Sexual Assaults on Campus: ‘The Hunting Ground,’ a Film About Rape Culture at Colleges” (Jan. 25, 2015) quoted the Democrat Senator from California, Barbara Boxer, as declaring “[Y]ou’re going to see it in response to this film. Believe me, there will be fallout.” The article indicated that Boxer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are pushing legislation that could ride into law on a wave of emotion created by “The Hunting Ground.”

Political careers, administrative jobs, government grants, book and lecture contracts are just some of vast financial benefits that rest upon continuing the “rape culture” crusade on campus.

Yep. “Rape culture” may be a myth, but the rape hysteria industry is very real. Plus:

The most remarkable aspect of the recipient list, however, is the apparent lack of any grants to groups that focus on preventing rape or sexual assault. The names of recipient organizations drive this conclusion. A single grant to Planned Parenthood is as close as NEO seems to come to funding sexual health or safety. And, yet, the “Take Action!” cry from “The Hunting Ground” states that NEO ensures “that your tax-deductible donation supports student-led campaigns, public education, policy reform, and prevention approaches.” Wouldn’t that goal best be ensured by an organization with an established track record on sexual assault? There are many of them out there.

The 2013 form is similar in its disclosed disbursements; no apparent grants go to organizations that address rape and sexual violence, let alone rape on campus. The vast majority of recipients reveal that NEO has an entirely different focus. Only a few recipients have sufficiently ambiguous names to allow the possibility that they deal with rape in some manner.

No wonder the iconoclastic website SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) inquired after “the propriety” of “The Hunting Ground” being used to fund raise for NEO. SAVE asks, “exactly how much of movie-viewers’ donations will be used to underwrite Michele Lord’s excessive salary?” Or used by NEO to pursue partisan issues like immigrant rights? Or used by NEO to encourage people to vote Democrat?

Another question needs to be answered. If, in fact, NEO is using “The Hunting Ground” as a fund raiser, did NEO finance its development in any manner? Is there a connection between director Kirby Dick and NEO? The source of funding is difficult to uncover. Indeed, even how much the ‘documentary’ cost to make is something of a mystery. Mojo lists the budget for “The Hunting Ground” as “N/A.” Other sources claim it was $1.8 million.

The possibility of “The Hunting Ground” being a fund-raiser for social justice causes unrelated to rape is disturbing.

It’s Potemkin villages all the way down with these people.

TALK OF CAMPUS “RAPE CULTURE” IS, BASICALLY, UNSCIENTIFIC HATE SPEECH, AS REUTERS POINTS OUT:

Campus rape is a serious problem. But while public attention is focused on students carrying mattresses and the discredited Rolling Stone report about rape at the University of Virginia, the fact is that sexual assault is more common off campus than on.

Consider this: If you lived in Gallup, New Mexico in 2013, you were 47 times more likely to be raped than if you attended Harvard, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics. Yet chances are you won’t see any protesters in New Mexico. Coverage of campus rape has likely increased for a variety of reasons – the social media influence of the at-risk demographic, the ability of victims and supporters to articulate the problem and because it — like any other type of violent crime in poor communities — is more of a surprise. That’s not to lessen one or the other; just a diagnosis of the arc of public attention.

A 2014 report from the Department of Justice called Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013 found that non-students aged 18-24 were 20% more likely to be sexually assaulted than students. Also, as these Reuters graphics show, the severity of the assault was worse for non-students, the rate of completed rape as opposed to other kinds of assault being 50% higher.

Follow the link for the graphics. Also, note that 6.1 out of 100,000 isn’t the same as 1 in 5.

UPDATE: Eugene Volokh emails: “I think 6.1/100,000 is the yearly attempted/completed/threatened sexual assault rate as reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and so isn’t directly comparable to the 1 in 5 assertion, which purports to measure the rate for the entire span of time in college; to make it comparable, I think you’d need to multiply it by 4 or 5 years. The difference remains vast, but not quite as vast.” A fair point. 24.4 out of 100,000 is still well below the 20,000 out of 100,000 we’d need for the 1 in 5 figure.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Apparently, Reuters is wrong. Eugene sends a further email:

Glenn: It looks like the Reuters story on which we were both relying got things badly wrong, and I’m sorry I didn’t catch it when I first corresponded with you. 6.1 per 100,000 would indeed be a very low attempted/completed/threatened sexual assault rate, amounting to only an equivalent of 9,000 per year for all women in the U.S. – even though women of college age are much more likely to be targeted for sexual assault than women who are materially younger or materially older. As the correspondent below notes, the original Bureau of Justice Statistics number (http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf) is that the yearly victimization rate for college-age women is 6.1 per 1000, not 6.1 per 100,000. Again, even multiplied by 4 or 5 it’s well below 20%; but it’s about a factor of 7 or so below, not a factor of 700.

