“I Regret Any Misunderstanding” Mayor Apologizes For Rape Kit Comments

(Memphis) Rape victims called Mayor A C Wharton insensitive after comments made Wednesday night at a community meeting.

The mayor mentioned getting donations to help pay for rape kit testing has been difficult, and blamed a lawsuit filed by rape victims.

Thursday, the mayor apologized if there was a misunderstanding with his comments.

“If someone misunderstood that I apologize to that. My approach has been victim-centered,” Wharton said.

But rape victim Meaghan Ybos says there was no misunderstanding.

“I thought that it was very misplaced for the mayor to say he was not going to point fingers and then to point victims at the rape victims who have had to file suit in civil court to assert their civil rights,” she said.

Wednesday night, Wharton said the lawsuit filed by rape victims was making it difficult to secure funding from philanthropic organizations.

“Unfortunately it clouds things when lawsuits are filed,” Wharton said Wednesday night.

“Madison (Graves) said having my attacker on the loose for almost a decade clouded my ability to live a normal life,” Ybos said.

Frustrated the city ignored their rape kits, Ybos and two others sued the city.

“Memphis should be paying for this with their own money not looking for philanthropic donations and then blaming rape victims for asserting their rights and clouding things,” she said.

Reporter to Wharton: “They believe those comments were insensitive. Could you react to that?

Wharton: “No. No. No. It’s a reality. It has nothing to do with the victims themselves, they have the right to sue.”

The mayor said he perhaps gave too much information.

“Folks have heard me say I was trying to get some philanthropic funds and it does make it a little bit difficult until we can assure them that the money they give us to clean up the kits won’t be used to hire lawyers and things like that, and we are working to explain that,” he said.

He does apologize if that explanation was offensive.

“All I want to do is keep pushing the testing off those kits. That’s all I’m centered on and I regret any misunderstanding on that,” Wharton said.

“I’m happy that he’s apologized for the insensitivity that people have perceived. I would hope he keeps this in mind in the future,” Ybos said.

24 comments

  • Don

    AC is a Lawyer supposedly, and he should able to not say things to have to apologize. AC and Joe Brown Clown are have no ethics and do not care about anyone but themselves. both of them are not qualified to be anything to in the city business or the courts business. What have they done to help people. Nothing , Nothing, Nothing.

  • Dr. JohnS

    Mayor, you find money for buying the stadium, for any and all your pet projects. It is the city’s responsibility to take care of the protection of the city. That is why we pay taxes. Stop asking for donations and find the money in the budget even if you have to stop paying council members money.

  • person

    He said, “If someone misunderstood I apologize to that.” How is that even an apology? He’s not apologizing for his offensive words, he’s apologizing that the victims and public “misunderstood” him. He’s not admitting any fault, and actually kind of placing the fault on anyone who “misunderstood” him.

  • byebye

    Whattttt ? Another mis-quote ? What would one expect from AC (another conn) ? Not a leader, not a manager, well he is leading the city down the sewer

  • smith

    Over 25 year of this leadership, and the city is on the verge of bankruptcy, all the money the city takes in though property taxes goes to salary, then they (city) resort to fee’s to run the city. Folks this is P## poor management.

  • laquinton mcgregor

    i know this is off topic but why are we in the city still paying for high car tags. if the city inspectionstations are down why?

  • Don

    Ladies and gentlemen, Look at the picture of AC Wharton
    Now you know what a deer looks like when it is caught in the headlights.
    That was no apology, far from it.
    Memphis needs an honest Mayor for a change.

  • Greg

    He doesn’t need to apologize for what he said. It was the way they presented the story that made it sound bad. Your all a bunch of witch hunters. You can’t wait to get your next witch and hang em. Your hate only hurts yourself.

  • Nonya Bidness

    The headline for this story should read “Memphis seeks private funding for law enforcement” That would get more attention.

    • bambam84

      Weren’t we supposed to be receiving a million or two for this from the White House, due to,”Nationwide Issues,” and Obama’s FY15 budget containing $35 million total towards backlogged kit testing? In an article about it, Wharton says,”It’s going to the CITY.”
      Going to the city, for what? Apparently this fiasco is still going on….

  • Julius Jones

    Hey folks,

    Please take Ole Slo’ Talkin’, Slo’ Walkin’ A uh C uh for what he is, a long time Public Defender with no management experience. The only reason he is in the mayor’s job is because he’s black and is not as loud, or incoherent as Mayor Bill was.

    Many of you, and the co conspiring local media try to make this knucklehead out to be something he isn’t.

    He has accomplished absolutely nothing during his terms as Shelby County and Memphis mayor.

  • ChrisWilliamsisaDoucheBag

    That’s why the city is in such bad shape. Monkeys running the show. Tell me one city or country that has a Black leader and there isn’t problems?

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