Earlier UVA Sexual Assault Victim Recounts Her Story

The sexual assault of Liz Seccuro, which occurred in the fall of 1984 at the same University of Virginia fraternity fingered by Jackie, was mentioned in the disputed Rolling Stone article. Today, via The Daily Beast, it is Seccuro herself recounting the assault and related events, in much fuller detail.


The Long Island wife and mother of two wrote a book in 2011 about her traumatic experience titled Crash Into Me: A Survivor’s Search for Justice. The book arrived five years after an assailant was charged with two counts of felony rape, indicted by a Grand Jury and sentenced after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated sexual battery.

The convicted assailant, William Beebe, wound up serving approximately six months in jail. And because Seccuro had no memory of being sexually engaged with two other men at the fraternity that same night in 1984, until these separate individuals were confirmed by a P.I. working for Beebe, Seccuro writes that the gap was used to “discredit her recollection.” From the essay:

I received an email from a friend some days ago after the Rolling Stone article was published, who, without prompting, wrote that he knew something terrible had happened to me when he saw me meeting with the IFC [Inter-Fraternity Council] president in the lounge of my dorm. Leonard Sandridge of the University of Virginia wrote to me that records of my meetings with University Police and Captain Sheffield “could not be located.” The current administration has refused to speak with me about making a change. They have refused to apologize, which is all I have ever wanted. I have not sued Phi Kappa Psi, the University of Virginia or any of the individuals involved.

In light of the RS debacle, a number of readers are wondering about the wisdom of a publishing a first-person essay rather than a more fully reported investigation with additional, quoted individuals. Some commenters are also challenging specific details shared by Seccuro:

I_think_for_myself: Clearly the author intends us to jump to the (unfounded) conclusion that she was drugged. However, by her own admission she had been drinking that evening. She started with beer, and moved on to the “house special”. Both of which she apparently consumed of her own volition. Nobody forced her. What was in the “house special”? I’d bet grain alcohol. Everclear. Mixed right it doesn’t taste like the poison it is, and it’ll sneak up and hit you like a sledgehammer. BAM!! One drunk girl. Who suddenly can’t feel her hands and feet and, possibly panicking because of that, has trouble breathing normally. But getting drunk of her own accord doesn’t fit the “I was raped” narrative. However, it does fit the “I did things I really really wish I hadn’t” narrative. Which isn’t the narrative she’s trying to spin, so please ignore that more plausible explanation in favor of the more sensational one.

Read the full Daily Beast piece here.

[The tweet above is from Tessa Miller, The Daily Beast’s senior technology and health editor.]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: December 16, 2014 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/university-virginia-daily-beast-liz-seccuro/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT