Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Snake Eats Its Own Tail

Well, then, huh.
University of Virginia associate dean of students Nicole Eramo on Wednesday publicly denounced a retracted Rolling Stone article that she says falsely portrayed her role in counseling a student who alleged that she was the victim of a fraternity gang-rape on campus.

In a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday morning, Eramo assails the article’s “false and grossly misleading” account about how U-Va. handled allegations of rape on campus. Eramo, who works with student survivors of sexual assault, had been characterized as callous and indifferent to what Rolling Stone described as a brutal campus rape, and other sexual assault cases.

“Using me as the personification of a heartless administration, the Rolling Stone article attacked my life’s work,” Eramo wrote in the letter, her first public remarks about the article since its online publication in November. Noting that the article has since been discredited and retracted, Eramo wrote that her name will now “remain forever linked to an article that has damaged my reputation and falsely portrayed the work to which I have dedicated my life.”
Reason links to a Volokh Conspiracy piece outlining the various parties who might have standing to sue for libel, and Eramo, as a public servant, is ineligible. That's unfortunate in this case, but her pleading is especially compelling, at least, to me. Here's someone who has, presumably, spent her entire career in the pursuit of actual sexual abuse, only to find herself labeled an indifferent abettor of gang rape.

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