like rugs

First, some may be curious as to the background of Sabrina Rubin Erdely,
the author of “A Rape on Campus” in Rolling Stone,
A little information is provided here.

Now, here are, in chronological order, some articles about “A Rape on Campus” and its aftermath.

By the way, the real name of “Jackie”, center of that article, was subsequently widely reported to be Jackie Coakley.

Is the Rolling Stone Story True?
by Richard Bradley
Shots in the Dark, 2014-11-24


Which brings me to a magazine article that is causing an enormous furor in Virginia and around the country;
it’s inescapable on social media.
Written by a woman named Sabrina Rubin Erdely,
the article is called “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA.”


The only thing is…I’m not sure that I believe it.
I’m not convinced that this gang rape actually happened.
Something about this story doesn’t feel right.

Here’s why.


[The next paragraph is Bradley quoting from the Rolling Story article.
The italicization was in Bradley's reprinting.]

She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony,
during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her,
while two more – her date, Drew, and another man –
gave instruction and encouragement.
She remembers how the spectators swigged beers,
and how they called each other nicknames like Armpit and Blanket.
She remembers the men’s heft and their sour reek of alcohol mixed with the pungency of marijuana.
Most of all, Jackie remembers the pain and the pounding that went on and on.


Then there’s the fact that Jackie apparently knew two of her rapists,
but they are not named,
nor does Rubin Erdley contact them,
which is basically a cardinal rule of journalism:
If someone in your story is accused of something,
you’d better do your damnedest to give them a chance to respond.

There’s no sign that Rubin Erdley did so.
Why not? Did she not know their names? Would Jackie not tell her?
Because if Rubin Erdley knew their names and didn’t call them,
that is horrible journalism and undermines confidence in her reporting.

Finally there’s the narrative of the gang rape itself.
It is a terrible story—so terrible that,
if it weren’t for the power of our preexisting biases,
we would be hard-pressed to believe it.

A young woman is lured to a fraternity in order to be gang-raped as part of a fraternity initiation.
It’s a premeditated gang rape.
I am not, thankfully, an expert on premeditated gang rape,
but to the extent that it exists,
it seems to be most prevalent in war-torn lands
or countries with a strain of a punitive, misogynist and violent religious culture (Pakistan, for example).

The allegation here is that, at U.Va.,
gang rape is a rite of passage for young men to become fraternity “brothers.”
It’s possible.
One would think that we’d have heard of this before—
gang rape as a fraternity initiation is hard to keep secret—
but it’s possible.

[Such a culture, to the best of my knowledge,
did not exist at the two universities I attended
(four years at Rice, five and half at Brandeis).]

So then we have a scene that boggles the mind.
(Again, doesn’t mean it’s untrue; does mean we have to be critical.)


[The estimable Steve Sailer has a number of comments to this blog post;
here is one of them.]

Steve Sailer
11/27/2014 4:20 am

Sorry to keep coming back to this,
but I’ve done some more thinking and here’s where the story falls apart:
pitch darkness _and_ broken glass on the floor.
The glass table is smashed,
but nobody turns on the light to see what happened or where the broken glass is?
Instead, each man, having heard the glass table get smashed,
still gets down on the floor covered with shards of broken glass,
risking not only his hands and knees,
but also pulling out an even more personal part of his anatomy,
one that he only has one of.


[Another comment.]

11/29/2014 8:19 pm

I read the story, and admit I was sucked into the narrative. That’s how gripping it is. But it’s also basically a crock. There’s glass all over the floor, but no one is a bit concerned. “Jackie” knows at least two of the perps, but won’t file charges – despite now being a leader of a campus anti-sexual assault group. If anyone besides “Jackie” was actually interviewed and quoted in the piece, it’s administrators with a dog in the fight, so to speak. So yes, it stinks to high heaven.

But the part that stinks the most is that supposedly each of her THREE friends she met outside the frat house all advised her against going to the police, despite there having allegedly been copious evidence – bruises, cuts, semen – for her to file charges. And all three of them tell her not to go.

You ever been in a situation like that? Two people may advise something dumb, but at least one is going to chime in and say “Are you effing nuts? Of course we’re going to the police!!!” These are U-Va students. They’re smart kids. One of them is going to do that. If it’s a he said/she said (in this case a they said/she said) I could understand choosing not to go. But here the evidence was copious, to the point of probably even requiring medical attention, and yet she chose not to go.


The Grave Mishandling of Campus Rape
The Brian Lehrer Show, 2014-11-26

DoubleX Gabfest: The Butch Goddess Edition
Listen to Slate’s show about the campus rape story that shut down UVA’s frats.

By Hanna Rosin, June Thomas, and Katy Waldman
Slate Double X Podcast, 2014-11-27

In this week’s Gabfest, DoubleX founder Hanna Rosin joins Outward editor June Thomas and Slate writer Katy Waldman to discuss the Rolling Stone story about the gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house ...

The actual interview is below.

Slate Double X Podcast - the actual audio interview
Slate - Soundcloud, 2014-11-27

The interview with Sabrina Rubin Erdely ends at about 17:40 in the audio,
then moves into a discussion about the U-VA response.
The complete U-VA segment ends about 20:40.

Sabrina Rubin Erdely, woman behind
Rolling Stone’s explosive U-Va. alleged rape story

by Paul Fahri
Washington Post, 2014-11-28

Magazine writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely knew she wanted to write about sexual assaults at an elite university. What she didn’t know was which university.

So, for six weeks starting in June, Erdely interviewed students from across the country. She talked to people at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. None of those schools felt quite right. But one did: the University of Virginia, a public school, Southern and genteel, brimming with what Erdely calls “super-smart kids” and steeped in the legacy of its founder, Thomas Jefferson.

In a searing investigative piece published by Rolling Stone magazine last week, Erdely told the story of Jackie, who as a first-year student was allegedly gang-raped by seven men at a U-Va. fraternity party in 2012.

The gruesome details of the alleged assault and the hard-drinking atmosphere surrounding it were harrowing enough. But the story also focused on what happened to Jackie after she told friends and campus officials that she had been brutalized. Erdely recounted a virtually systemic whitewashing of Jackie’s allegations, from peers who counseled her to remain silent to an indifferent and conflicted school administration, caught between adjudicating a serious crime and protecting the university’s platinum reputation.

The 9,000-word story prompted a wave of outrage and revulsion at U-Va., an institution still reeling from the kidnapping and death of another female student, Hannah Graham, in September. Within hours of publication, Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity where the alleged assault took place, was vandalized, with “UVA Center for Rape Studies” spray-painted on its exterior.

Faced with an uproar from students, faculty and alumni, university President Teresa Sullivan quickly suspended all fraternity and sorority activities until early January, saying there needed to be a discussion about “our next steps in preventing sexual assault and sexual violence.” Elected officials expressed concern, too, and rallies and demonstrations roiled the campus.

The reaction surprised, as well as gratified, Erdely, 42, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and a freelancer who writes frequently about crime and social issues.

“I was concerned, very late in the game, that no one would be willing to read this story,” she said in an interview. “I thought the reaction would be, ‘We know about this problem,’ and they’d turn the page. But this has really sparked a huge discussion. It’s really heartening.”

One of the many remarkable things about Erdely’s article is that no one had reported it before. At least a few dozen people in and around U-Va. were aware of Jackie’s story — friends, family, administrators and the small circle of people associated with One Less, the campus sexual assault awareness organization that Jackie had joined. Yet, for more than two years after the events described in the Rolling Stone article allegedly took place, the story remained untold.

Erdely was introduced to Jackie — her real name, unlike the pseudonyms given other figures in the article — by Emily Renda, a leader of the One Less group and one of Jackie’s confidants.

Although reluctant to disclose certain details at first,
Jackie proved an enthusiastic source.

“She was absolutely bursting to tell this story,”
Erdely said.
“I could not believe how it poured out of her in one long narrative.
She spoke so fast, I hardly had a chance to ask her a question.
She was dying to share it.”

[Compare Jackie's responses to the questions from an attorney
in her deposition for the Eramo trial,
when she said "it was all a fog".
What a *****
(you know the word, but blogger would probably be unhappy if I used it, even in this situation).
Note also how the feminists are even now covering for the liar,
arguing that whether she is a victim or not,
her full name and identity must not be a matter of the public record.
Shows their respect for the truth and the need to sanction those who commit libel.]

She hadn’t done so before, Erdely said, for a simple reason: No reporter had asked her.

Erdely spent weeks corroborating details of Jackie’s account, including such minutiae as her work as a lifeguard. She concluded: “I find her completely credible. It’s impossible to know for certain what happened in that room, because I wasn’t in it. But I certainly believe that she described an experience that was in­cred­ibly traumatic to her.”

Some elements of the story, however, are apparently too delicate for Erdely to talk about now. She won’t say, for example, whether she knows the names of Jackie’s alleged attackers or whether in her reporting she approached “Drew,” the alleged ringleader, for comment. She is bound to silence about those details, she said, by an agreement with Jackie, who “is very fearful of these men, in particular Drew. . . . She now considers herself an empty shell. So when it comes down to identifying them, she has a very hard time with that.”

The story does take one journalistic shortcut. The alleged assault, described in graphic detail, is presented largely without traditional qualifiers, such as “according to Jackie” or “allegedly.” The absence of such attribution or qualification leaves the impression that the events in question are undisputed facts, rather than accusations. Erdely said, however, that her writing style makes it clear that the events are being told from Jackie’s point of view.

In any case, there have been no outright denials from any party about the alleged crime Erdely reported, a rarity given the relative specificity of the allegations and the enormous impact of the story. A general statement on the matter came from Phi Kappa Psi’s Virginia chapter, which pledged its cooperation with a police investigation but said: “We have no specific knowledge of the claims” contained in the article.

More problematic, at least to Erdely, was the university’s response, or lack of one, as she investigated Jackie’s story. She says that the university “stonewalled” her repeatedly. Among other things, her requests for statistics about alleged sexual assaults on campus were blocked, as were her inquiries about the university’s policies and procedures for handling such crimes, she said. She also said that university officials cancelled interviews with her, including one as she was about to board a plane to fly to Charlottesville.

“At first, I thought they were just incompetent,” she said. “But when I realized that they were not cooperating and there was no transparency at all . . . it occurred to me that they were stonewalling. All they cared about was [protecting] their reputation.”

A university spokesman, Anthony P. de Bruyn, said Friday that U-Va. “provided Sabrina on Oct. 2 all of the information and statistics we are able to disclose. We provided her links to the university’s policies and supporting information.” He also said that Sullivan, the university’s president, gave Erdely an interview.

As for Jackie, she said in a series of text messages that “she’s really happy about the article and really proud of it,” Erdely said. But she isn’t saying anything more. Erdely said Jackie has declined many interview requests, including those Erdely has received on her behalf.

“Right now, Jackie’s goal is to get through finals,” she said. “She doesn’t want this [experience] to define her. She’s worried that when she’s 35, which seems to be the oldest age she can imagine, she’ll still going to be having panic attacks when she sees someone who looks like her attackers. She hopes she’s going to get better. . . . But my guess is she’s taking shelter right now. She’s kind of barricaded herself in.”

Is the UVA Rape Story a Gigantic Hoax?
Robby Soave
Reason, 2014-12-01


[A quote from a Washington Post article:]

The story does take one journalistic shortcut.
The alleged assault, described in graphic detail,
is presented largely without traditional qualifiers, such as “according to Jackie” or “allegedly.”
The absence of such attribution or qualification leaves the impression that
the events in question are undisputed facts, rather than accusations.
Erdely said, however, that her writing style makes it clear that
the events are being told from Jackie’s point of view.

I [Soave] have no reason to disbelieve Erdely,
and I understand why she would choose not to disclose anyone's identity.
But she should be able to confirm that she knows who the attackers are, shouldn't she?
Again, we don't have to know who they are,
but we should know that she knows—
or else the story is just one long uncorroborated accusation.
And regardless of whether or not the story is told "from Jackie's point of view,"
it was written by Erdely, who treats its contents as fact.


Author of Rolling Stone article on alleged U-Va. rape didn’t talk to accused perpetrators
by Paul Fahri
Washington Post Style, 2014-12-01

The writer of a blockbuster Rolling Stone magazine story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity has said that she was unable to contact or interview the men who supposedly perpetrated the crime.

In interviews with The Washington Post and Slate.com last week, writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely declined to answer repeated questions about the men’s response to an allegation by a female student named Jackie that they had sexually assaulted her at a U-Va. fraternity party in 2012.

However, in a podcast interview with Slate, Erdely indicated that she was unable to locate the fraternity brothers in the course of her reporting to get their side of the story.

“I reached out to [the accused] in multiple ways,” Erdely said in the Slate interview. “They were kind of hard to get in touch with because [the fraternity’s] contact page was pretty outdated. But I wound up speaking . . . I wound up getting in touch with their local president, who sent me an e-mail, and then I talked with their sort of, their national guy, who’s kind of their national crisis manager. They were both helpful in their own way, I guess.”

Sean Woods, who edited the Rolling Stone story, said in an interview that Erdely did not talk to the alleged assailants. “We did not talk to them. We could not reach them,” he said in an interview.

However, he said, “we verified their existence,” in part by talking to Jackie’s friends. “I’m satisfied that these guys exist and are real. We knew who they were.”

News organizations typically seek comment from those accused of criminal acts or from their attorneys as a matter of fairness and balance, as well as to confirm that the individuals exist.

Erdely’s Nov. 19 article, which touched off a criminal investigation and an outraged reaction among the school’s students, faculty and alumni, included no such response and gave no indication that she had met or seen the men, who Jackie said were still on campus.

The nine men who Jackie said participated in the gang rape were not identified by name in the Rolling Stone story. But the article contained clues to their identities, including their affiliation with the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at U-Va. and their attendance at a party at the frat in September 2012. “Drew,” the frat brother who allegedly lured Jackie to the darkened room at the fraternity in which the assault took place, was described in the most detail in the article. Erdely said that he was an attractive U-Va. junior and a lifeguard at a university pool.

No one has been arrested for the alleged crime. The university has turned the matter over to the Charlottesville police, who have launched an investigation.

Erdely declined to address specific questions about her reporting when contacted on Sunday and Monday.

“I could address many of [the questions] individually . . .
but by dwelling on this, you’re getting sidetracked,”
she wrote in an e-mail response to The Post’s inquiry.

“As I’ve already told you,
the gang-rape scene that leads the story
is the alarming account that Jackie —
a person whom I found to be credible —
told to me, told her friends, and importantly,
what she told the UVA administration,
which chose not to act on her allegations in any way —
i.e., the overarching point of the article.
THAT is the story:
the culture that greeted her and so many other UVA women I interviewed,
who came forward with allegations,
only to be met with indifference.”

[The jury in the Oct/Nov 2016 Eramo/Erdely/Rolling Stone trial
determined that the above boxed item constituted
defamation with actual malice of Dean Eramo.]

She added, “I think I did my due diligence in reporting this story; RS’s excellent editors, fact-checkers, and lawyers all agreed.”

Woods said that the men were not named in the story because “we were telling Jackie’s story. It’s her story.”

In her article, Erdely quoted the fraternity’s chapter president and a spokesman for Phi Kappa Psi’s national chapter. Both expressed shock at the allegations when informed of them by university administrators but said that they had no direct knowledge of them and were seeking to substantiate them.

