- The Washington Times - Monday, February 15, 2016

A staff member at Purdue University resigned Monday after he refused to issue an apology for social media comments that pro-life groups took as rape threats.

“Yeah, I just quit,” Mr. Newman, a part-time staffer at the public Indiana college, wrote in an email to the Lafayette Journal & Courier. “Tell the world.”

Purdue confirmed that Mr. Newman had submitted his resignation Monday, effective immediately.

“The University has accepted the resignation and believes this is the appropriate outcome,” said Julie Rosa, a Purdue spokeswoman.

Mr. Newman had posted a string of controversial comments on Purdue Students for Life’s Facebook page and then allegedly posted a comment on Live Action News threatening to rape the “wife/daughter/great grandmother” of another commenter on the site, Campus Reform first reported.

“Oh, I’m sorry. So, let me make my intentions quite explicit: I did in fact offer to rape Tom’s wife/daughter/great grandmother,” Mr. Newman allegedly wrote, according to Campus Reform. “Free of charge, even. I’m generous that way. Here’s the number for the West Lafayette Police Department: 765-775-5500. Here’s the number for the local FBI office: 765-435-5619. Drop that dime! I could strike at any minute. *giggles* (like a girl).”

An investigation launched by the Purdue University Police Department found no criminal intent. Purdue University, citing free speech policies, also found no grounds to discipline or fire Mr. Newman, the Journal & Courier reported.

Still, Purdue’s attorney Steve Schultz asked that Mr. Newman issue a “full apology and explanation” for his “obnoxious rhetoric.” Mr. Newman refused, asserting that he is the one who deserves an apology.

“If anything, you owe me an apology — indeed, you should probably be begging my forgiveness — for facilitating the dissemination of fabricated and defamatory statements about me, and for failing to vehemently denounce the effort made of Students For Life to destroy my life and career. I’m not planning to hold my breath waiting for one,” Mr. Newman wrote in an email to Mr. Schultz, obtained by Campus Reform.

Garen Bragg, a senior in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, said a rally demanding Mr. Newman be fired will go on as planned Monday afternoon outside Hovde Hall, home of Purdue’s top administration, the Journal & Courier reported.

“What we’re rallying for is still valid,” Mr. Bragg said Monday morning. “Threats of sexual assault are wrong.”

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