Political News

The Latest: Official apologizes to sexual violence victims

Posted July 13

— The Latest on the remarks about sexual assault by the Education Department's civil rights chief:

1:53 p.m.

The Education Department's civil rights chief is apologizing to victims of sexual violence for her "flippant" remarks. Candice Jackson had attributed 90 percent of campus sexual assault claims to both parties being drunk.

Jackson is acting assistant secretary for civil rights. Her apology comes amid a series of meetings Thursday held by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to examine the impact of President Barack Obama's crackdown on campus sexual violence.

Fatima Goss Graves is president of the National Women's Law Center. Graves says she appreciates apologies, but "there's no way to take it back." She says the department has to "explicitly reject" rape myths.

Graves was present at a meeting Thursday between department officials and victims.

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3 a.m.

The Education Department's civil rights chief says she's sorry for making "flippant" remarks attributing 90 percent of campus sexual assault claims to both parties being drunk.

The apology by Candice Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights, comes on the eve of a series of meetings that her boss, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is holding to examine the impact of the Obama administration's stepped-up efforts to hold schools accountable for investigating sexual violence.

Jackson was quoted in The New York Times as saying in most cases there's "not even an accusation that these accused students overrode the will of a young woman."

In a statement, Jackson says as a rape survivor, "I would never seek to diminish anyone's experience."

She says, "what I said was flippant, and I am sorry."

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