There have been no arrests in the case, and no alleged assailants have been publicly identified.

In her interview with The Post, Erdely said that she “corroborated every aspect of the story that I could.” She said that she did not identify any of the alleged attackers in the article “by Jackie’s request. She asked me not to name the individuals because she’s so fearful of them. That was something we agreed on. She was nervous about naming the frat, too. I told her, ‘If we’re trying to shine a light on this, we have to name the fraternity.’ ”

Erdely declined to say whether she knows the names of the alleged perpetrators, including “Drew.”

“I can’t answer that,” she said. “This was a topic that made Jackie extremely uncomfortable.”

The Missing Men
Why didn’t a Rolling Stone writer talk to the alleged perpetrators of a gang rape at the University of Virginia?
By Allison Benedikt and Hanna Rosin
Slate Double X, 2014-12-02

The Rolling Stone piece “A Rape on Campus” is a huge story in all senses of the word.
It is long and expansive,
documenting a culture at the University of Virginia that seems to shrug off sexual assault.
It has also helped kick off a broad national conversation
about fraternity culture, rape on campus,
and whether our colleges and universities are equipped to adjudicate alleged sex crimes.
At its heart, though, Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article is about a single event:
an orchestrated gang rape of a woman named Jackie.
In the course of 9,000 words, Erdely chronicles an administration’s tepid response to a terrible crime.
But what the piece is missing is one small thing:
that single, standard sentence explaining that
the alleged perpetrators of the crime deny it, or don’t deny it,
or even that they could not be reached for comment.
It’s often a boring sentence, one that comes off as boilerplate to readers,
but it’s absolutely necessary,
because it tells readers you tried your best to get the other side of the story.
You notice when it isn’t there.

Last week, we invited Erdely on the DoubleX Gabfest to talk about the story.
I asked her in several different ways
if she knew anything about the seven men whom Jackie accused of committing this crime, or if she had talked to them.
In the story, Jackie’s roommate at the time, Rachel Soltis, tells Erdely,
“Me and several other people know exactly who did this to her.”

Jackie says she still sees “Drew,” the guy she alleges orchestrated the gang rape, walking around campus sometimes.
(Jackie is the alleged victim’s real first name. Drew is Erdely’s pseudonym for the alleged perpetrator.)
Drew was on Jackie’s lifeguard shift at the university pool.
He’s a junior and a member of the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi.
An open campus is relatively friendly terrain for a reporter,
and students’ email addresses aren’t difficult to track down.
He couldn’t be that hard to find.
And yet, based on Erdely’s answers, we couldn’t tell how hard she’d tried.
I reached out to them in multiple ways.
They were kind of hard to get in touch with because [the fraternity’s] contact page was pretty outdated.
But I wound up speaking …
I wound up getting in touch with their local president, who sent me an email,
and then I talked with their sort of, their national guy,
who’s kind of their national crisis manager.
They were both helpful in their own way, I guess.

[You can bet that Phi Kappa Psi will have some questions about this in their lawsuit!]


In her story, Erdely does describe a scene in which
Jackie’s “three best friends on campus” encounter her immediately after the alleged incident.
The way Erdely writes that scene, it’s impossible to know
if she’s getting the quotes directly from the friends
(whose names have been changed in the story)
or from Jackie’s recollection of what they said.
[I am not a journalist, but that seems to me to be journalistic malpractice.
It's fine in works of fiction to make the point of view uncertain,
but in journalism purporting to be reporting on reality,
that seems to me to be a terrible thing to do.]


Both Erdely and [her editor at Rolling Stone Sean] Woods
have said that they decided to tell the story mostly from Jackie’s point of view.
As Woods told the [Washington] Post,
“We were telling Jackie’s story. It’s her story.”


[Erdely] must know the basic rules of reporting a story like this:
You try very, very hard to reach anyone you’re accusing of something.
You use any method you can think of,
including the jerk reporter move of making a surprise, in-person confrontation.
You try especially hard if you are writing about
something as serious as a gang rape accusation.

If you fail to reach the person,
you write a sentence explaining that you tried—
and explaining how you tried—
as a way to assure your readers that you gave the person a chance to defend themselves.
We’re not sure why Rolling Stone didn’t think that was necessary.

Why aren’t we sure what Rolling Stone thought?
Here is our standard sentence:
I emailed and called Erdely
to ask her some follow-up questions after she appeared on the DoubleX Gabfest,
but she sent me to Rolling Stone’s public relations person.
Woods, her editor, said he was “done talking about the story”
[Famous last words!]
and sent a statement from Rolling Stone that read, in part,
“Through our extensive reporting and fact-checking,
we found Jackie to be entirely credible and courageous
and we are proud to have given her disturbing story the attention it deserves.”

It could be that Erdely did try her hardest to reach the alleged rapists.
Or it could be that she didn’t, out of deference to Jackie.
We’ve interviewed many of Jackie’s friends,
including some who were quoted in the Rolling Stone story.
They verified that Jackie did get very upset when Erdely wanted to find out more about the alleged assailants.
[I wonder why!]
Sara Surface, a good friend of Jackie’s
and a member of One Less, a victim advocacy group at UVA,
had the impression that Jackie’s reaction was “extreme” when Erdely pressed her—
meaning that Jackie became so terrified
that she reconsidered going public with her story, even anonymously.

If that’s true, then Erdely was in a tough position.
Push too hard and she might lose Jackie.
But not pushing harder has created a whole new nightmare.


[W]ith a story this extreme,
you want the assurance that a journalist did everything she possibly could
to verify its accuracy.
What’s at stake here is not just a small point of journalistic standards.

We found Jackie and she agreed to talk to us.
Then, at the last minute she backed out.
She had already been interviewed by the Washington Post
for a story that has not yet run,
and she had picked up that the media had some doubts—
something that she is understandably sensitive to.
What became clear from talking to Jackie’s supporters at UVA is that
the community of victim advocates operates by a very specific code.
“The first thing as a friend we must say is,
‘I believe you and I am here to listen,’ ”

says Brian Head, president of UVA’s all-male sexual assault peer education group One in Four.
Head and others believe that
questioning a victim is a form of betrayal,
because it will make her feel judged
and all the more reluctant to ever speak about what happened.
So the truth is out.
Just make a claim of being a victim of sexual assault,
and, at least if you are a woman,
the "victim advocates" won't question anything you say.
Remember that the next time you hear a "victim advocate" quoted.]

None of the people we spoke to had asked Jackie who the men were,
and in fact none of them had any idea.
They did not press her on any details about the incident.

“A lot of the reason why we aren’t questioning Jackie urgently about
who the names are or anything like that
is because our role as advocates and friends is really just to support the survivor,”
Am I the only one who finds the uniform use of that term
to describe those who claim to be be alleged victims of sexual assault
as overly melodramatic?]

says Alexandria Pinkleton, another member of One Less and a friend of Jackie’s who was also quoted in the Rolling Stone story.
“If she doesn’t want to give us the names,
that’s not something were going to press her for.”
This is a point of tension between Erdely and the activists,
one that is apparent in her conclusion.
Erdely blames the UVA administration,
“which chose not to act on her allegations in any way.”
The activists, however, think the administration was correct
not to pressure Jackie into pressing charges before she was ready.


At the end of that interview on the DoubleX Gabfest,
I asked Erdely how she might defend Jackie in court—
what evidence she would present if the case went to trial.
Erdely said she wasn’t a lawyer but
“given the degree of her trauma,
there’s no doubt in my mind that something happened to her that night.

What exactly happened I don’t know. I wasn’t in that room. I don’t know.”

UVA Rape, Uhh, "Rape"- WTF Is It Now?
by Tom Maguire
justoneminute.typepad.com, 2014-12-05

UPDATE: VA Alpha Statement Regarding Rolling Stone Article

December 5, 2014

Official Statement from the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at the University of Virginia

Over the past two weeks the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi
has been working tirelessly and openly with the Charlottesville Police Department
as they investigate the allegations detailed in the November 19, 2014 Rolling Stone article.
We continue to be shocked by the allegations and saddened by this story.
We have no knowledge of these alleged acts
being committed at our house or by our members.
Anyone who commits any form of sexual assault, wherever or whenever,
should be identified and brought to justice.

In tandem with the Charlottesville Police Department's investigation,
the Chapter's undergraduate members have made efforts
to contribute with internal fact-finding.
Our initial doubts as to the accuracy of the article have only been strengthened
as alumni and undergraduate members have delved deeper.
Given the ongoing nature of the criminal investigation,
which we fully support,
we do not feel it would be appropriate at this time
to provide more than the following:

First, the 2012 roster of employees at the Aquatic and Fitness Center
does not list a Phi Kappa Psi as a lifeguard.
As far as we have determined,
no member of our fraternity worked there in any capacity
during this time period.

Second, the Chapter did not have a date function or a social event
during the weekend of September 28th, 2012.

Third, our Chapter's pledging and initiation periods,
as required by the University and Inter-Fraternity Council,
take place solely in the spring semester and not in the fall semester.
We document the initiation of new members at the end of each spring.
Moreover, no ritualized sexual assault is part of our pledging or initiation process.
This notion is vile, and we vehemently refute this claim.

It is our hope that this information
will encourage people who may know anything relevant to this case
to contact the Charlottesville Police Department as soon as possible.
In the meantime,
we will continue to assist investigators in whatever way we can.

Rolling Stone’s disastrous U-Va. story:
A case of real media bias

By Erik Wemple
Washington Post Blog, 2014-12-05

On Slate’s DoubleX Gabfest podcast last month, reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely explained why she had settled on the University of Virginia as the focus for her investigative story on a horrific 2012 gang rape of a freshman named Jackie at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. “First I looked around at a number of different campuses,” said Erdely. “It took me a while to figure out where I wanted to focus on. But when I finally decided on the University of Virginia — one of the compelling reasons that made me focus on the University of Virginia was when I found Jackie. I made contact with a student activist at the school who told me a lot about the culture of the school — that was one of the important things, sort of criteria that I wanted when I was looking for the right school to focus on.”


Rolling Stone has issued a statement apologizing for the story, which includes this misogynistic, victim-blaming line: “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.” But Jackie was a freshman in college when her episode allegedly took place; the story itself references her misgivings about putting her life into the public realm; she requested that Rolling Stone not contact “Drew,” the ringleader of the alleged assault; the alleged sequence of events — nine college men conspiring to attack a freshman and sexually assaulting her for three hours — should have triggered every skeptical twitch in the Rolling Stone staff. This disaster is the sole property of editors and a reporter.

The story and Erdely’s comments about it, moreover, suggest an effort to produce impact journalism. While media critics on the right and the left cry about media bias in just about every news cycle, the complaints generally amount to nothing but ideological posturing. There are few things like a good media-bias claim to distract from a substantive conversation.

In the case, of Erdely’s piece, however, there’s ample evidence of poisonous biases that landed Rolling Stone in what should be an existential crisis. It starts with this business about choosing just the “right” school for the story. What is that all about? In his first, important piece on this story, the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi described the author’s thought process:
So, for six weeks starting in June, Erdely interviewed students from across the country. She talked to people at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. None of those schools felt quite right. But one did: the University of Virginia, a public school, Southern and genteel, brimming with what Erdely calls “super-smart kids” and steeped in the legacy of its founder, Thomas Jefferson.
A perfect place, in other words, to set a story about a gang rape.

Observe how Erdely responded to a question about the accused parties in Jackie’s alleged gang rape. In that Slate podcast, when asked who these people were, she responded, “I don’t want to say much about them as individuals but I’ll just say that this particular fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi — it’s really emblematic in a lot of ways of sort of like elitist fraternity culture. It’s considered to be a kind of top-tier fraternity at University of Virginia…It’s considered to be a really high-ranking fraternity, in part because they’re just so incredibly wealthy. Their alumni are very influential, you know, they’re on Wall Street, they’re in politics.”

The next time Erdely writes a big story, she’ll have to do a better job of camouflaging her proclivity to stereotype. Here, she refuses to evaluate the alleged gang rapists as individuals, instead opting to fold them into the caricature of the “elitist fraternity culture,” and all its delicious implications. Of course, one of the reasons she didn’t describe the accused is that she never reached out to them.

More grist comes from an Erdely interview with SiriusXM host Michael Smerconish. In a wide-ranging discussion, Erdely discussed some details of her reporting that didn’t surface in the story. Erdely alleges Jackie had told her some chilling things about the run-up to the alleged gang rape. As lifeguards at the U-Va. pool. Jackie couldn’t figure out why “Drew” was paying attention to her when the other female lifeguards were “model-gorgeous blondes,” said Erdely in the interview. “‘He was paying so much attention to me, showing so much interest in everything I had to say,’” Erdely said, paraphrasing Jackie. “And all she could think is that [Drew] was probably grooming her for something like this, and testing her for something like this.”

In a tale of hard-to-believe scenarios, this one distinguishes itself. It’s plausible that the repeat rapists plaguing college campuses case out their victims. Yet as academics David Lisak and Paul Miller note in their much-cited study “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists,” the modus operandi of the serial campus rapist diverges from that of gang-rape orchestrator “Drew”:
Given the number of interpersonal crimes being committed by these men, how is it that they are escaping the criminal justice system? The answer may lie, in part, in their choice of victim and in their relative abnegation of gratuitous violence. By attacking victims within their social networks — so-called acquaintances — and by refraining from the kind of violence likely to produce physical injuries in their victims, these rapists create “cases” that victims are least likely to report, and that prosecutors are less likely to prosecute.
Under the scenario cited by Erdely, the Phi Kappa Psi members are not just criminal sexual-assault offenders, they’re criminal sexual-assault conspiracists, planners, long-range schemers. If this allegation alone hadn’t triggered an all-out scramble at Rolling Stone for more corroboration, nothing would have. Anyone who touched this story — save newsstand personnel — should lose their job. The “grooming” anecdote indicates not only that Erdely believed whatever diabolical things about these frat guys told to her, she wanted to believe them. And then Rolling Stone published them.

Aside from indicting Rolling Stone and setting back the fight against campus sexual assault, this episode affirms the importance of strong regional newspapers. After the Rolling Stone piece began to surface fissures, Washington Post local staff deployed to familiar turf, seeking out the folks that Rolling Stone had bypassed. The effort called on a week’s worth of reporting by Shapiro, the work of two researchers and the oversight of two editors. If Erdely had chosen some other campus, perhaps her skewed reporting wouldn’t have attracted such scrutiny. Something to consider the next time a debate arises over whether The Post should sustain its local reporting.

[As of 2014-12-15 6:00PM EST, there were 1075 comments to Wemple's blog post above.
The most recent seems to me to make some very valid points:]

12/13/2014 8:49 PM EST

This blogger is ridiculous.
Rolling Stone DOES own the story.
Jackie did not put it in RS, RS did --
but his claim RS was "victim blaming" and "misogynistic"
for saying they were wrong to trust Jackie is nonsense -
it appears to be very mild factual statement -
and since it's not clear she's a victim,
you can't call it victim blaming -
and "misogynistic"?
What, to suggest that maybe one women lied to one reporter is misogynistic?
Who is this guy Wemple?
Does he know words have definitions and actual meanings?
Of course he does, but it's too politically incorrect to say
it looks like a possible victim lied.
Too politically incorrect for wimple,
but good journalism if that is where the facts lead.
Wimple fails on both counts.