Wow. That’s quite an error.

ASHE SCHOW: No, there is no ‘rape lobby’ trying to keep sexual assaults from being investigated.

Salon (because of course) has published an article titled “Fraternities plan to lobby Congress to prevent campus rape investigations.” The website’s Twitter account called the fraternities a “rape lobby.”

The article claims that the lobbying group, FratPAC, is trying to “make it more difficult for colleges and universities to investigate sexual assault allegations.”

The inference, of course, is that fraternities are trying to make it easier to rape.

What the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (note that it represents sororities as well) actually wants is for the American justice system, which has the training and expertise to investigate felonies like rape, to do its job before colleges and universities become caught up in political witch hunts.

FratPAC also wants universities to stop overreacting to accusations of sexual assault by suspending all Greek activity when an accusation comes from a single fraternity — like what happened at the University of Virginia following a now discredited gang-rape allegation.

These are both commonsense requests that, outside of the activist cult and supporting media, are not seen as extreme or crazy positions.

But to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who actively refers to one of her constituents as a “rapist” even though he was exonerated by a campus investigation, these requests are “completely backwards.”

Kirsten Gillibrand is the Ben Tillman of the feminist lynching culture. She happily victimizes innocents for political gain, and she does it without shame. Of course, Tillman was a Democratic Senator too.

YEAH, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE A BUNCH OF LYING LIARS: Megan McArdle: Rolling Stone Fails A Police Fact Check.

I called for the Charlottesville Police Department to investigate the case forthwith.

Well, they did. And today, at a press conference, they shared the results of that information. To summarize: “Jackie,” the alleged victim, refused to cooperate with police. The fraternity, however, did, and extensive attempts to corroborate her story failed.

There wasn’t much new here for people who have followed this case closely, and know about the various problems with Jackie’s story. They already knew that the guy she told friends raped her, with whom her friends had actually exchanged text messages with prior to their date that night, was a character named “Haven Monahan” who supposedly worked with her at the University’s Aquatic Center. Earlier reporting indicated that this is not the name of a UVA student, and the number they were texting belonged to a web-based service that allows people to send texts. Fraternity records do not show an event that night.

Mostly the police provided a few extra details here and there, which they were able to do because, well, they’re the law. For example, the story also includes a later incident where Jackie was attacked by people who threw a beer bottle at her, which broke on her eye. After that incident, Jackie told police that her nursing student roommate had had to take glass out of her skin from the thrown beer bottle; the roommate apparently denies this, and the police, who saw her wound about a week after the incident allegedly happened, said that while she did have an abrasion near her eye, appears to be more of an abrasion rather than a blunt trauma injury. . . .

Meanwhile, they said they actually found a timestamped photograph of the accused fraternity’s side entrance, taken at 11:30 pm on the evening of the rape, and it shows a guy standing there alone, with two chairs, which is not consistent with the sort of party described in the article, since the side entrance is right near the main staircase.

The police were at pains to say that they don’t know that nothing happened on the evening of Sept. 28, 2012, and that they are not closing the investigation, just “suspending” it, since they have no evidence with which to prosecute a crime. But what I took away from their press conference is that whatever happened on that night, it is almost certainly not what Sabrina Rubin Erdely wrote in Rolling Stone.

Well, that’s because what she wrote was a hoax, and she and the Rolling Stone either knew or should have known that it was false.

WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE A STORY THAT EVEN THE TELLER WON’T STAND BY? How are we supposed to handle sexual assault accusers who won’t cooperate?

The story Jackie told was easy to discredit — her friends denied her account of a conversation between them, the fraternity didn’t hold a party the night in question, and even the supposed date she had that night was a fictitious person. But the police still wouldn’t close the case because something could have happened to Jackie and maybe one day, if she decides to cooperate or someone else comes forward, justice can be done.

But the situation brings up an interesting question: How should we handle accusers who refuse to cooperate, especially when their word is the only evidence available?

At some point, isn’t the collective societal good supposed to overtake the good of the individual? Isn’t that the liberal way?

Let’s say something horrible did happen to Jackie, something so terrible that she would rather tell a false story about a gang rape from phantom fraternity brothers than the truth. That would mean there’s a monster out there who could harm other students, other women. And if she is the actual victim of something, she’s not helping herself or other students who could be future victims.

