ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday played a clip from an upcoming feature about the fake gang rape story published in Rolling Stone magazine in 2014.

The clip features snippets of two interviews, one from GMA host Amy Robach speaking with University of Virginia dean Nicole Eramo, who was portrayed as dismissive toward sexual assault accusers at the school, and part of Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s deposition.

Eramo is seen reading some “mild” hate mail she received in the wake of the article, which claimed she did nothing to help a woman who said she was gang-raped at a fraternity at U.Va. when she was a freshman.

“Dean of rape … God will have his day with you and hold you accountable,” and “you’re a despicable human being,” Eramo read, timidly.

“I thought I – I was sure I was going to be fired. I was sure that – and I just didn’t know if I could do it, honestly,” she said, fighting back tears. “I mean, I went to work every day and I tried to do it but I wasn’t sure if I could do it.”

Eramo is now suing Rolling Stone and Erdely for the way she was portrayed in the article.

Next we see Erdely giving testimony in response to Eramo’s lawsuit. She claimed “Jackie,” the woman who gave her the fake account of a gang rape, “proved to be credible in so many different ways.” Erdely also said Jackie gave her “pieces of evidence to back up what she was saying.” We do not see whether Erdely explained what those pieces were.

Jackie could have given Erdely text messages between herself and “Drew,” the man she claimed took her to a fraternity party after a date and orchestrated the gang rape as part of an initiation. She could have shown Erdely a photo of the man she claimed was Drew. But those text messages and the photo were fake. Jackie used an online service to send the texts to her friends, and the photo she showed them of Drew was actually of an old high school classmate who was not a student at U.Va. and had nothing to do with any of this.

Next, GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked correspondent Dan Abrams about the case. Abrams said that, as Eramo’s lawsuit moves to trial next week, she will have to prove that Rolling Stone “knew or should have known” they were publishing falsehoods.

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Abrams also said the case will be difficult for Eramo, because the Education Department determined U.Va. violated Title IX in its handling of sexual assault claims, and Eramo was the point person for those accusations. But as I’ve written previously, the Education Department always finds a school in violation of Title IX, and they often do so in confusing and contradictory ways. It seems as though the department wants to find schools at fault and makes up the reasons as it goes along.

But, Abrams cautioned, emotion may lead a jury to sympathize with Eramo over Rolling Stone.

“In an environment where Gawker’s losing a $140 million verdict, people are going to be angry,” Abrams said. “Rolling Stone got this wrong and they retracted it, it seems. And so, as a result, there’s a real danger for Rolling Stone that there’s going to be almost an emotional response to this, to say ‘somebody’s got to face the music here, somebody’s got to pay here.’ The question’s going to be: Pay to who? Who were the victims of this story?”

It would have been a straightforward, simple clip, except Robach had to mention the faulty claim that 1 in 5 women “will” be sexually assaulted while in college. This flawed statistic isn’t accurate, as it’s from self-reported surveys with broad definitions of “sexual assault” that even the people alleged to have been assaulted don’t consider sexual assault.

Robach also claimed that false accusations are incredibly rare, which is also not true. The percent of proven false accusations is small. Activists use that number to imply that every other accusation is true, but that’s not what the numbers show. Just as small a percentage of accusations are proven true. The vast, vast majority can’t be conclusively proven one way or the other.

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The misuse of these statistics has led to a lot of questionable accusations on college campuses, where due process for accused students has become almost nonexistent. Activists have created an atmosphere where false accusations are easy to make, and that’s incredibly dangerous.

ABC’s “20/20” feature on the Rolling Stone case will air Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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