Key elements of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape allegations in doubt
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2014-12-06 (Saturday) (This was the Post's main story on this topic on Saturday, appearing at the top left of page A1)


A lawyer who is representing Jackie said Friday that
she and her client are declining to comment beyond her interviews.
The Post generally does not identify victims of sexual assault
without their permission, and The Post is identifying Jackie by her real nickname at her request.

[But who says she's a victim of sexual assault?
Her statements have been proved inaccurate in many key respects,
as reported in this story.
If a person gives fundamentally inaccurate information,
why should their identity continue to be shielded?
Why do they deserve to be treated as a victim,
when their victimhood is in serious doubt?
(Same question, by the way,
for the woman who claimed she was assaulted by LTC Jeffrey Krusinski,
but when the case went to trial he was acquitted by the jury.
So why does her name deserve to be shielded,
when the jury did not believe her charges had merit?
Why indeed?)]

The prominent fraternity —
which has been vilified, vandalized and ultimately suspended on campus
since Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s Rolling Stone article went online last month —
said in its statement Friday that
its “initial doubts as to the accuracy of the article
have only been strengthened as alumni and undergraduate members have delved deeper.”


How Rolling Stone failed in its story of alleged rape at the University of Virginia
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Style section, 2014-12-06

Journalists are paid to be skeptical and to distinguish facts from assertions: Don’t get too close to your sources and check what they tell you.

Rolling Stone magazine, it appears, ignored both principles in its explosive story, “A Rape on Campus.”

The 9,000-word article about Jackie, a University of Virginia freshman who alleged a frat-house gang rape, was apparently fraught from the beginning with gaps in basic reporting. The story’s writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, as well as a phalanx of editors, fact-checkers and lawyers who massaged the piece before publication, accepted Jackie’s account without locking down key details that would have confirmed, or at least plausibly substantiated, her harrowing tale.


Libel law and the Rolling Stone / UVA alleged gang rape story
By Eugene Volokh
Washington Post, Volokh Conspiracy, 2014-12-06

[The emphasis is added by the author of this blog.]


Was Rolling Stone negligent?
Let’s start with Rolling Stone’s recently posted note to readers,
acknowledging doubt in the story, which states:

Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story,
we decided to honor her request
not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her
nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack

for fear of retaliation against her.
In the months Erdely spent reporting the story,
Jackie neither said nor did anything
that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers,
question Jackie’s credibility.
Her friends and rape activists on campus
strongly supported Jackie’s account.
She had spoken of the assault in campus forums.
We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership
of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked.
They responded that they couldn’t confirm or deny her story
but had concerns about the evidence.

Assuming this is true,
I think it was probably negligent
for Rolling Stone to publish the accusations
without checking at all with the alleged rapists.


I [Eugene Volokh] don’t think
the calls [by Rolling Stone magazine] to the local or national fraternity
were reasonable substitutes for interviewing the alleged rapists.
This is especially so
if Rolling Stone asked the fraternities
not to talk to the alleged rapists themselves
(or didn’t give the fraternities enough information with which
to identify the alleged rapists),
which is what I infer from the magazine’s “fear of retaliation” justification —
after all, if the feared retaliation prevented the magazine
from talking to the alleged rapists directly,
it’s hard to see why the magazine would have encouraged
the fraternity leadership to talk to the alleged rapists.

This leaves the fear of retaliation point,
which might in some cases be relevant to the negligence inquiry.
Negligence has to do with lack of reasonable conduct given all the circumstances —
a sort of cost-benefit analysis —
and if asking certain questions risks retaliation against an alleged victim,
that might (in some situations) justify not asking those questions.

But I just can’t see how this argument would work here.
Jackie talked to the reporter expecting the story to be published
(though she at some point tried to back out).
She knew that the alleged rapists would see the article
when it was published.

Why would the risk of retaliation (physical or social) be substantially greater
if the alleged rapists were called for their side of the story
and thus learned about the article shortly before it was published?
Interviewing the alleged rapists
would thus have potentially had great benefit

when it comes to figuring out the truth, and very little cost;
failure to do so thus seems unreasonable.


U-Va. remains resolved to address sexual violence as Rolling Stone account unravels
By T. Rees Shapiro and Nick Anderson
Washington Post, 2014-12-07 (Sunday)


Doubts about the accuracy of the Rolling Stone account continued to mount Saturday.
A second U-Va. student who was among
a group of three friends who came to Jackie’s aid
after her alleged sexual assault during the fall semester of 2012
told The Post that
details in the story were flawed.

The Rolling Stone account said that
Jackie summoned three friends to help her
after she was brutally raped at the Phi Kappa Psi house on Sept. 28, 2012.
The article said that
Jackie was bleeding and
was wearing a blood-spattered dress
and that
she met her friends in the shadow of the looming fraternity house.
It also claims that
Jackie’s friends persuaded her not to report the attack
for fear of it harming their social lives,

a critical part in the article.

“It was not anything like what happened that night,”
said the friend, who is identified in the story as “Cindy”
and spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the subject.
“That night was not very significant. I remember it,
but it was not very dramatic.”

She said
the students met Jackie near the U-Va. dorms,
more than a mile from the campus fraternities.

“Cindy” said that
Jackie appeared distraught that night
but was not hurt physically and was not bleeding.

The student said
Jackie made no claims of a gang rape
and did not identify the fraternity where she said she had partied.
“Cindy” said Jackie told one of the friends there that
a group of men had forced her to perform oral sex.

The student said
there was never any discussion among Jackie and the group
involving how their reputations or social status might be affected
by seeking help.

The student said that
when she read the Rolling Stone account, she felt betrayed.
“It’s completely false,” she said, noting that
she was not contacted or interviewed by a Rolling Stone reporter.


After apology, Rolling Stone changes its story once more
By Peter Holley
Washington Post web site, 2014 December 7 at 1:50 PM

Rolling Stone has amended a statement published Friday about its widely criticized story detailing an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.

The initial three-paragraph statement was published after doubts about the accuser’s story continued to emerge, setting off days of fierce criticism directed toward the magazine and the story’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely.

In its initial statement, Rolling Stone appeared to place blame for the story’s unraveling on the unidentified accuser, a student referred to as “Jackie.”
Some activists saw that stance as throwing blame on the woman who told the story of her assault.
[Duh! Many of her key statements have been discredited.
Certainly she is to be blamed for providing false information.]

The statement, signed by managing editor Will Dana, said that “there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account,” before adding, “We have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”

A day later, without mentioning that the statement had been updated, the magazine appeared to pivot, noting that the “mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.” The updated statement notes that there appear to be “discrepancies” in Jackie’s account. It acknowledges reporting from The Washington Post and other outlets that called details of Rolling Stone’s reporting into question.

“We published the article with the firm belief that it was accurate,” Dana said in the updated statement. “Given all of these reports, however, we have come to the conclusion that we were mistaken in honoring Jackie’s request to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. In trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault, we made a judgment – the kind of judgment reporters and editors make every day. We should have not made this agreement with Jackie and we should have worked harder to convince her that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story. These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie. We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening.”

Updated apology digs bigger hole for Rolling Stone
by Erik Wemple
Washington Post, 2014-12-08

[Some of the emphasis below is added by the author of this blog.]

Rolling Stone magazine has updated the “note to readers”
that it posted Friday in light of a Washington Post report casting doubts on
its article “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely,
which told the horrific story of a University of Virginia freshman named Jackie
suffering a seven-man gang rape in 2012 at the prestigious Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.
“We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story
and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening,”
reads the last line of the note.

The new version makes one significant deletion.
Gone is this line:
“In the face of new information,
there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account,
and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”

That sentiment aligned with an ugly history of blaming rape victims for their trauma
and for shaming them when their stories occasionally don’t pan out.
Now, the key line reads,
“These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”

[Gee, and here I always thought
the eighth (or ninth) commandment was
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour",
and that that commandment really mattered.
Further, not just for religious reasons,
but simply as a necessity of having a healthy society.
Guess I was wrong.
Guess feminists are way, way smarter than
those stupid, unenlightened people that respect the truth.
(My very, very smart ex-wife,
when I accused her of lying to me,
responded by leaving a copy of Lying by Sissela Bok,
wife of the then-president of Harvard,
on the coffee table.
Guess if you have a Ph.D. you're so important that
telling the truth no longer matters.)
Who cares about truth if it gets in the way of political correctness.
E.g., the shockingly prevalent number of people in our society,
including universities,
who repeat the lie that "Race is just a cultural construct."
Who cares about truth anymore?]

That’s not only more sensitive, but more accurate as well.
The change in tone appears consistent with a tweet issued by
Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana on Friday:

Will Dana:
6/ That failure is on us - not on her.
4:56 PM - 5 Dec 2014

Now that Rolling Stone is coming around to accepting blame,
the question has become how much of it must come its way.
A lot, as it turns out.

To recap the holes identified by The Post on Friday:

  • Some of Jackie’s close friends have come to doubt her account,
    whereas Erdely said after the story was published that
    the friends’ accounts were “consistent” with her story.
    Some of those doubts were seeded
    before Rolling Stone descended on the University of Virginia.
    For instance, Jackie initially told then-U-Va. senior Emily Renda
    that she was attacked by five men,
    later changing the number to seven.
    “I don’t even know what I believe at this point,” Renda told The Post.
    Rolling Stone told the Erik Wemple Blog that
    Erdely had interviewed “dozens” of Jackie’s friends.
  • Whereas Rolling Stone reported that
    Jackie had emerged bloodied and battered
    from the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house amid a party on Sept. 28, 2012,
    The Post reported conflicting accounts from friends that arrived to help her.
    One of them told the paper that
    Jackie “did not appear physically injured at the time
    but was visibly shaken and told him and two other friends that
    she had been at a fraternity party
    and had been forced to have oral sex with a group of men” —
    a different scenario, though still horrible,
    from the gang rape alleged in Rolling Stone.
  • Phi Kappa Psi says it didn’t hold “a date function or social event”
    on the night in question.
  • Rolling Stone reported that Jackie had met “Drew,”
    the Phi Kappa Psi brother who led her into the gang rape,
    as they worked as lifeguards at the university pool.
    The fraternity claims that no member worked at the pool in 2012.
  • One of the attackers identified by Jackie to friends
    “was actually the name of a student who belongs to a different fraternity,
    and no one by that name has been a member of Phi Kappa Psi.”
    That man told The Post that
    “he never met Jackie in person and never took her out on a date.
    He also said he was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi.”

The central confession of the Rolling Stone “note to readers”
reflects heinous wrongdoing.
At the request of Jackie,
the magazine refrained from contacting the accused in this incident.
“Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story,” reads the note,
“we decided to honor her request
not to contact the man who she claimed orchestrated the attack on her
nor any of the men who she claimed participated in the attack
for fear of retaliation against her.”
The idea that the magazine was honoring a victim’s request conflicts with
what a Rolling Stone editor told The Post’s Paul Farhi:
“We did not talk to them. We could not reach them,”
said Sean Woods of Rolling Stone.

So did the magazine lie about its reporting efforts?
Have some sympathy here:
What would you do if forced to choose between
admitting that you agreed with a source not to contact other sources
and admitting that
your publication lacked the sophistication
to track down modern day college students
with presumably large digital footprints?

In any case, Rolling Stone now acknowledges that
not checking with the other side was a mistake,
though the abandonment of common sense and journalism merely starts with
this critical omission.
As the story explains,
Jackie has declined to file a complaint about the incident,
a documentary problem that places ever more emphasis on multilateral sourcing:
The accused assailants, friends, witnesses —
anyone who could support or knock down the account.

Right smack in the middle of the Rolling Story are three people who could help.
Here, we’ll paste in the excerpt from “A Rape on Campus” that introduces them:
Disoriented, Jackie burst out a side door, realized she was lost,
and dialed a friend, screaming,
“Something bad happened. I need you to come and find me!”
Minutes later, her three best friends on campus –
two boys and a girl (whose names are changed) –
arrived to find Jackie on a nearby street corner, shaking.
“What did they do to you? What did they make you do?”
Jackie recalls her friend Randall demanding.
Jackie shook her head and began to cry.
The group looked at one another in a panic.
They all knew about Jackie’s date;
the Phi Kappa Psi house loomed behind them.
“We have to get her to the hospital,” Randall said.

Their other two friends, however, weren’t convinced.
“Is that such a good idea?” she recalls Cindy asking.
“Her reputation will be shot for the next four years.”
Andy seconded the opinion, adding that
since he and Randall both planned to rush fraternities,
they ought to think this through.
The three friends launched into a heated discussion about
the social price of reporting Jackie’s rape,
while Jackie stood beside them, mute in her bloody dress,
wishing only to go back to her dorm room
and fall into a deep, forgetful sleep.
Detached, Jackie listened as Cindy prevailed over the group:
“She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’
and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.”

Did Rolling Stone ever interview those people or other key folks?
Read the lines above, and you’ll hear their voices — filtered through Jackie.
“Randall,” notes Erdely in the story,
turned down an interview request on account of his “loyalty to his own frat” —
yet another little detail in “A Rape on Campus” that stinks of implausibility.

On the topic of the reachability of these friends,
Rolling Stone commits perhaps the most self-damaging parenthetical
in the history of journalistic self-assessment.
It comes from the magazine’s “note to readers”:
“A friend of Jackie’s
(who we were told would not speak to Rolling Stone)
told the Washington Post that he found Jackie that night
a mile from the school’s fraternities.”
Bold text added to highlight an un-get-pastable problem:
Rolling Stone is in possession of a gang-rape allegation that includes
a broken glass table, seven assailants and penetration with a bottle.
Not only does it not have an official complaint,
it has agreed not to contact the accused AND
it has apparently accepted the affirmation of some interested party that
a pivotal source isn’t really up for an interview.

Where is that an acceptable excuse?

The Erik Wemple Blog has asked Rolling Stone
whether the parenthetical means that
the magazine didn’t even try to find this person and
whether it’s standard practice
to let others speak for a source’s willingness to cooperate.
(It’s possible that it refers only to Rolling Stone’s efforts to reach this person
after “A Rape on Campus” was published).
Also: Who was it that told the magazine that the friend wouldn’t talk?

Rolling Stone spokeswoman Melissa Bruno responds,
“We decline to comment further at this time.”

In a follow-up to its Friday piece,
The Post has some insight on Rolling Stone’s approach to these friends.
Or lack thereof.
The person identified in the Rolling Stone story as “Cindy”
told the newspaper that
Erdely’s version of events was “completely false.”
That’s less condemnatory of Rolling Stone than “Cindy’s” contention that
the magazine neither contacted nor interviewed her.
“Andy” told The Post that he “never spoke to a Rolling Stone reporter,”
as reported on Friday.

Thus far, assessments of the damage done by Erdely’s piece have focused on
how it distracts from the cause of
stomping out sexual assault at the University of Virginia
and on other campuses.
[So what else is new?
Most of the politically correct have a totally myopic view of the world.
Like, for example, all those black activists who just can't seem to accept that
there are two views of what happened between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson,
and the view that puts the responsibility for the death of Mr. Brown
on Mr. Brown's shoulders, not those of Officer Wilson,
has, to say the least, a great deal of supporting evidence.
But that doesn't matter, all they seem to be able to process
is the information that supports the view they wish to maintain.
The case of Jackie is somewhat different,
but again we have only the interests of supposed rape victims being considered by their supporters,
not the interests of those who are falsely slandered by false accusations of rape.
Like, to recall a rather similar case,
the accusations against the Duke lacrosse team.
Remember how many in academia and the media
jumped at the opportunity to attack the supposed rapists,
way before all the evidence was in.]