Advocates who claim women should be taken at their word may continue to support an accuser’s right to proceed — or not proceed — with an investigation on her own terms. That could mean giving a statement to a college administrator, or to the police, or doing nothing at all. And that might be acceptable for the single accuser, but there’s a larger population in danger.

Sometimes, when an accuser refuses to cooperate with an investigation — even by a school — the case is dropped. This happened with Columbia University student Paul Nungesser. One of the three women who accused him of sexual misconduct stopped cooperating with the university and her accusation was dismissed.

Other times, an accuser’s word in the absence of other evidence is used to expel an accused student, as was the case with Joshua Strange, even when police couldn’t indict.

Of course, such behavior from the universities leads to lawsuits and headaches, and is one element in the current national debate over campus sexual assault. But as more lawsuits from accused students come in and are settled, more due process will have to be afforded to these students, resembling a more formal police process. And if, ideally, these cases are handled by the police, an accuser’s refusal to tell her story or provide any clues as to what happened will be a detriment to the case.

This isn’t about justice. This is about preparing the battlespace for Hillary 2016′s “war on women” narrative, and the preparers don’t care who gets hurt in the process: men, or women.

CHARGES BROUGHT ESSENTIALLY WITHOUT INVESTIGATION, UPON ACCUSATION ALONE: 20-year-old found not guilty of raping University of Akron student.

Charles Anderson, 20, of North Jackson was acquitted last Thursday by a jury made up of seven women and four men. The trial lasted two and a half days and the jury came back with a decision in about an hour.

“I would never sexually assault a girl or rape a girl,” Anderson said from his lawyers office near Youngstown surrounded by his mother and step father.

“I’m just relieved and thank God that I’m able to wake up today and wake up in my bed,” he continued.

The University of Akron student told campus police Anderson sexually assaulted her at her sorority house Alpha Delta PI on Spicer Street. The alleged assault happened around 5 a.m. as the victim said she was surprised and attacked.

Anderson did not testify in court but told police he and the victim had sent text messages to each other before and after the incident. The actual texts were not allowed in court. . . .

The victim and Anderson had been friends since middle school and met on social media, according to him. He said the two had been in a relationship and the September visit was not the first time he had gone to see the alleged victim at the University.

“There are 16 women in the sorority house,” said Anderson’s attorney Edward Hartwig. “There was the testimony from the alleged victim that she fought and she did yell. We thought it would have been prudent for officers to interview the women in the house that night and that wasn’t done.”

Hartwig said police only interviewed two women in the house some six months after the incident and a week before the trial.

Anderson said he has a new job and is working to reclaim his life and get his name back.

Note that the “victim” isn’t named.

WELL, GIVEN THAT THE ACTUAL VICTIM WAS AN INNOCENT FRAT SMEARED AND ASSAULTED BY TERESA SULLIVAN’S BROWNSHIRTS, OKAY: Dem Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: Let’s not blame the victim in this bogus UVA/Rolling Stone rape story.

But, of course, what Sen. Gillibrand really means is don’t blame me, for making political hay out of this now obviously made-up story. “Gillibrand et al. not wanting to deny Jackie her ‘victim’ status is also a function of them wanting to cover their own asses for having uncritically accepted the Rolling Stone UVA rape story. If Jackie’s a sympathetic figure even now, well, then the torches-and-pitchforks crowd really shouldn’t bear any blame for having viciously attacked Rolling Stone’s skeptics as rape enablers who might as well have been in the room at Phi Kappa Psi while Jackie was being assaulted. They reacted harshly only because they care so much about making sure that skepticism didn’t discourage genuine rape victims from coming forward. Gillibrand describing Jackie as a victim is a vestige of that attitude. Skepticism towards any accusation, for whatever reason, must be resisted to the bitter end and even beyond the bitter end, when the whole world knows what Jackie really did, and why.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Jill Curry sentenced to 4 years in prison for sex with inmate. “Authorities said the sexual misconduct occurred while a deputy was at lunch, when Curry, a civilian jail services technician, was alone in the unit’s control room.That’s where she pushed a button, unlocking the inmate’s cell, and then met him in a supply closet. This occurred 13 times, said prosecutor Jeff Lesowski.”

STACY MCCAIN: After Police Review: UVA Should Expel Rape-Hoaxer Jackie. “This is it, you see? Jackie is a serial liar. She was a freshman having trouble in school, and so she lies. She tells the dean a vague story about being a rape victim. The dean asks police to investigate, but the liar won’t cooperate with the police because she knows her story is a lie. Jackie’s rape tale in May 2013, however, didn’t match the rape tale she told Rolling Stone in fall 2014. Why is this? The vague story she told the UVA dean was utilitarian, a deception meant to explain her problems in school, to depict herself as deserving of sympathy. The story Jackie told Rolling Stone, however . . .”

