Lincoln University President Robert R. Jennings claims that remarks he made about women reporting false rapes have been taken out of context.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jennings caused quite the uproar after comments he made in September during the university's All-Women's Convocation appeared on YouTube last week. In the four-minute video, Jennings tells the women gathered that men treat them the way they allow them to.
"Men treat you—treat women—the way women allow us to treat them," he explains. "When it comes time to make that final decision, we're going to go down the hall and marry that girl with the long dress on.
"And let me tell you why I know I'm right about it," Jennings continued. "I'm right about it because we had on this campus last semester, three cases of young women who, after having done whatever they did with the young men, and then it didn't turn out the way they wanted it to turn out, guess what they did? They then went to Public Safety and said, 'He raped me.'
"So then we have an investigation," he said. "We have to start pulling back the layers and asking all kinds of questions."
Jennings also warned the young women that new federal regulations meant that a false rape accusation could lead to their arrest.
"When you allege that somebody did something of that nature to you, you go to jail. I don't care how close they are to finishing the degree, their whole life changes overnight," he said. "Why am I saying all this, ladies? I'm saying this because, first and foremost, don't put yourself in a situation that would cause you to be trying to explain something that really needs no explanation had you not put yourself in that situation."
Jennings told the Inquirer that his entire speech was 26 minutes and that the four minutes captured on video took his broader message out of context.
“No one would ever discourage a young woman on this campus from reporting a sexual assault," Jennings told the newspaper. "In fact, I emphasize to them how serious that allegation is and that the university takes it very seriously, and so does the federal government and so does the court."
The Rev. James Thomas, whose son is a junior at Lincoln University, didn't agree with Jennings' claims and called his remarks "frightening."
"There had to have been at least one young lady in that room who had been the victim of sexual assault who had not reported it, and there was nothing that was said by the president that would have given any comfort," Thomas told the newspaper.
Read more at the Philadelphia Inquirer.