And indeed it does.
But this widely distributed magazine
also managed to slander an entire group of people
via its depiction of “Cindy,” “Andy” and “Randall.”
The way Erdely tells it, the trio arrives to assist Jackie
within minutes of her calling in the wee hours of the morning,
yet once they get there,
they’re somehow consumed with superficialities.
The blast from Erdely is so searing as to merit repetition:

The three friends launched into a heated discussion about
the social price of reporting Jackie’s rape,
while Jackie stood beside them, mute in her bloody dress,
wishing only to go back to her dorm room
and fall into a deep, forgetful sleep.
Detached, Jackie listened as Cindy prevailed over the group:
“She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’
and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.”

“Cindy” told The Post that
“there was never any discussion among Jackie and the group
involving how their reputations or social status might be affected by
seeking help.”
Rolling Stone offered its apology to
“anyone who was affected by the story,”
and that means every student, alumna and alumnus.

Again: Fire the Rolling Stone editors who worked on this story.

A final note: The Rolling Stone note pledges that
it will “continue to investigate the events of that evening.”
Sorry, but the time to do that was before publishing.

Rolling Stone Tries to Regroup After Campus Rape Article Is Disputed
New York Times, 2014-12-08

[As the article title suggests,
this is exclusively about actions of Rolling Stone management
with regard to publishing their story "A Rape on Campus" about Jackie's supposed experience.]

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Rape
by Jim Goad
Taki Magazine, 2014-12-08


Erdely claims to have applied the elbow grease
and diligently searched for just the “right” college campus
to do a story about rampant collegiate rape culture.
She picked the U of VA, teeming as it does
with what she somewhat scornfully refers to as
“overwhelmingly blond students.”

The centerpiece of her article is a female student referred to as “Jackie,”
who claims that she had attended a party on the night of September 28, 2012
at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity
with a frat boy named “Drew.”
Without bothering to toss in an “alleged” or even a “Jackie says,”
Erdely’s story treats Jackie’s rampagingly implausible narrative
as indisputable fact.


A closer look at Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely
a Megyn Kelly piece, with contributions from Howard Kurtz
Fox News, 2014-12-08

[Very little of this 5:33 video deals with Erdely per se;
rather most of it is an overview of the story.
Kelly is indignant over it.]

U-Va. students challenge Rolling Stone account of attack
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2014-12-11 (although this is from the web article posted at 5:12 PM on 2014-12-10)

It was 1 a.m. on a Saturday when the call came.
A friend,
a University of Virginia freshman who earlier said she had a date that evening
with a handsome junior from her chemistry class, was in hysterics.
Something bad had happened.

Arriving at her side, three students —
“Randall,” “Andy” and “Cindy” as they were identified
in an explosive Rolling Stone account —
told The Washington Post that they found their friend in tears.
Jackie appeared traumatized, saying her date ended horrifically,
with the older student parking his car at his fraternity,
asking her to come inside,
and then forcing her to perform oral sex on a group of five men.

In their first interviews about the events of that September 2012 night,
the three friends separately told The Post that
their recollections of the encounter diverge from
how the Rolling Stone article portrayed the incident
in a story about Jackie’s alleged gang rape at a U-Va. fraternity.
The interviews also provide a richer account of
Jackie’s interactions immediately after the alleged attack.

The scene with her friends was pivotal in the article,
as it alleged that the friends were callously apathetic about a beaten, bloodied, injured classmate reporting a brutal gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
The account alleged that the students worried about the effect it might have on their social status, how it might reflect on Jackie during the rest of her collegiate career, and how they suggested not reporting it.
It set up the article’s theme:
That U-Va. has a culture that is indifferent to rape.

[I sure hope that the Washington Post reporter, Rees Shapiro,
has correctly identified the friends to whom Jackie referred.
Base on his quotations from them, below, it appears he has.]

“It didn’t happen that way at all,” Andy said.

Instead, the friends remember being shocked.
Though they did not notice any blood or visible injuries,
they said they immediately urged Jackie to speak to police
and insisted that they find her help.
Instead, they said, Jackie declined and asked to be taken back to her dorm room.
They went with her —
two of them said they spent the night —
seeking to comfort Jackie in what appeared to be a moment of extreme turmoil.

“I mean obviously we were very concerned for her,”
Andy said. “We tried to be as supportive as we could be.”

The three students agreed to be interviewed on the condition that
The Post use the same aliases as appeared in Rolling Stone
because of the sensitivity of the subject.

They said there are mounting inconsistencies with
the original narrative in the magazine.
The students also expressed suspicions about
Jackie’s allegations from that night.
They said the name she provided as that of her date
did not match anyone at the university,
and U-Va. officials confirmed to The Post that
no one by that name has attended the school.

And photographs that were texted to one of the friends showing her date that night
actually were pictures depicting one of Jackie’s high school classmates in Northern Virginia.
That man, now a junior at a university in another state,
confirmed that the photographs are of him and said he barely knew Jackie
and hasn’t been to Charlottesville for at least six years.

The friends said they never were contacted or interviewed by
the pop culture magazine’s reporters or editors.
Though vilified in the article as coldly indifferent to Jackie’s ordeal,
the students said they cared deeply about their friend’s well-being and safety.
Randall said that they made every effort to help Jackie that night.

“She had very clearly just experienced a horrific trauma,” Randall said.
“I had never seen anybody acting like she was on that night before
and I really hope I never have to again. ...
If she was acting on the night of Sept. 28, 2012, then she deserves an Oscar.”

They also said Jackie’s description of what happened to her that night
differs from what she told Rolling Stone.
In addition, information that Jackie gave the three friends
about one of her attackers, called “Drew” in Rolling Stone,
differed significantly from details she later told The Post,
Rolling Stone and friends from sexual assault awareness groups on campus.
The three said Jackie did not specifically identify a fraternity that night.

The Rolling Stone article also said that Randall declined to be interviewed,
“citing his loyalty to his own frat.”
He told The Post that he never was contacted by Rolling Stone
and would have agreed to an interview.

The article’s writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely,
did not respond to requests for comment this week.

Rolling Stone also declined to comment, citing an internal review of the story.
The magazine has apologized for inaccuracies and discrepancies in the published report.

The 9,000-word Rolling Stone article appeared online in late November
and led with the brutal account of Jackie’s alleged sexual assault.
In the article, Jackie said she attended a date function at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in the fall of 2012
with a lifeguard she said she met at the university pool.
During the party, Jackie said her date “Drew” lured her into a dark room
where seven men gang-raped her in an attack that left her bloodied and injured.
In earlier interviews with The Post, Jackie stood by the account she provided to Rolling Stone.

Palma Pustilnik, a lawyer representing Jackie,
issued a statement Wednesday morning asking that
journalists refrain from contacting Jackie or her family.
The Post generally does not identify victims of sexual assaults
and has used Jackie’s real nickname at her request.

“As I am sure you all can understand,
all of this has been very stressful, overwhelming and retraumatizing
for Jackie and her family,”
Pustilnik said.
She declined to answer specific questions
or to elaborate in a brief interview Wednesday.


Randall said that he met Jackie shortly after arriving at U-Va. in fall 2012,
and the two struck up a quick friendship.
He said Jackie was interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with him;
he valued her friendship but wasn’t interested in more.

The three friends said that Jackie soon began talking about a handsome junior from chemistry class
who had a crush on her and had been asking her out on dates.

Intrigued, Jackie’s friends got his phone number from her
and began exchanging text messages with the mysterious upperclassman.
He then raved to them about “this super smart hot,” freshman
who shared his love of the band Coheed and Cambria,
according to the texts, which were provided to The Post.

“I really like this girl,” the chemistry student wrote in one message.
Some of the messages included photographs of a man
with a sculpted jawline and ocean-blue eyes.

In the text messages, the student wrote that he was jealous that
another student had apparently won Jackie’s attention.

“Get this she said she likes some other 1st year guy
who dosnt like her and turned her down
but she wont date me cause she likes him,” the chemistry student wrote.
“She cant turn my down fro some nerd 1st yr.
she said this kid is smart and funny and worth it.”

Jackie told her three friends that she accepted the upperclassman’s invitation
for a dinner date on Friday Sept. 28, 2012.

Curious about Jackie’s date, the friends said that
they failed to locate the student on a U-Va. database and social media.
Andy, Cindy and Randall all said they never met the student in person.
Before Jackie’s date, the friends said that
they became suspicious that perhaps
they hadn’t really been in contact with the chemistry student at all.

U-Va. officials told The Post that
no student by the name Jackie provided to her friends as her date and attacker in 2012
had ever enrolled at the university.
Randall provided The Post with pictures that Jackie’s purported date
had sent of himself by text message in 2012.

The Post identified the person in the pictures [How?]
and learned that
his name does not match the one Jackie provided to friends in 2012.
In an interview, the man said that
he was Jackie’s high school classmate but that
he “never really spoke to her.”

The man said that he was never a U-Va. student and is not a member of any fraternity.
Additionally, the man said that he had not visited Charlottesville in at least six years
and that he was in another state participating in an athletic event
during the weekend of Sept. 28, 2012.

“I have nothing to do with it,” he said.
He said it appears the photos that were circulated
were pulled from social media Web sites.

After the alleged attack,
the man who Jackie said had taken her on the date wrote an e-mail to Randall,
passing along praise that Jackie apparently had for him.

Randall said that it is apparent to him that he is the “first year,”
the chemistry student described in text messages,
since he had rebuffed Jackie’s advances.


Jackie ultimately told her harrowing account to sexual assault prevention groups on campus
and spoke to university officials about it,
though she said in interviews that she was always reluctant to identify an attacker
and never felt ready to report it to police.
In interviews she acknowledged that a police investigation now
would be unlikely to yield criminal charges because of a lack of forensic evidence.

Emily Renda, a 2014 U-Va. graduate who survived a rape during her freshman year
and now works for the university as a sexual violence specialist,
has told The Post that she met Jackie in the fall of 2013.
Renda said that, at the time,
Jackie told her that she had been attacked by five students at Phi Kappa Psi.
Renda said she learned months later that
the number of perpetrators had changed to seven.

The Rolling Stone article, which appeared on the magazine’s Web site last month,
roiled campus and set off protests, vandalism and self-reflection.
U-Va. officials responded to the article
by suspending the university’s Greek system until early January
and promoting a broader discussion on campus about sexual assault and campus safety.
University officials have declined to comment on
the specifics of the allegations and the article.

In an interview Tuesday, university president Teresa A. Sullivan said that
her administration will continue to cooperate with authorities to investigate the case;
she wants the university community to focus on prevention of sexual assault.

Charlottesville City police Capt. Gary Pleasants said that
detectives are looking into the allegations at the request of the university.
Andy and Randall said they both have spoken to police about the case
since the Rolling Stone article published.

“The investigation is continuing,” Pleasants said.

Last week, Jackie for the first time revealed a name of her alleged attacker
to friends who had known her more recently.
That name was different from the name she gave Andy, Cindy and Randall that first night.
All three said that they had never heard the second name before it was given to them by a reporter.

On Friday, The Post interviewed a man whose name is similar to
the second one Jackie used for her attacker.
He said that while he did work as a lifeguard at the same time as Jackie,
he had never met her in person and had never taken her out on a date.
He also said that he was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi.

The fraternity at the center of the Rolling Stone allegations has said that
it did not host any registered social event on the weekend of Sept. 28, 2012,
and it said in a statement that no members of Phi Kappa Psi at the time
worked at the campus Aquatic and Fitness Center.
A lawyer who has represented the fraternity said that
no member of the fraternity at the time
matched a description of “Drew” given by Jackie to The Post and to Rolling Stone.

In interviews, some of Jacke’s closest friends said
they believe she suffered a horrific trauma during her freshman year,
but others have expressed doubts about the account.

“I definitely believe she was sexually assaulted,” said U-Va. junior Alex Pinkleton,
a sexual violence peer advocate who survived a rape
and an attempted rape her first two years on campus and is a close friend of Jackie’s.
“The main message we want to come out of all this is that
sexual assault is a problem nationwide that we need to act in preventing.
It has never been about one story.
This is about the thousands of women and men who have been victims of sexual assault
and have felt silenced not only by their perpetrators,
but by society’s misunderstanding and stigmatization of rape.”

[In my personal experience,
the people who get silenced are
the men who try to present their side of the story
when that might make their actions seem more understandable.
Their side of the story is squelched, suppressed, or ignored,
because to give it would be "Blaming the victim."]

Rachel Soltis, who lived with Jackie during their freshman year,
said that her suite mate appeared depressed and stopped going to classes.
Andy, Cindy and Randall all said that Jackie’s behavior clearly changed that semester.

Nick Anderson in Charlottesville, Jennifer Jenkins and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

[A comment from "mansizedtarget dot com" at 6:57 PM EST,
whose final, italicized (by me) part I particularly think is accurate, is:]

It's pretty obvious from this story that this girl is delusional,
might have histrionic personality disorder,
made up this "upper classman" in order to get Randall to like her and be jealous,
and made up the entire incident to elicit sympathy from him.
Whether she used a burner phone, a friend to pretend to be the upperclassman or whatever, is immaterial.
It's pretty obvious what was going on.
She was catfishing her friends, making up stuff,
and is a drama queen par excellence.

It used to be well known such people existed,
and apparently they're well known to seasoned rape investigators.
But we have had our collective heads filled with nonsense about "women don't lie"
(just like we had our heads filled with "children don't lie"
during the Satantic Ritual Sex Abuse hysteria in the 80s)
that we have all somehow suspended our common sense.

It's obvious this is a damaged girl
whose attempt at sympathy has become a core part of her identity,
and that
the collective hate by the media for
fraternities, men, male sexuality, privilege, UVA,
rich kids who picked on them back in the day,
or however you slice it
is driving this into stratospheric proportions.

[The really amazing thing, to me,
is how the MSM and the feminist SCUM totally ratified her claims from the get-go.
For example, the president of UVA, Teresa Sullivan,
suspending all Greek activities
just based on the trashy accusations in the original trashy article.
Not to mention all the commentators who took Jackie's story as gospel.

Would not good sense, not to mention some sense of responsibility,
have called for suspending judgment
until the claims in that article could be checked out?
Of course that didn't happen.
Because the feminist modus operandi is
"Punish first, check and validate later."

Further, we know at least some women:
Using false claims of victimization to get what they want.
And in a variant, isolating actions men take against them
without giving the man the opportunity to explain
why he took that or those actions,
because "That would be blaming the victim."]

New Questions Raised About Rolling Stone's UVA Rape Story
ABC News, 2012-12-11

[This web page includes a 2:14 video interview with the three friends,
who report in their own words what they witnessed that night.
An invaluable piece of the story!]

The college students described as friends of the alleged rape victim Jackie in an explosive Rolling Stone article revealed their identities to ABC News today, and said that some of the magazine's story is false.

"The text was so divergent from what we said that evening," said Alex Stock, who said he's identified as "Andy" in the article.

The magazine article describes a violent, three-hour gang rape that left a University of Virginia student identified as Jackie bruised and bloody when she escaped a house on fraternity row, right near the university president's office.

