UVA Rape Scandal Update

On December 5, Rolling Stone issued a quasi-retraction on the UVA rape accusation.  Turns out, the ritual gang-rape they reported as truth might never have happened.  Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Erdely alleged that, in September 2012, fraternity Alpha Phi Psi carried out a ritual gang-rape of a freshman girl as part of an elaborate initiation.  When evidence that contradicted this story emerged, Rolling Stone issued a statement indicating that they were no longer standing by their story.

Evidently, the fraternity had presented convincing evidence to the media that no party had occurred on the date of the alleged attack, and that nobody fitting the description of the lead perpetrator belonged to the fraternity at the time of the alleged attack.

The Washington Post interviewed one of Jackie’s (the accuser’s) friends.  As recounted by Sabrina Erdely, Jackie’s friend Andy discouraged a bloodied and battered Jackie from going to the police, but this isn’t what Andy told the Washington Post.  According to Andy, he asked a visibly shaken Jackie whether she wanted to call the police, and she declined.

Andy also recounted Jackie telling him a significantly different story from the one Erdely told, or retold.  Jackie was not bloodied and bruised, but she appeared shaken.  In his version of events, she claimed that a group of men forced her to perform oral sex on them at a fraternity party, with no mention of being thrown through a table or vaginally raped.

Jackie’s freshman roommate Emily Clark also believes that something terrible happened to Jackie.  In a letter to the campus newspaper, Clark describes Jackie’s freshman transformation from a happy and outgoing girl into a depressed loner.  According to the letter, Jackie confided in Clark that she was assaulted at a party by several men but wouldn’t go into specifics.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, blogger Charles C. Johnson claims to have revealed Jackie’s real identity; he also claimed she had a history of making false rape allegations, but he appears to have retracted this claim.

For their part, Rolling Stone seem to have modified their position somewhat.  Rolling Stone's editor has removed the part of the disclaimer stating that their trust in Jackie was misplaced to a statement that Rolling Stone should not have honored Jackie’s request not to contact her (alleged) attackers.

At the moment, this story has received far too much scrutiny for the facts not to come out.  But one thing is clear: for whatever reason, Rolling Stone dropped the ball.  By agreeing not to seek comment from the accused rapists, or the other witnesses, they went to press with a bogus story.  The specifics of what, if anything, happened will be sorted out, and the repercussions for those responsible for this bogus story will follow shortly thereafter.

On December 5, Rolling Stone issued a quasi-retraction on the UVA rape accusation.  Turns out, the ritual gang-rape they reported as truth might never have happened.  Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Erdely alleged that, in September 2012, fraternity Alpha Phi Psi carried out a ritual gang-rape of a freshman girl as part of an elaborate initiation.  When evidence that contradicted this story emerged, Rolling Stone issued a statement indicating that they were no longer standing by their story.

Evidently, the fraternity had presented convincing evidence to the media that no party had occurred on the date of the alleged attack, and that nobody fitting the description of the lead perpetrator belonged to the fraternity at the time of the alleged attack.

The Washington Post interviewed one of Jackie’s (the accuser’s) friends.  As recounted by Sabrina Erdely, Jackie’s friend Andy discouraged a bloodied and battered Jackie from going to the police, but this isn’t what Andy told the Washington Post.  According to Andy, he asked a visibly shaken Jackie whether she wanted to call the police, and she declined.

Andy also recounted Jackie telling him a significantly different story from the one Erdely told, or retold.  Jackie was not bloodied and bruised, but she appeared shaken.  In his version of events, she claimed that a group of men forced her to perform oral sex on them at a fraternity party, with no mention of being thrown through a table or vaginally raped.

Jackie’s freshman roommate Emily Clark also believes that something terrible happened to Jackie.  In a letter to the campus newspaper, Clark describes Jackie’s freshman transformation from a happy and outgoing girl into a depressed loner.  According to the letter, Jackie confided in Clark that she was assaulted at a party by several men but wouldn’t go into specifics.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, blogger Charles C. Johnson claims to have revealed Jackie’s real identity; he also claimed she had a history of making false rape allegations, but he appears to have retracted this claim.

For their part, Rolling Stone seem to have modified their position somewhat.  Rolling Stone's editor has removed the part of the disclaimer stating that their trust in Jackie was misplaced to a statement that Rolling Stone should not have honored Jackie’s request not to contact her (alleged) attackers.

At the moment, this story has received far too much scrutiny for the facts not to come out.  But one thing is clear: for whatever reason, Rolling Stone dropped the ball.  By agreeing not to seek comment from the accused rapists, or the other witnesses, they went to press with a bogus story.  The specifics of what, if anything, happened will be sorted out, and the repercussions for those responsible for this bogus story will follow shortly thereafter.