Groups Call on Civil-Rights Official to Reject ‘90 Percent’ Statement on Campus-Rape Cases

More than 50 groups have signed a letter demanding that Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, reject a statement she made this month in a New York Times interview. Ms. Jackson told the newspaper that “90 percent” of campus sexual-assault accusations resulted from an accuser’s regret over a sexual encounter. Ms. Jackson has since apologized, calling the remarks “flippant.”

In the letter the National Women’s Law Center, joined by other organizations, wrote that Ms. Jackson’s apology did not go far enough and that she should disavow the comments as promoting inaccurate information on campus rape.

“Your job as acting assistant secretary for civil rights is to reject such myths loudly and repeatedly, not reinforce them, as you did last week,” reads the letter. “In doing so, you undermined students’ faith in your office and used your bully pulpit to broadcast a destructive and inaccurate message.”

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate’s education committee, this week urged Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to remove Ms. Jackson from her position, calling her comments “callous.” Ms. DeVos said in a statement later that Ms. Jackson had apologized for the remarks and that they did not reflect her position or the department’s stance. She also called Ms. Jackson’s role in the Trump administration “valuable.”

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