When her friends, identified by Rolling Stone as "Randall," "Andy" and "Cindy," arrived that night, the article says they urged Jackie to keep quiet to keep their social lives intact.

That is not the scene described by Jackie's friends to ABC News. They said at the time they believed a "traumatic" sex assault had occurred. But the two males friends said they were told that night -- Sept. 28, 2012 -- that Jackie was forced to perform oral sex on five men while a sixth stood by.

The friends pointed out another inconsistency in the Rolling Stone article, saying that the three of them were not standing right next to each other when Jackie revealed what she said happened on the night of the attack, as author Sabrina Erdely writes in the magazine.

Ryan, who asked ABC News to withhold his last name and is identified as "Randall" in the Rolling Stone article, said he got the call from Jackie first and rushed to meet her outside a dorm building. She was "crying and shaking" when she told him what happened, and he then called Alex, but relayed Jackie's wishes that Cindy not come.

Kathryn Hendley, who said she is the "Cindy" described in the magazine, said she accompanied Alex when he went to see Jackie. But she said that she hung back Jackie spoke to the two men. Hendley told ABC News the later that night, Stone told her what Jackie said, and then Jackie later described the incident herself.

Hendley also denied one cruel comment the Rolling Stone article alleges she made: "She's gonna be the girl who cried 'rape' and we'll never be allowed into any frat party again." Hendley told ABC News she definitely did not say that.

The three friends spoke to ABC News this afternoon at the U.Va. campus in Charlottesville, for the first time revealing their identities in relation to this story. In the wake of the report, U.Va. has announced dramatic new measures to keep students safe and suspended most fraternity and sorority events until the start of the next semester. Local police and an independent counsel named by the Virginia attorney general are also conducting investigations.

Since the story was first released, the friends said they have been able to find key inaccuracies in the story.

"I didn't know any Greek letters outside of what I'd learned in physics class," Ryan said.

The article describes Jackie sinking into depression after the alleged rape,
and holing up in her dorm room.
Not so, say her friends,
who told ABC News she seemed fine after the alleged assault.

Today, the trio said they're still not sure what parts of Jackie's story are true.
But they said they want to tell their story in case it is,
and to prevent any future sexual assaults on campus.

"The bigger issue should be on preventing sexual assault
and being able to help survivors of sexual assault," Ryan said.

Jackie's lawyer and the University of Virginia declined comment
when reached by ABC News.
Neither Rolling Stone nor the author of the article responded to
the comments from Jackie’s three friends.

ABC: Witnesses ignored by Rolling Stone
undermine another key part of “Jackie” narrative

by Ed Morrissey
Hotair.com, 2012-12-12

[A compendium of inconsistencies in various accounts of the "rape" and its aftermath.]

Friends of U.Va. rape accuser raise fresh doubts about story, citing phone records
Cite Internet phone numbers, bogus name
By Jeffrey Scott Shapiro
Washington Times, 2014-12-15

Three friends of the alleged University of Virginia rape victim are growing more skeptical about her account, saying they have doubts about information she gave them and why she belatedly tried to get herself deleted from the Rolling Stone article that engulfed their campus in controversy.

The friends say among their concerns is the fact that the woman, named only as “Jackie” in the article, gave them a cellphone number so they could text a man she said she was seeing about three weeks before she alleged she was gang-raped at a fraternity house.

Eventually, the friends ended up with three numbers for the man. All are registered to Internet services that enable people to text without cellphone numbers but also can be used to redirect calls to different numbers or engage in spoofing, according to multiple research databases checked by The Washington Times.

Friends say they pushed U-Va. student ‘Jackie’ to call cops
Washington Post TV, 2014-12-15 9:43AM EST

[A transcript of a few parts of this 2 minute video:]

A friend of the alleged victim of gang-rape at a University of Virginia fraternity is challenging key details central to a recently released story in Rolling Stone magazine:
I realized that I had been placed in the article under the pseudonym of “Randall”, and I couldn’t help but notice that almost everything that the article said about me was incorrect.


Alex Stock, another one of Jackie’s friends, rebuts her assertions that her friends feared social backlash:
The discussion that was portrayed in there about us not wanting to help her because then we wouldn’t be able to get into fraternity parties, you know, I think is ridiculous.


[Ryan Duffin (the real name for the “Randall” in the story) speaking further:]
The thing is it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not because whether this one incident is true, there’s still a huge problem with sexual assaults in the United States.

U-Va. rape survivor: Rolling Stone reporter had ‘an agenda’
By Erik Wemple
Washington Post Blog, 2014-12-15

More evidence that bias drove Rolling Stone’s awful story on rape at the University of Virginia: In an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Alex Pinkleton, a rape survivor and U-Va. student, said of Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who wrote “A Rape on Campus“: “I think she had her heart in the right place. She wanted to bring light to this issue and it is a prevalent issue at U-Va. and on campuses across the nation,” said Pinkleton when asked to comment on Erdely. “However, she did have an agenda and part of that agenda was showing how monstrous fraternities themselves as an institution are and blaming the administration for a lot of these sexual assaults.”

In the interview with Stelter, Pinkleton described the circumstances of her own sexual assault, in which she “had drank a lot of alcohol that night, was unconscious and came to with him on top of me,” said Pinkleton, referring to the perpetrator of her assault. As she discussed the incident with Erdely before the publication of “A Rape on Campus,” Pinkleton noticed a certain tendency in the reporter: “When she asked about my own assault, she kept asking, you know, ‘Did he feed you the drinks, was he keeping tabs of the drinks that night?’ ” Pinkleton told Stelter. “And he wasn’t and that’s something that I had to keep saying over and over again. And I felt that she wasn’t satisfied with my perpetrator as someone who wasn’t clearly monstrous.”

That very reportorial attitude popped up in Erdely’s own interviews about the story, before it collapsed under the scrutiny of the Metro section of The Washington Post. In comments to a Slate podcast, Erdely was asked about the alleged perpetrators of a September 2012 seven-man gang rape of a then-freshman named Jackie at the Phi Kappa Psi house. She responded, “I don’t want to say much about them as individuals but I’ll just say that this particular fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi — it’s really emblematic in a lot of ways of sort of like elitist fraternity culture.”

Fraternities were important to Erdely, as Pinkleton, a friend of Jackie’s, told Stelter: “I didn’t like that it seemed like she was looking for a story that had to be at a fraternity,” she said. As “A Rape on Campus” noted, fraternity men are three times more likely to rape than non-fraternity men, according to studies.

Even so, Pinkleton said, “As a reporter, you can’t be like an advocate and support a story and listen to it and think everything is true and then report on it without trying to figure out if it’s true. My job as an advocate [for sexual assault survivors] was never to question Jackie’s story or question the details, because I didn’t need to. But the role that she’s in as a reporter, she needed to do that.”

University Of Virginia Student’s Catfishing Scheme Revealed
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2014-12-16

[This article is cited in Nicole Eramos 2016-01-06 court filing,
page 7, footnote 3.]

A University of Virginia student named Jackie appears to have used internet phone services to fabricate the identity of a man she says she was going on a date with on the night she claims she was gang-raped by seven fraternity members.

The fabrication of the man, who Jackie told her friends was named Haven Monahan, adds another layer of intrigue to a bizarre saga which has unfolded after the publication of a Rolling Stone article written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who is now in hiding because of fallout from the largely-debunked piece.

Monahan appears to have come into existence soon after Jackie was romantically rejected by one of her friends, Ryan Duffin.

Duffin, along with two other friends of Jackie’s — Alex Stock and Kathryn Hendley — feature prominently in Erdely’s article.

“She did not take it well,” Duffin told The Daily Caller last week of Jackie’s response to the rejection. “There was a lot of crying involved.”

Soon after that, Jackie began talking about Monahan, a third-year student she claimed had a crush on her. Intrigued, the friends asked for Monahan’s phone number, and Jackie complied by giving it to them.

The friends began corresponding with Monahan, who often steered conversations back to Duffin, the friends told The Washington Times.

Despite claiming she was not interested in the man, Jackie told the friends she was going on a date with him on the night she later said she was gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi house party.


Friends' accounts differ significantly from victim in UVA rape story
By Sara Ganim and Ray Sanchez
CNN.com, 2014-12-17

[The web page linked to above
includes an eight minute video of reporting and interviews with Jackie's friends,
and also text, which appears to be a transcript of that video.
What is below is an excerpt from that text.]

(CNN) -- On a fall night two years ago, Jackie, the alleged victim of a brutal gang rape, recounted her story in vivid detail to two friends. She recalled the assault for Ryan Duffin and Alex Stock on picnic tables at the quaint University of Virginia campus.


Duffin and Stock told CNN they remember a starkly different account than what appeared in Rolling Stone. Their version cast doubt over whether the man who allegedly orchestrated the attack even existed.

"I mean there are definitely some major holes in the story," said Stock, who also met Jackie through a mutual friend at summer orientation. "I think that that was pretty clear in the Rolling Stone piece...
It was almost too perfect of a story."

[No kidding.]


Duffin and Stock said they were never contacted by the magazine; instead, the writer portrayed them through Jackie's eyes.


Was Haven Monahan a real person?

Since summer orientation in 2012, Stock, Duffin and another freshman, Kathryn Hendley, had become friends with Jackie.

Duffin said Jackie was much more interested in him than he in her. He said he was happy when Jackie told friends that an upperclassman in her chemistry class asked her on a date.

Duffin and Stock decided to learn more about the upperclassman and check to "see if he's OK," Duffin said. Jackie gave them the phone number for the man, whom she identified as Haven Monahan.

Stock and Duffin said they sent him text messages and pretended to be another student from chemistry class. Monahan purportedly texted back, saying of Jackie, "I really like her," and describing her as "super smart .. hot" and liking the same music as he. At one point, he even sent a photo of himself.

Duffin never suspected Monahan may not be a real person.

"No," Duffin said, "at the time, it all seemed very real."

Jackie said she went on a date with Monahan the evening in late September 2012, when Rolling Stone reported that she was raped.

Late that night, Jackie called Duffin.

"She just said something bad had happened and could I come meet her," he recalled.

Duffin and Stock met her outside the first-year dorms. They sat at the picnic tables.

"It looked like she had been crying," Duffin remembered. "She was shaking... obviously just scared about something. And it looked like she thought somebody might just pop out of the dark and just grab her or something."

Jackie told her two friends that her date parked in front of the fraternity house, Duffin said. The man told her he had to go up to his room and asked whether she wanted to join him. She went with him.

"She then said that when she went into the house and went up the stairs, her date locked the door of the room once they got in there," Duffin said. "And she said that there were five other men in the room who she was then forced to perform oral sex on."

Stock said she was very upset.

Friends saw inconsistencies in story

"I didn't have any doubts that what she said happened had happened," he said.

But details of the assault chronicled in Rolling Stone didn't match what Jackie told her friends, the two men said.

In the article, for instance, she graphically describes a brutal gang rape by seven men instead of five. Oral sex was not mentioned. The article described her date as a man named "Drew" who she met "while working lifeguard shifts together at the university pool." In 2012, she told her friends his name was "Haven" and they had met in chemistry class.

The inconsistencies did not end there, according to Duffin and Stock.

The article described how
she was beaten, struck about the face
and left barefoot and bloodied.
That's not what her friends remember.

"I didn't notice any sort of physical injuries,"
Duffin said.
"I didn't notice a lack of shoes.
I really didn't notice anything that was consistent with
the physical description that was in the article."

Said Stock,
"If there had been major injuries the way the article portrays,
I think I would have remembered that."


Perhaps the biggest discrepancy was the Rolling Stone article's portrayal of how her friends reacted to news of the sexual assault: "The three friends launched into a heated discussion about the social price of reporting Jackie's rape while Jackie stood beside them, mute in her bloody dress."

The article quoted Cindy, whose was actually Hendley, saying: "Her reputation will be shot for the next four years."

Duffin and Stock said that Hendley wasn't even part of the conversation. Jackie didn't want the female friend to hear what happened. Kathryn waited about 25 feet away from the picnic table as Jackie spoke with her two male friends.

"That conversation never happened," said Duffin. "That whole entire conversation about debating the social price of reporting a rape, and any sort of detriment to a reputation that might come around from reporting a rape, absolutely never happened."

Hendley told CNN she was not part of the initial conversation.

"The things she said about me were completely off," Hendley said of Jackie. "It was a powerful part of the story, but it wasn't true."

[Why am I not surprised?]

The two friends said they tried desperately to convince Jackie to call the police. She decided against it, they said.

"I was really forceful in wanting to call the police," Duffin said. "I brought up the point a few times. But the reason we didn't call the police was because Jackie didn't want to. She didn't want to have to go through ... constant interrogation by police officers which would cause her to continually relive this traumatic event."

The two friends said they slept on the floor of Jackie's dorm to help her get through the night.

Five days later, Duffin said he inexplicably received an email titled "About You" from Haven, the man allegedly behind the alleged sexual assault. (When CNN tried the email address, the message came back "undeliverable.")

"It was from Haven Monahan ... and it looked like Haven had written, 'You should read this, I've never read anything nicer in my life,' with a page worth -- an essay -- that Jackie had written about me," Duffin said. "Which seemed really weird to me, even at the time, because here's somebody who allegedly just led a brutal sexual assault on a friend of mine, and now he's going to email me this thing about me?"

Jackie told her friends that Monahan dropped out of the university after the assault, but a university record check by CNN revealed that no one by that name ever attended the university. Another check found no one by that name in the United States.

The photo Monahan supposedly sent Duffin via text message matched that of a man who went to high school with Jackie in Stafford, Virginia.

"There's a very good chance whoever I was texting was Jackie," Stock said. "There's a definite possibility."

ackie and her three friends drifted apart long before the Rolling Stone article, though her friends believe something bad may have happened to her that September night.

"I think it's very possible, yeah," Duffin said. "I still think it's extremely, extremely possible. If only because the reaction she had on that night seemed so strong, and seemed so genuine, that I still think it's difficult to believe that she would have been acting."

[End of the CNN story.]

There's More Bizarre Evidence That UVA Student Jackie's Alleged Rapist Doesn't Exist
by Peter Jacobs
Business Insider, 2014-12-17


According to the friends, Jackie had told them she was going on a date that night with a UVA student named Haven Monahan, whom she had supposedly met in her chemistry class, CNN reports. Rolling Stone originally reported that Jackie's date was with "Drew," a pseudonym given to a member of UVA fraternity Phi Kappa Psi who she met "while working lifeguard shifts together at the university pool."

Jackie's friends say that after the supposed date she called her friend Ryan Duffin, identified in Rolling Stone as "Randall," who told CNN "She just said something bad had happened and could I come meet her." Duffin brought along Alex Stock, a friend identified as "Andy" in Rolling Stone, and Kathryn Hendley, identified as "Cindy."

The three students found Jackie in a distressed state, they said, and she told them that her date had led her upstairs during the party and forced her to perform oral sex on five other men. This account is different than what was published in Rolling Stone, which reported that Jackie was led upstairs by "Drew" and then gang raped by seven men.

While it has been previously reported that the name Jackie had given her friends — now revealed as Monahan — did not match anyone in Phi Psi or even in UVA, there now seems to be more evidence that the alleged rapist does not exist.

CNN reports that "Jackie told her friends that Monahan dropped out of the university after the assault, but a university record check by CNN revealed that no one by that name ever attended the university. Another check found no one by that name in the United States."

