[Correction: The headline has been updated to better reflect the accuracy of the story, as the original headline stated that Francisco van Jole apologized for rape, when in fact it was allegedly attempted rape.]
[Original story:] Francisco van Jole, the editor-in-chief at the Dutch news website, Joop.nl, is being accused of attempting to rape a 23-year-old girl after getting her drunk and taking advantage of her after a taxi ride to the hotel, where she told him “no” but he undressed and attempted to force himself on her anyway.
The story was featured on Dutch website De Dagelijkse Standaard, where they reported that the story of the young woman’s sexual assault was corroborated with audio evidence from van Jole himself, after he had a conversation with her at the bar.
In the audio clip van Jole can be heard stammering and stuttering through his explanation of what happened that night while being questioned by a woman. He admits he had no intention of giving the alleged victim an “annoying experience”…
“[…] well … it’s … uh … in no way had any intention to for … me … to .. to give you annoying experiences … that should … […] … that is… […]
[…] and I can imagine you think so and I did” […]
[…] “You want to explain your side later, but I received a text from your friend that I had to leave you alone so I did that. [It] just looked [to] me [to be the] wisest [decision]”
As the young woman continues to question him about the events of that night, he acknowledges that he was shocked that she felt the way she did about the events.
A separate and more detailed report from another Netherlands website, Geenstijl.nl, also acknowledged that multiple women had warned each other of Jole, as noted on Kotaku in Action. The site also reports that van Jole’s actions could net him up to 12 years in prison.
After word spread about van Jole’s actions and the evidence in the audio clip of him reluctantly acknowledging that some events took place that night, Dutch journalist Lammert de Bruin tweeted that van Jole apologized, saying “I didn’t know they made a recording of the conversation”.
Van Jole: ‘ik stond te kijken dat zij dit zo ervaren heeft, heb mijn excuses aangeboden en ik wist niet dat zij een opname van het gesprek maakte’.
— Lammert de Bruin (@lammert) November 8, 2017
The accusation of attempted rape surfaced from the 23-year-old during the rise of the #MeToo campaign, and DDS felt it necessary to report on it after they were given the audio evidence of the conversation van Jole had with the alleged victim.
[Update: According to Telegraf.nl, van Jole has responded to the allegations, stating that there was no abuse and no coercion and that he simply playfully attempted to put his tongue in her mouth, but nothing further happened.]
Francisco van Jole has been the editor-in-chief at the Netherlands-based website, Joop.nl, since 2009. Meaning, he was overseeing the content the site produced when it unabashedly took aim at #GamerGate since 2014. More specifically, on October 22nd, 2014, Joop published an article titled “Women in game world threatened with death” where they claimed #GamerGate was about threatening women such as Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, and Zoe Quinn, writing…
“The hate campaign against these game women is led by an online movement called Gamergate. This move is against making women more friendly. The case is being taken so seriously that the FBI has now launched an investigation into the people behind Gamergate and threaten the threats. According to the report, it would be about fifty highly educated boys with women’s hatred.”
The FBI did in fact investigate the claims, and after nine months turned up nothing but trolls and two misguided teens. They had no actionable evidence and no substantial leads indicating that #GamerGate was a harassment campaign, so they closed the case in September of 2015.
On September 27th, 2016, another piece was published on Jool.nl taking aim at #GamerGate, Trump, and online trolls, where they wrote…
“And then there was The Fappening , the large-scale theft of hundreds of private photographs of female celebrities, mostly nude pictures, which were massively distributed via 4chan. And Gamergate , where a number of female game designers were massively bothered and threatened with (sexual) violence. To name just a few examples of how a message on the forum can have big consequences if many people (read trolls) get along with it.”
In one of the site’s more notorious flubs, they published an article back in November of 2016 taking yet another aim at #GamerGate, attempting to link it to the Alt-Right…
“During his search for information about new games, he came into contact with what is known as the “gamer gate” controversy. Gamer Gate is a Twitter hashtag for tweets directed against a number of female game developers and feminist authors who have criticized the stereotype image of women in video games. It is one of the nodes in the so-called alt-right network, the Internet amorphous cloud of alternative right-wing ideas.
“That’s interesting’ll tell you, but what does that make Trump and his election? More than you think. Behind Gamer Gate is a hidden world of anti-leftist and anti-liberal ideas that are not neat enough for the Republican Party, right-wing research institutes, arrived for political commentators, or for traditional newspapers and television networks. This alt-right network is the breeding ground in which many of the conspiracy theories and delusions that inform Trump and his supporters have been developed. It is a kind of 21st century right-wing variant of the counterculture of the sixties.”
The article’s author, Wouter de Leg, even went way off into the deep end, claiming that the memes and the Trump support was masterminded by lawyer Mike Cernovich, and in one of the original published iterations claimed that he was a rapist, which is quite ironic given the circumstances.
As noted on Kotaku in Action, the article later had to be amended and an apology issued for claiming Cernovich was convicted of rape…
“I suggested in this blog initially that Mike Cernovich was convicted of rape and that he may not exercise the profession of lawyer. However, both of these suggestions are incorrect. I apologize for this incorrect presentation.”
Dutch Newspaper Joop Apologizes for Libeling Mike Cernovich pic.twitter.com/5CqBeb6Nwz
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) November 17, 2016
This news is especially significant because Joop is a subsidiary of the BNNVARA Corporation, which is state funded. So the Dutch are paying taxes to fund national broadcasting corporations that are purposefully feeding them misinformation.
Given how recent the news is regarding van Jole’s alleged attempted rape of the young woman, it’s unclear how BNNVARA will respond and whether or not charges will be pressed.
(Thanks for the news tip Lucas)