Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued a statement late yesterday sharply critical of the move by Rolling Stone magazine for “publicly walking away from its central storyline in its bombshell report on the University of Virginia.” He stressed that “we must not let that undermine our support for survivors of sexual assault or the momentum for solutions.” The following is the complete statement by Herring:
“It is deeply troubling that Rolling Stone magazine is now publicly walking away from its central storyline in its bombshell report on the University of Virginia without correcting what errors its editors believe were made. Virginians are now left grasping for the truth, but we must not let that undermine our support for survivors of sexual assault or the momentum for solutions.
“Months before the Rolling Stone article, the Commonwealth, the nation, and the University itself had begun addressing sexual violence on campus as a crisis. Nothing should or will distract from that critical work. I chair the Governor’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, which will develop recommendations on prevention, response, and law enforcement reforms in the coming months. Additionally, the Charlottesville Police Department and an independent counsel team are separately looking at all aspects of this particular allegation, as well as the University’s policies, procedures, and culture.
“While today’s revelations from the magazine leave us with serious questions, we must not lose the sense of urgency that students, alumni, campus leaders, law enforcement, and many Virginians have brought to this conversation.”