A separate search by Business Insider based on the name reported by CNN did not yield any matches in a public records database. There also appear to be no references to anyone named Haven Monahan online, except in reference to Jackie and ongoing investigation into Rolling Stone's UVA story.


Unpunished vandalism rampage inspired by Rolling Stone’s U.Va. rape story
By Jeffrey Scott Shapiro
Washington Times, 2014-12-22

In the wee morning hours after Rolling Stone’s now-retracted gang rape story roiled the University of Virginia campus, a masked group of five women and three men unleashed their fury on the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the center of the controversy.

Bottles and bricks were tossed through nearly every first-floor window, sending shards of glass and crashing sounds into the house around 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 20.

Profane, hate messages such as “F—k Boys” were spray-painted on the walls of the colonial facade, along with anti-sexual assault epithets such as “suspend us,” and “UVA Center for Rape Studies.”

[Just like after the false charge of rape was made
against the Duke University lacrosse team.
The usual set of campus left-wing pigs couldn't restrain themselves
(they had demonstrations where they carried banners saying "Castrate",
referring to the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players)
from believing, and exacting retribution for,
every unsubstantiated, and ultimately proven false, accusation
against their favorite targets:
white heterosexual Christian men who they see as enjoying undeserved privilege.]

The Charlottesville, Virginia, police blotter unmistakably describes the attack as a crime. “Vandalism and destruction of property,” it reads.

Felony charges also could be attached because the crime involved throwing dangerous objects into a private dwelling and because the damage may total over $1,000. It’s unclear how many fraternity brothers were in the house at the time.

Yet more than a month after the attack, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed. The fraternity house, its shattered windows now boarded with plywood, remains vacant. Like the Ferguson riots, there has been little accountability for those who perpetrated violence in the name of protest.


Alan Dershowitz, one of the nation’s premier defense lawyers and a Harvard law professor, told The Times that university displays of double-standards in excusing violence from the political left and failing to punish activities such as attacks on fraternity houses can have dangerous consequences.

“Look at people like [Bill] Ayers and [Bernardine] Dohrn, who were violent radicals in the 1970s who now hold distinguished positions of respect [at universities]. It’s clearly a left-right issue. No one would reward the Ku Klux Klan decades after their acts of violence, but if violence is committed by the hard left, then it becomes acceptable in the academic context,” Mr. Dershowitz told The Washington Times.

Mr. Dershowitz also said the mentality expressed by the student who claims to have participated in the fraternity house attack also should raise alarm.

“It’s the notion of collective punishment; you punish an entire fraternity for the allegations of several people, and you take the law into your own hands, and it’s a total violation to the notion that punishment should be based on proof of individual guilt,” he said. “It’s become a mantra of the radical left, whether it’s about punishing all policemen for Ferguson or all fraternity persons for alleged rapes. It’s a road to lawlessness.

“That’s the argument the terrorists make,” he said. “That’s the argument that Hamas makes, that al Qaeda makes, and it’s the argument that some radical Weathermen made in the U.S. when they blew up universities in the 1970s. It’s the first baby step on the road to justifying terrorism.”



U-Va. Phi Psi members speak about impact of discredited gang rape allegations
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2015-01-14

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Phi Kappa Psi brothers sat together in a bedroom, turning the glossy magazine pages as they absorbed the account of a gang rape that allegedly took place within the brick walls around them.

The University of Virginia students read the Rolling Stone article that November night in complete surprise. A U-Va. junior said she attended a date party at the fraternity house in 2012 and was lured to a bedroom, where a group of men raped her in what appeared to be a gruesome initiation rite. The students were disgusted, emotional and confused.

“Some people actually had to leave the room while they were reading it because they were so upset,” said Phi Psi President Stephen Scipione, 21, a junior from Richmond.

But within 24 hours of the article’s publication, the U-Va. students reviewed the fraternity’s records and confirmed their initial suspicions: The magazine’s account was deeply flawed.

“We knew that the Rolling Stone story was not true,” said David Fontenot, 22, a senior from McLean, Va. But they also knew “that we would only make things more difficult by fighting it in the media and that our best move was to stay quiet, let the police do their jobs and ride it out until the time was appropriate.”

[A very mature response.
Unlike the response of the PC scum and true thugs who vandalized their house,
and were willing to believe anything that fits their ideology.
People that really don't belong on a university campus.]

Phi Psi members, speaking publicly for the first time since the allegations surfaced, told The Washington Post that they went into hiding for weeks after their home was vandalized with spray-painted messages calling them rapists and with bricks thrown through windows. They booked hotel rooms to avoid the swarm of protesters on their front lawn. They watched as their brotherhood was vilified, coming to symbolize the worst episode of collegiate sexual violence against women since the 2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal — which also turned out to be false.

“That leads back to the bigger problem in that our society tends to rush to judge without the facts,” Scipione said. “They just see the headline and get upset, and they want to blame it on someone, and obviously we were the easiest targets for that.”


Full text: Charlottesville police statement in U-Va. sex assault case
Charlottesville Police Department, 2015-03-23

The following is the full text of a statement released Monday by the Charlottesville Police Department to the news media regarding an alleged sex assault depicted in Rolling Stone magazine in November 2014.


Having exhausted all investigative leads, our investigation concludes that
there is no substantive basis to support the account alleged in the Rolling Stone article.
Therefore, our investigation will remain suspended
until such time as “Jackie” wishes to cooperate with investigators
or other evidence comes to our attention to warrant further investigation.


Although “Jackie’s” story was told by Ms. Erdely in the Rolling Stone article,
investigators were never afforded the opportunity to interview “Jackie”.

In addition, federal laws governing privacy and protection
of certain records in the possession of academic institutions
obstructed our ability to access records
that may have been relevant to our investigation.

Nonetheless, our investigation revealed that
Dean Nicole Eramo first learned from “Jackie” of an allegation of sexual assault on May 20, 2013.
This disclosure came after “Jackie” was referred to the Dean because of poor grades.
The disclosure was specifically that she went to a party at an unknown fraternity on Madison Lane and was sexually assaulted.

“Jackie’s” disclosure to Dean Eramo did provide some information that depicted a sexual act,
but that information is inconsistent with the details that are reported in the Rolling Stone Magazine article of November 19, 2014.

Dean Eramo provided “Jackie” with the options available per UVA protocol in place at that time.

On April 21, 2014, “Jackie” again met with Dean Eramo
and reported a physical assault that was alleged to have occurred on April 6, 2014 on the University Corner in the vicinity of Elliewood Avenue.

According to “Jackie” she was struck in the face by a glass bottle.
She further advised that her roommate at the time, a nursing student,
assisted her in removing glass from her (“Jackie’s”) face.

In a subsequent interview by investigators,
“Jackie’s” roommate denied ever removing glass from “Jackie’s” face.
Further, she described “Jackie’s” injury as an abrasion consistent with having fallen.

According to “Jackie” she stood in the parking garage on Elliewood Avenue and called her mother.
Yet, a subsequent search of phone records which we believe to be “Jackie’s” failed to yield any evidence that such a call was made.
In fact, no calls were made from April 5, 2014 from 8 p.m. to April 6, 2014 at 4 a.m.

During the course of her April 21, 2014 meeting with Dean Eramo,
“Jackie” disclosed for the first time that she had been sexually assaulted at the Phi Psi fraternity house.
“Jackie” advised Dean Eramo that she wanted her report to remain anonymous.

The Charlottesville Police Department first became aware of “Jackie’s” allegations on April 22, 2014,
when an officer met with “Jackie” in the company of Dean Eramo and a University of Virginia police officer.


In her meeting with the officers and Dean Eramo,
“Jackie” further disclosed to that
she had been sexually assaulted at the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012.
She stated that she reported it to the Dean’s office, but not the police.
She feared retaliation from the fraternity
if she followed through with a criminal investigation.

At the time of this disclosure, “Jackie” refused to provide any specific details regarding the alleged sexual assault.

On May 1, 2014, Detective Jake Via met with “Jackie” in the presence of Dean Eramo
regarding both the alleged physical assault on the Corner [Supposedly in early April 2014]
and the allegation of sexual assault in 2012.
“Jackie” maintained that she did not want to proceed with any investigation of the physical assault,
nor did she provide any disclosure as to the facts of the alleged sexual assault.

Detective Via advised “Jackie” that
her allegations would be fully investigated if she changed her mind and wished to pursue an investigation.
Detective Via had no further contact with “Jackie” until early December 2014.

As previously stated, on November 19, 2014, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan requested that the Charlottesville Police Department launch a criminal investigation into the details of the Rolling Stone article.

Believing “Jackie” to be the person that he had spoken to in April of 2014,
Detective Via called her and left a message offering both police and victim/witness support and assistance.

On November 20, 2014, Detective Via again attempted contact with “Jackie”.
This time “Jackie” responded and agreed to meet after the Thanksgiving break.

On December 2, 2014, “Jackie” came to the Charlottesville Police Department headquarters
accompanied by University Dean Laurie Casteen and legal counsel from the Legal Aid and Justice Center.
While there “Jackie” declined, through legal counsel,
to provide a statement or answer any questions.

Since that time, despite numerous attempts to gain her cooperation,
“Jackie” has provided no information whatsoever to investigators.

In an effort to access certain records pertaining to “Jackie” that would aid in our investigation,
efforts were made through her legal counsel to obtain her written consent.
Those efforts, too, were met with negative results.

The University of Virginia provided investigators access to relevant members of the Office of the Dean of Students who had knowledge of “Jackie’s” previous contacts with their office,
along with redacted copies of documents that reflect Dean Eramo’s previous meetings with “Jackie”;
specifically those documents referencing the sexual assault, physical assault, and an anonymous sexual assault report.

None of the documents we were given or had access to
revealed any facts similar to what was disclosed in the Rolling Stone article.



In short, we cannot find any basis of fact to conclude that there was any event at the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity house on the evening of September 28, 2012.

Investigators also had occasion to interview two of “Jackie’s” friends, both of whom gave interviews to national media correspondents.

Both males report being told by Jackie that she was going out on the evening of September 28, 2012 with a person known as Haven Monahan.
Neither had ever met Haven Monahan, but report previously text messaging with a person whom they believed him to be.

In their interview with investigators, they both contradict “Jackie’s” version of events in reference to where they met subsequent to the alleged sexual assault, her physical condition at the time they met, the time of day during which the meeting took place, the description of the assault, and their reactions to what they were allegedly told by “Jackie”. It should be noted that what “Jackie” is alleged to have described to these two witnesses is consistent with what was previously told to Dean Eramo and is inconsistent with the facts included in the Rolling Stone Magazine article.

In an effort to further track down Haven Monahan, investigators reviewed the student listing for 2012, and found no one by that name.

In addition, investigators conducted multiple internet searches using LINX, TLO, Pinger, Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
No one having the name Haven Monahan was discovered.

Several attempts were made to identify Monahan through a phone number that surfaced during the investigation. The number was listed with Bandwith.com. The carrier was Google voice. A court order was sent to Google with negative results.

During the course of our investigation, a photograph was discovered that was believed to depict the person of Haven Monahan.

Investigators were able to locate this subject who declined interview. His name was not Haven Monahan, nor was it “Drew”.

Through legal counsel, the subject did proffer that he does not know “Jackie”, nor was he in the City of Charlottesville on September 28, 2012.

The membership roster for the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was reviewed for the name of Haven Monahan, and was also met with negative results.

Supervisors employed at the University Aquatic and Fitness center were also interviewed by investigators regarding whether anyone by the name of Haven Monahan or “Drew” were ever employed as a lifeguard at the pool. None of those interviewed recalled such an employee.

Further, a review of the employee roster failed to yield the name Haven Monahan or “Drew”.

All the male subjects on the employee roster were contacted by phone or email. Of those that replied, no one admitted to being the person described as “Drew“ in the article, nor did they claim ever having a relationship with “Jackie”.


In her meeting with Dean Eramo, “Jackie” indicated that there were two other sexual assaults that had taken place in 2010 and 2014 at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. No victims have reported those incidents to the Charlottesville Police Department, nor have any witnesses come forward to report such an incident.

If anyone has information pertaining to either of these alleged incidents, they are strongly encouraged to contact the Charlottesville Police Department.


Based on the information known to investigators at this time, we find no substantive basis of fact to conclude that an incident occurred that is consistent with the facts as described in the November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine article.

The department’s investigation cannot rule out that something may have happened to “Jackie” somewhere and at some time on the evening of September 28, 2012. Yet, without additional evidence we are simply unable to reach a definitive conclusion.

This investigation remains open, yet suspended in the event additional evidence should come to light.

Police find no evidence of alleged sexual assault at U-Va. fraternity
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2015-03-24

CHARLOTTESVILLE — There is no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang-raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012, police said, noting that a five-month investigation led detectives to discredit numerous claims about the alleged assault.

Police Chief Timothy J. Longo said Monday that the police department had multiple meetings with “Jackie” — the woman who said she was gang-raped at a fraternity party — and that she declined to speak about the alleged incident or provide any information about it. Detectives determined that the fraternity did not host a party the night of the alleged attack, and police said they did not find anyone matching the description of the alleged attackers.


“Chief Longo’s report underscores what I have known since well before the publication of the Rolling Stone article: that we at the University are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all of our students,” U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan said in a statement.

[Recall that after the Rolling Stone story was published,
Sullivan suspended all Greek activities until January 2015,
apparently on no further basis than that story.
Talk about a rush to judgment!]


n a Monday statement, Phi Kappa Psi officials said that they cooperated with the police investigation and that the fraternity is exploring legal options against Rolling Stone.

“These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must have dealt to survivors of sexual assault,” Stephen Scipione, U-Va. chapter president, said in the statement.

The Post generally does not identify victims of sexual assaults
and has used Jackie’s nickname at her request.

[So why is the Post not now identifying this woman?
Where is the evidence that she was a victim of sexual assault?
On the other hand,
there is plenty of conclusive evidence that she is a liar,
one who has willfully and deliberately fabricated false claims.
Why should her identity be shielded from public knowledge?
So all you have to do is claim you've been sexually assaulted,
and then you can lie your fool head off,
damaging other people's reputations,
giving PC vigalantes the excuse to vandalize a fraternity,
cause expensive and limited public resources to be devoted to investigating your false claims,
and then,
when your claims have been disproved,
hide behind a shield of anonymity?
So much for the notion of the responsibility to tell the truth.
I guess that's another archaic, antiquated, patriarchal notion.]


A Post investigation into the claims found significant inconsistencies in the account. Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members strongly rebutted the allegations, saying they did not have a party on the night in question and did not have a member fitting the description of the alleged attackers. One of her alleged assailants — whom Jackie told friends she was on a date with that night — turned out not to be a U-Va. student, had not been in Charlottesville in years, attends another school in another state and said he barely knew Jackie. Jackie’s friends told The Post that her version of events to the magazine did not match what they saw in the immediate aftermath of when she claims she was assaulted.

Police said that interviews with about 70 people and an investigation spanning hundreds of hours confirmed these same findings. They also said that an alleged physical assault Jackie reported in May 2014 — when she told police that four men followed her and threw a bottle at her face — had significant inconsistencies. It was at that time that police twice asked Jackie about the alleged sexual assault at the urging of the university, and Jackie declined to talk to police about it.