WHY THE MEDIA CAN’T COVER SEXUAL ASSAULT: A concerned journalist who asks anonymity writes:

You might be interesting in this Tip Sheet from Columbia’s Dart Center:

Note how from the very first paragraph the tip sheet assumes that anyone making a complaint is a “survivor,” not an “alleged victim” or other neutral language.

Nowhere do these guidelines say “Be sure to give the alleged perpetrator or his/her representatives a chance to respond to the allegations.”

But they do say:

“Listening is important. Make sure to allow ample time for the source to tell you their story. Don’t rush them. Don’t press for details if they are not willing. Allow them to tell you what they feel comfortable talking about.”

The closest the document comes to saying “Check the facts!” is this:

“Corroborate information. Be aware that accounts of what happened may not be entirely accurate as trauma can impact a person’s memory. A person may forget details or misremember due to the psychological effects of the trauma. Be sure to corroborate your information with other sources to the extent possible.”

But note how any discrepancies in an account of an assault are pre-judged to be the result of that assault, the reality of which is not to be questioned.

One could argue that Sabrina Rubin Erdely followed these guidelines in her Rolling Stone piece. She only corroborated the facts in the story to the extent that they would not upset her “survivor.”

Columbia Journalism School is the institution investigating that Rolling Stone piece. Fortunately, Steve Coll, dean of the school, is a first-rate journalist. Hopefully, they will produce a solid report—and then circle back to take another look at their own guidelines for reporting these stories.

Well, we’ll see.

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: USA Today: U.Va. rape report exposes failed U.S. policy: Federal rules have put universities in a damned if you do-damned if you don’t position.

It wasn’t much good for those innocent, falsely accused frat guys who suffered mob violence and vandalism — with, more or less, official University of Virginia sanction — either.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Man puts ‘crazy’ case behind him; rape charges dropped after he spent 7 months in jail. “I think she just has lots of issues and I just happened to be the scapegoat that was there.”

ASHE SCHOW: Police: No Evidence To Support Rolling Stone Gang-Rape Story.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Teacher Gets Probation After Sex With Student. “Mary F. Gilles, 28, of Austin, Minn., pleaded guilty to two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct for her relationship with a 17-year-old student. Gilles’ probation comes with more than 20 conditions, including registering as a predatory sex offender, no contact with minors or the victim and no Internet access without permission. If she violates the conditions of her sentence, Gilles could face four years in prison.”

Would a male teacher have gotten probation? I kinda doubt it.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Tempe police arrest PE teacher in sex conduct with minor. “Nicole Renee Wooten told police that she committed sexual acts with an eighth-grader between 2005 and 2006, according to court documents. The girl was about 12 years old at the time.”

Remember, male teachers are scarce because people are afraid they might be sexual predators.

FACTS AND EVIDENCE ARE TOOLS OF THE PATRIARCHY: Student Barred From Class For Disputing Rape Statistics.

He and/or his parents are paying Reed College a lot of money. Why, exactly?

Related: At Northwester, the Laura Kipnis Melodrama.

Last Monday, about thirty Northwestern anti-rape activists marched to their school’s administrative center carrying mattresses and pillows. The event was a deliberate echo of the performance art project of Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz, who is lugging a mattress everywhere she goes on campus for a year to draw attention to the university’s failure to expel her alleged rapist. At Northwestern, the target of the protest was not a person accused of assault, but the provocative feminist film professor Laura Kipnis. Her offense was penning a February essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education, titled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe,” which argues against her school’s ban on sex between professors and students, and more broadly against the growing obsession with trauma and vulnerability among feminists on campus.

“If this is feminism, it’s feminism hijacked by melodrama,” she writes. “The melodramatic imagination’s obsession with helpless victims and powerful predators is what’s shaping the conversation of the moment, to the detriment of those whose interests are supposedly being protected, namely students. The result? Students’ sense of vulnerability is skyrocketing.”

Including, apparently, their vulnerability to articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education. As the protesters wrote on a Facebook page for their event, they wanted the administration to do something about “the violence expressed by Kipnis’ message.” Their petition called for “swift, official condemnation of the sentiments expressed by Professor Kipnis in her inflammatory article,” and demanded “that in the future, this sort of response comes automatically.”

These little Junior Anti-Sex League members combine thuggishness and fragility in a particularly obnoxious way. They should be sent home until they are mature enough for college. And America. And no parent should pay tuition to a school that takes this sort of hysterical behavior seriously.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): North Carolina teacher has sex with student, gets tattoo with 15-year-old girl’s initials and likeness.