After the Rolling Stone article was published, police began investigating the claims at Sullivan’s behest. Longo said they were “horrific allegations,” and police immediately went to work. He said Jackie agreed to an interview with police after the school’s break over Thanksgiving, but on Dec. 2 went to the department with a lawyer and declined to give a statement, answer any questions or give access to her university records.

Detectives interviewed numerous Phi Kappa Psi members, including most of those who lived in the house in September 2012, the time of the alleged attack. Longo said police found photographs of the house on the night in question that show it empty, and they reviewed other records that indicate the house did not host a party that night.

The chief said police also interviewed Jackie’s friends who met with her the night that she said she left the fraternity bloody and shaken. But they told police what they had earlier told The Post: She was not physically injured and met them in a different location than was described in the Rolling Stone account.

Police also investigated the name for an alleged attacker — Haven Monahan — a name that Jackie gave her friends as the person she was going on a date with that night. That name did not match anyone at the fraternity or at the University of Virginia, and police were unable to determine whether such a person exists.

Late last year, The Post pursued information about that same name, which ultimately appeared to be a combination of names belonging to people Jackie interacted with while in high school in Northern Virginia. Both of those people — who attend different colleges and bear no resemblance to the description Jackie gave of her attacker — said in interviews that they knew of Jackie but did not know her well and did not have contact with her after she left for U-Va.

The Post also obtained a photograph that was purportedly of Monahan and determined that the photograph was that of a third person, a student who attended high school with Jackie. That other person is a student at a different college out of state and was competing in an athletic event on the date of the alleged attack. He said he had not been in Charlottesville for at least six years.

Longo said that police also interviewed a second U-Va. student that Jackie had identified as one of her attackers. In early December, The Post spoke to the student, a 2014 graduate and fraternity member who worked as a lifeguard at the school’s aquatic and fitness center. Longo said Monday that the former student had provided evidence, including financial and school records, which showed he had never had any interaction with Jackie.


Police Find No Evidence of Rape at University of Virginia Fraternity
New York Times, 2015-03-24

HARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The police here said Monday that they had found “no substantive basis” to support a Rolling Stone magazine article depicting a horrific gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house and that a four-month review had identified serious discrepancies in the account by a woman identified as Jackie, who refused to cooperate with their investigation.

After a review of records and roughly 70 interviews, Police Chief Timothy J. Longo Sr. said at a crowded news conference here, his investigators found “no evidence” that a party even took place at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on Sept. 28, 2012, when the rape was said to have occurred. Instead, he said, there was a formal that night at the house’s sister sorority, making it highly unlikely that the fraternity would have had a party on the same night.

Despite “numerous attempts,” he said, his officers were unable to track down the man Jackie had identified as her date that night. And several interviews contradicted her version of events. The chief said he was suspending, but not closing, the investigation, and he left open the possibility that some kind of assault might have occurred, saying additional information could still come to light.


During his news conference on Monday, and in a separate written statement issued by his department, Chief Longo said the Charlottesville police first learned of Jackie in April 2014, after an officer met with her in the company of an associate dean of students, Nicole P. Eramo, who handles sexual assault matters. One day earlier, Jackie told Dean Eramo of the rape allegation and at that time reported a separate, unrelated physical assault. But she did not want to pursue a police complaint, the chief said.

After the Rolling Stone article appeared, a detective reached out to Jackie, suspecting that she was the woman he had previously interviewed. “Since that time, despite numerous attempts to gain her cooperation, ‘Jackie’ has provided no information whatsoever to investigators,” the department’s statement said.

During the course of the ensuing police investigation, the chief said, investigators interviewed nine of the 14 members who were living at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in September 2012; none said they knew Jackie. The authorities also sent questionnaires to other fraternity members; 19 were returned, and none of the respondents said they knew Jackie or had any knowledge of an assault having occurred at the fraternity house.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

A review of bank records for the fraternity revealed no expenditures for a party. The police also found a photograph time-stamped Sept. 28, 2012. It showed two men in an otherwise empty entrance hall, the chief said.

Investigators also interviewed two of Jackie’s friends, both men, whom Jackie had said met with her after the assault occurred. But both contradicted her version of events, the chief said, adding, “They don’t recall any physical injuries.” And while both said they were told by Jackie that she had gone out on the night of Sept. 28, 2012, with a person named Haven Monahan — identified in the Rolling Stone article as “Drew” — the police were unable to track Mr. Monahan down.

Many of the story’s details had already been contradicted, particularly by The Washington Post.

Despite the findings, the chief dismissed suggestions that
Jackie had completely fabricated her account.
“There’s a difference between a false allegation
and something that happened that may be different
than something that is reported in the article,”
the chief said.
“All I can tell you is there is no substantive basis to conclude
what is described in the article happened that night.”

[The list of her allegations that have been disproved is long.
Several of the allegations, identifying specific people,
have been proven to be fabrications.
What is left?
Why does she have a shred of credibility remaining?]

The Columbia School of Journalism review

Rolling Stone’s investigation:
‘A failure that was avoidable’

By Sheila Coronel, Steve Coll, and Derek Kravitz
Columbia Journalism Review, 2015-04-05

Last July 8, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, a writer for Rolling Stone,
telephoned Emily Renda,
a rape survivor working on sexual assault issues
[Why on earth are these people called "survivors"?
I think back to the (extremely nice) college girls in the 1960s
who told me that their attitude was:
"When rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy."
I think of all the cases of women who had too much to drink,
passed out, had men have sex with them,
making it sex without consent and thus the feminist's definition of rape,
but did not even realize that the men had had sex with them
until they later found out about it by being informed of it.
(The "Naval Academy rape case" is an example of
the situation to which I am referring.)
That really stands on its head the notion that sex without consent
is automatically physically painful to the woman.
I certainly do not deny that that constitutes a physical assault on the woman
and deserves the responsible men being punished for their roles in the assault,
but question whether calling the woman in such a situation
"a survivor" is not being overly melodramatic about what happened.]

as a staff member at the University of Virginia.
Erdely said
she was searching for
a single, emblematic college rape case
that would show
“what it’s like to be on campus now …
where not only is rape so prevalent but also that
there’s this pervasive culture of sexual harassment/rape culture,”

according to Erdely’s notes of the conversation.


In Report on Rolling Stone, a Case Study in Failed Journalism
New York Times, 2015-04-06


A closer parallel to the Rolling Stone article may be much of the media’s breathless coverage of members of the Duke University lacrosse team who were accused of gang-raping a woman in 2006. Like “A Rape on Campus,” it was a story that seemed to conform to a lot of the public’s worst ideas about the behavior of privileged young men at elite colleges.

“It was too good to not be true, and that’s what’s going on in this case as well,” said Daniel Okrent, a former public editor at The Times. “You don’t want women to be gang-raped in a fraternity house, but you want to believe this terrible thing is happening and therefore you can expose it.”

“you want to believe this terrible thing is happening and therefore you can expose it.”???
WHO wants to believe such things are happening?
Those seeking to demonize members of selective fraternities, that’s who.]

On the most basic level, the writer of the Rolling Stone article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was seduced by an untrustworthy source. More specifically, as the report details, she was swept up by the preconceptions that she brought to the article. As much casting director as journalist, she was looking for a single character with an emblematic story that would speak to — in her words — the “pervasive culture of sexual harassment/rape culture” on college campuses.

[Excuse me.
WHAT “pervasive culture of sexual harassment/rape culture” on college campuses?
I went to a university some considered elite back in the 1960s,
and I can assure any reader that there was no “rape culture” back then.
I never, never, never heard any of my fellow students speak of taking advantage of women, in particular our esteemed female classmates (called coeds back then).
When the current media finds “rape culture” on campus, I wonder what changes in society have caused such a thing to happen, if indeed it has happened.
But if you think my memories of college life in the 1960s are inaccurate,
I refer you to a memoir by a woman, Mimi Alford,
who was also a college student in the 1960s,
who happened to be a mistress of President John F. Kennedy.
According to her memoir
Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath,
when the news of Kennedy's assassination reached her,
she was with her fiancee, also a college student.
She reacted so strongly and visibly to the news that her lover had been shot
that she had to tell her fiancee the reason for her reaction:
that she had been, behind his back, carrying on an affair with the president.
His reaction?
That night he entered her bedroom and raped her.
My interpretation:
He, like many men of the time,
while they desired sex with women, in particular their girlfriends,
believed that sex should only happen within the bounds of matrimony.
When he found out, by her own account, that she had been unfaithful to him,
he thought "If you're that kind of woman, why should I restrain myself?"
In any case, the fact, according to her own testimony,
is that he had restrained himself until he found she had been cheating on him.
(An interesting partial parallel is the case of George Huegely,
who killed his sometime girlfriend Yeardley Love in a jealous rage.)]

Journalists are often driven to cover atrocities and personal traumas by the best intentions, chiefly the desire to right wrongs and shed light on injustice — in a word, empathy.
[But also all too often by the desire to demonize
groups whose power they feel is a threat, real or potential, to their affinity group.
Ms. Erdely seems to have demonstrated, here and previously,
a desire to demonize.]


Even in this agenda-driven context, though, Rolling Stone has historically been rigorous.
The magazine’s unflattering profile of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal in 2010
survived what must have been a difficult fact-checking process.
["Must have been"?
Where is the evidence that it was?
Yes, General McChrystal resigned, without contesting the reporting.
But was he just playing the good soldier, falling on his sword
to spare the country the no doubt devisiveness that would have occurred
if he had questioned the fairness, objectivity, and accuracy of Michael Hasting's article?]

But when it was published, General McChrystal took responsibility for its contents, and resigned.


U-Va. dean, speaking out for the first time, assails retracted Rolling Stone story
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2015-04-22

University of Virginia associate dean of students Nicole Eramo on Wednesday publicly denounced a retracted Rolling Stone article that she says falsely portrayed her role in counseling a student who alleged that she was the victim of a fraternity gang-rape on campus.

In a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday morning, Eramo assails the article’s “false and grossly misleading” account about how U-Va. handled allegations of rape on campus. Eramo, who works with student survivors of sexual assault, had been characterized as callous and indifferent to what Rolling Stone described as a brutal campus rape, and other sexual assault cases.

“Using me as the personification of a heartless administration, the Rolling Stone article attacked my life’s work,” Eramo wrote in the letter, her first public remarks about the article since its online publication in November. Noting that the article has since been discredited and retracted, Eramo wrote that her name will now “remain forever linked to an article that has damaged my reputation and falsely portrayed the work to which I have dedicated my life.”


In her letter, Eramo describes receiving death and rape threats
after the Rolling Stone article caused a sensation on campus and around the country.
The story detailed the administration’s alleged inaction to a student’s claims
that she was viciously assaulted in 2012 at a fraternity house by seven men
while two others watched.
The article alleged that U-Va. officials
did nothing to warn campus after learning of the assault.

[Shows who some of the real rotters in our society are:
the PC vigilantes who overreact
(e.g., making the threats mentioned above,
vandalizing the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house,
in an earlier well-known incident,
demonizing the Duke lacrosse team over another false rape claim)
to lurid claims
without bothering to wait to see whether the claims can be substantiated.
Like all those filthy feminists who lied through their teeth
when they claimed "Women don't lie."
How about retracting that claim, feminists!
Either that, or let the record show
what filthy liars YOU are.]


“Ms. Erdely squandered an opportunity to have a more nuanced and accurate conversation about this issue because she was busy filling in her preconceived narrative and ultimately setting back the cause of advocacy and support in ways that we are still only beginning to understand here in Charlottesville and across the country,” Eramo wrote. “Inflamed by the false portrayal in the article, protestors showed up at my office, demanding I be fired. Perhaps most egregious and shocking were the e-mails that I received expressing hope that I be killed or raped, and commenting that they hoped that I had a daughter so that she could be raped.”

Eramo notes in her letter that the article described the administration as callous to Jackie’s claims. But the Charlottesville police investigation showed that Eramo moved swiftly after first meeting Jackie to arrange for her to speak to police detectives about her rape allegations. Charlottesville police chief Timothy J. Longo told reporters in March that Jackie has refused to cooperate with investigators, both before and after the Rolling Stone article published.


U-Va. dean sues Rolling Stone for ‘false’ portrayal in retracted rape story
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2015-05-12

How The Hunting Ground Blurs the Truth
The documentary is shaping the public debate around campus rape.
But a closer look at one of its central cases suggests
the filmmakers put advocacy ahead of accuracy.

By Emily Yoffe
Slate, 2015-06-02


I [Emily Yoffe] looked into the case of Kamilah Willingham,
whose allegations generated a voluminous record.
What the evidence (including Willingham’s own testimony) shows
is often dramatically at odds with the account presented in the film.


Nor is Willingham’s story an example of official indifference.
Harvard did not ignore her complaints;
the school thoroughly investigated them.
And because of her allegations,
the law school education of her alleged assailant
has been halted for the past four years.

The Hunting Ground does not identify that man.
His name is Brandon Winston, now 30 years old.
Earlier this year, he was tried in a Massachusetts superior court
on felony charges of indecent assault and battery—
that is, unwanted sexual touching, not rape.
In March, he was cleared of all felony charges
and found guilty of a single count of misdemeanor nonsexual touching.
Following the trial,
the Administrative Board of Harvard Law School, which handles student discipline,
reviewed Winston’s case and voted to reinstate him.
This fall, he will be allowed to complete his long-delayed final year of law school.

Like most journalists and critics,
I first wrote about The Hunting Ground on Feb. 27 of this year,
the day the film made its theatrical debut,
and did so unaware that, the same week,
the unnamed man Willingham calls a rapist
was standing trial in Middlesex County
on the charges stemming from her criminal complaint.
I learned of Winston’s trial when a juror contacted me after it concluded
to express dismay that Winston had been forced to stand trial—
and had faced potential jail time—
for what she saw as a drunken hook-up.


The filmmakers present
what happened between Kamilah Willingham and Brandon Winston
as a terrifying warning to female college students and their parents,
and a call to arms to government officials and college administrators.
They offer the case as prima facie evidence
that draconian regulations, laws, and punishments are required to end
what they say is a scourge of sexual violence.
But there is another story, which the filmmakers do not tell.
It’s a story in which Willingham’s accusations are taken seriously
and Winston’s actions are thoroughly investigated,
first by Harvard University
and later by the Middlesex County district attorney’s office.
It’s a story in which neither the school nor the legal system
finds that a rape occurred,
and in which Willingham’s credibility is called seriously into question.
It’s a story of an ambiguous sexual encounter among young adults
that almost destroyed the life of the accused,
a young black man with no previous record of criminal behavior.
It’s a story that demonstrates how deeply the filmmakers’ politics
colored their presentation of the facts—
and how deeply flawed their influential film is as a result.


Why do high-profile campus rape stories keep falling apart?
By Radley Balko
Washington Post "The Watch", 2015-06-02


I [Radley Balko] think the activists on this issue are mistaken
when they say that we’re in the midst of a campus rape crisis.
The data just don’t support the notion.
And the studies that do have some serious flaws.
The results produced by this debate are also troubling:
Colleges and universities are essentially
pulling an end-around the criminal justice system,
adjudicating sexual assault cases on their own,
on terms more favorable to the accusing party.
The punishment isn’t as severe,
but it can still be pretty devastating for the wrongly accused.
And the guilty aren’t put away to protect society,
but merely banished from campus to protect the students who pay tuition.

[My observation for some time has been that at least some feminists
don't give a damn about things like truth or fair play.
E.g., when they demand that Ray Rice be essentially banned for life from playing in the NFL,
while they make no similar demands about Brittney Griner.
For Sports Illustrated's description of her case,
read the following quote from SI:]

On April 22,
[Brittney] Griner and [Glory] Johnson were arrested in Goodyear, Ariz.,
after police were called to a residence for a domestic dispute.
Many of the details of the incident remain murky,
but in a medical evaluation conducted two days after Johnson was arrested—
according to records provided by Johnson’s lawyer—
Phoenix-based orthopedic doctor Thomas C. Fiel noted that
Johnson had been struck twice
“on the back of her head by a hard carrying case.”
A CT scan corroborated that
Johnson had experienced head trauma and suffered a concussion.
The CT scan also found evidence of spinal trauma.

Griner, according to the police report, suffered only minor scratches.

Attorney Jane Bambauer,
who is a professor at Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law
and teaches and writes about criminal procedure,
wrote in an email to SI.com that
the police report and Johnson’s medical reports clearly indicate to her
that Griner “was the aggressor.”
Johnson, who is referred to repeatedly as “The Victim”
throughout the probable cause statement in the police report,
says she was merely defending herself.

“If I’m being fought,”
Johnson said during an exclusive interview with SI.com last Thursday.
“I’m not just gonna sit back … there’s probably a better way to handle it.
But at the time … you’re just thinking of protecting yourself
and doing what you need to do to stand up for yourself.”

Despite having access to all of the legal and medical information,
the WNBA still decided to punish both spouses equally.
[The damage to Glory Johnson was far, far more serious
than what Ray Rice gave to his then fiancee, now wife, Janay Palmer Rice.
If that isn't a hideous, disgusting vile double standard,
than what is?
But just (dirty) business as usual for the feminists.

And by the way,
how often do white women engage in such violence?
I sure haven't heard of much of anything of that level of physical damage.]


[Continuing with Radley Balko's article in the Washington Post:]

[T]here’s a strong desire to find the “emblematic” case,
one that checks off all the right boxes —
a sympathetic victim, a privileged attacker,
an indifferent administration, and so on.
Real life doesn’t usually produce such clean-cut cases.
So there may be an urge to bend stories to make them
more sympathetic, more universal and more likely to generate outrage.

Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members sue Rolling Stone over retracted U-Va. rape story
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2015-07-29 1920 EDT

Three Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers are suing Rolling Stone magazine in New York federal court for defamation, alleging that a now-retracted December 2014 article on rape at the University of Virginia identified them as taking part in a vicious gang rape.

The three U-Va., graduates, George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford and Ross Fowler, filed the lawsuit in New York federal court Wednesday against Rolling Stone and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the journalist who wrote the 9,000-word account, which alleged a gang rape at the Phi Psi fraternity house during a party. The article was retracted in April after a Columbia University Journalism School review concluded that it was deeply flawed.

The lawsuit (read the entire document below) centers on Erdely’s reporting of a brutal sexual assault that had allegedly occurred inside the U-Va. Phi Psi house in Sept. 2012. The story led with a detailed description of a fraternity party inside the house that devolved into a ritualized rape for new members of the fraternity. The main character, a U-Va. junior named Jackie, claimed that seven Phi Psi members took turns raping her in a second floor bedroom while two older fraternity brothers watched.

Several members of the fraternity told The Washington Post that they were deeply affected by the story but knew it was false almost immediately after it was published.

Though none of the alleged attackers were named in the Rolling Stone story, the three fraternity brothers allege in the lawsuit that they were harassed after the article’s publication and that details in the article led members of the public to begin identifying them as being involved in the assault.


[I have absolutely no idea how this suit will play out in the courts,
but it is certainly raises some interesting and, I believe, important issues.]

After a Rape Story, a Murder, and Lawsuits:
What’s Next for the University of Virginia?

by Sarah Ellison
Vanity Fair Magazine, October 2015

U-Va. fraternity files $25 million lawsuit against Rolling Stone
by T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post Grade Point, 2015-11-09

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter at the University of Virginia filed a $25 million lawsuit Monday against Rolling Stone magazine, which published an article in 2014 that alleged a freshman was gang raped at the house during a party.

The lawsuit focuses on a Rolling Stone article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which detailed a harrowing attack on a freshman named Jackie at the Phi Psi house on Sept. 28, 2012. The article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, described how Jackie was raped by seven men while two others watched in a second floor bedroom while a fraternity party raged downstairs. The article alleged that the attack was part of a hazing ritual at the long-time U-Va. fraternity.


“The fraternity chapter and its student and alumni members suffered extreme damage to their reputations in the aftermath of the article’s publication and continue to suffer despite the ultimate unraveling of the story,” the Phi Psi chapter said in a statement Monday. “The article also subjected the student members and their families to danger and immense stress while jeopardizing the future existence of the chapter.”


In July, three U-Va. alumni members of the Phi Psi fraternity filed a federal lawsuit in New York against Rolling Stone. One of the fraternity members, George Elias, wrote in the lawsuit that he lived in a second floor bedroom of the house in 2012, which led members of the U-Va. community to assume he possibly took part in the alleged gang rape.


The magazine also faces a $7.5 million federal lawsuit filed by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. associate dean who assists sexual assault survivors on campus and who alleges that she was vilified in the Rolling Stone account.

In the wake of the Rolling Stone article’s publication, the Phi Psi house was vandalized, windows were broken and anonymous activists scrawled “UVA Center for Rape Studies,” on the building.

According to the fraternity’s complaint filed in state court: “This defamation action is brought to seek redress for the wanton destruction caused to Phi Kappa Psi by Rolling Stone’s intentional, reckless, and unethical behavior.”


‘Catfishing’ over love interest might have spurred U-Va. gang-rape debacle
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post "Grade Point", 2016-01-08

Ryan Duffin was a freshman at the University of Virginia when he met a student named Jackie.

Both teenagers were new to campus in September 2012, and the pair quickly became friends through a shared appreciation of alternative rock bands such as Coheed and Cambria and Silversun Pickups. Early on, Duffin sensed that Jackie was interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with him. Duffin valued her friendship but politely rebuffed Jackie’s advances for more.

Just days after he met her, Duffin said, he was goaded into a text message conversation with a U-Va. junior named “Haven Monahan,” whom Jackie said she knew from a chemistry class.

What followed was what lawyers for Nicole Eramo, an associate dean at U-Va., described in new court documents as an elaborate scheme to win Duffin over by creating a fake suitor, Monahan, to spark romantic interest — a practice known as “catfishing” — that morphed into a sensational claim of gang rape at a U-Va. fraternity that Jackie said was instigated by the fictitious upperclassman, and finally a Rolling Stone story that rocked the U-Va. campus and shocked the nation.

A Charlottesville Police investigation later determined that no one named Haven Monahan had ever attended U-Va., and extensive efforts to find the person were not successful. Photographs that were texted to Duffin that were purported to be of Monahan were actually pictures depicting one of Jackie’s high school classmates in Northern Virginia. That man, now a student at a university in another state, confirmed to The Post that the photographs were of him.

Police ultimately determined that no gang rape occurred, and Rolling Stone retracted its story.

“All available evidence demonstrates that ‘Haven Monahan’ was a fake suitor created by Jackie in a strange bid to earn the affections of a student named Ryan Duffin that Jackie was romantically interested in,” Eramo’s lawyers wrote in court papers filed this week.

In an interview Friday with The Washington Post, Duffin said that he also believes Haven Monahan was a fictional character Jackie created.

“I was wondering how I didn’t see through it way earlier,” Duffin said.

Jackie and her lawyers have not responded to requests for comment. The Washington Post generally does not identify people who are purported victims of sex crimes.

Jackie had told Duffin that a date with Haven Monahan on Sept. 28, 2012, had gone terribly wrong, claiming that the upperclassman had forced her to perform oral sex on five other men. That fall night, Duffin was among a group of friends who rushed to be by Jackie’s side as she cried; Duffin described her as being hysterical and appearing traumatized. Duffin said Jackie appeared not to be injured — a red dress that she had worn on the date was not disheveled or torn — and she declined to go to police or the hospital that night to report the assault.

Jackie became the central figure of a sensational 9,000-word story published two years later in Rolling Stone, describing a brutal gang rape in a campus fraternity house that allegedly occurred that same night.

But the account in Rolling Stone differed significantly from the facts she relayed to Duffin in 2012. She told Rolling Stone that the attack involved nine fraternity brothers participating in a hazing ritual. And the name Jackie later gave of her alleged attacker also did not match the Haven Monahan identity she gave to Duffin in 2012.

After these discrepancies and other inconsistencies arose in reporting by The Washington Post, Rolling Stone retracted the story in April. At least three defamation suits have been filed related to the story since, including Eramo’s.

Court documents indicate that a crush Jackie had on Duffin freshman year was the spark for all that has happened since, that the attention-seeking events on Sept. 28, 2012 spiraled into a sensational tale that evolved, made its way into a national magazine’s pages, and then took on a life of its own.

Duffin said that his friendship with Jackie began to take a turn quickly as she pursued a deeper relationship with him. Though she had only known Duffin for a few weeks, Jackie spent $350 on a birthday trip to Washington D.C. and tickets for the two of them to see the Silversun Pickups at the 9:30 Club.

Once he began exchanging text messages with “Haven Monahan,” Duffin said he was struck by how the supposed U-Va. junior was infatuated with their mutual friend.

“He immediately started talking about Jackie,” Duffin told The Post in 2014.

But then Duffin noticed that Haven Monahan began talking about a freshman who Jackie had a crush on.

“Get this she said she likes some other 1st year guy who dosnt like her and turned her down but she wont date me cause she likes him,” Haven Monahan wrote in a text to Duffin. “She cant turn my down fro some nerd 1st yr. she said this kid is smart and funny and worth it.”

Duffin’s conversations with Haven Monahan continued, and according to transcripts submitted in Eramo’s case, the text messages extensively detailed Jackie’s unrequited feelings for Duffin.

At one point, Haven Monahan confronted Duffin about his lack of interest in dating Jackie, urging Duffin to have more sympathy for her, claiming that she had a terminal illness. Surprised by the revelation, Duffin texted Jackie, who confirmed the diagnosis.

“Ryan, it means I’m dying,” she texted.

Duffin replied: “I had no idea. Do you want to talk?”

In late September 2012, Jackie announced that she had a date at the Boar’s Head Inn with Haven Monahan. In an interview with The Post in 2014, Jackie said that the red dress she wore on the date — which Rolling Stone reported was later covered in her blood after the gang rape — had actually been purchased especially for the trip with Duffin to see the band in D.C.

At 10:23 p.m. on the night of the alleged rape, Jackie texted Duffin: “Just wondering. What are you doing now?”

Duffin said he was busy, but when Jackie alluded to something being amiss, he texted: “I want to know what’s going on.”

“Nothing is going on I promise I feel really stupid cause I ran to you and I always run to you,” Jackie replied. He and two other friends then went to meet Jackie near the dorms and found her hysterically upset, making the claims about being forced to perform oral sex.

The next morning, Sept. 29, Jackie texted Ryan about the alleged assault, according to the transcript:

“Ryan you know you are my favorite person of all time and I trust you more than anything in the world. I just need time to clear my head and I will go and report it. I need to do it when I’m ready though. And right now I’m not. Right now I just need someone to hug me and give me chocolate or something and in a few hours or a few days I’ll be ready”

According to archived text messages between Duffin and Jackie, the episode involving Haven Monahan appeared to pass quickly. Jackie told Duffin two days after the alleged attack that Haven Monahan had met her in person to apologize.

“I told him I forgave him for what happened friday night and then he thanked me for not reporting him which made me feel weird but the bottom line is I’m bad at being angry at other people so all I can do is forgive them,” Jackie wrote to Duffin. “And in spite of everything, I still think people are really good at heart and just make bad choices but that doesn’t make them bad people, right?”

But Duffin quickly grew suspicious of Haven Monahan. In a text message to Jackie, Duffin wrote: “I refuse to believe that somebody like this could actually exist.”

Jackie replied: “Haha oh believe it. He’s a frat boy. There are about 3000 more like him. It’s guy like haven monahan who give other guys a bad reputation.”

That October, Duffin finally confronted Jackie about Haven Monahan’s true identity. But Jackie stood her ground and accused Duffin of calling her a liar.

“You know what Ryan, I’ve always trusted you and put you first and believed you over everyone,” Jackie texted to Duffin. “Why would I lie about something like that?”

Jackie continued: “All I want is for you to be happy. I appreciate you and adore you more than you’ll probably ever know and I’d do pretty much anything on the off-chance it’d make your life a little bit better.”

But Duffin said their relationship soured and he did not talk with her again until after the Rolling Stone article was published. Once the Rolling Stone account was revealed to be erroneous in late 2014, Duffin exchanged a last series of messages with Jackie.

Duffin wrote: “So if I can just ask a question, then … Why did you tell us before the date ever happened that his name was Haven? Haven Monahan? A name that belongs to no UVA student ever? Why has the name changed since then?”

Jackie wrote back: “His last name was Monahan and he called himself Haven. His first name was John or jake or something. And he was there that night but he was a bystander. He wasn’t involved. Not really.”

In an interview Friday, Duffin lamented that the unfortunate episode that was an integral part of his freshman year at U-Va. became the central focus of police investigations, newspaper accounts and now lawsuits in state and federal court.

“Had any of us been contacted it never would have blown up like this,” Duffin said of the Rolling Stone account. noting that he and two others who met with Jackie the night of the alleged attack were not interviewed prior to the story running. “It’s weird to think that an entire portion of my life was consumed by these events that looking back looks so dumb. Given the way everything’s turned out, I don’t think that’s the way I want to describe it, but I had a lot of naivete three years ago. It’s just weird all around.”

National Organization For Women Defends Rolling Stone Gang Rape Fabricator
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-01-10

[Emphasis added.]


In an open letter published this week, NOW president Terry O’Neill called on UVA president Teresa Sullivan to intervene to stop Nicole Eramo, a dean at the school, from pushing forward with her lawsuit


Despite every suggestion that Coakley is lying about being raped, O’Neill contends in her open letter that the UVA dropout is a “sexual assault survivor.”

“We recently learned about deeply disturbing actions by one of your Deans against a sexual assault survivor and member of the UVA community,”
[National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill] wrote in the letter.

[What "sexual assault survivor"?
Jackie's claims have been repeatedly and thoroughly discredited.
In the face of that fact,
to call Jackie a "sexual assault survivor" only shows how deceitful NOW is.]

“It is exactly this kind of victim blaming and shaming that fosters rape culture, re-victimizes those brave enough to have come forward, and silences countless other victims,” she continued, adding that Eramo’s demands “recite nearly every false argument made to undermine victims of sexual assault.”


Jackie’s rape story was false. So why hasn’t the media named her by now?
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post, 2016-01-11


News organizations have declined to reveal Jackie’s full identity since her now-discredited story appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in November 2014. Her single-name identity — just Jackie — is in keeping with a long-standing journalistic convention against identifying alleged victims of sexual crimes to protect the accuser’s privacy.

As a result, news accounts of rape or sex-related crimes almost never name an accuser without their explicit permission, making it the only class of crime involving adults in which this practice is observed.

But that standard arguably doesn’t apply in Jackie’s case.
Her story has been shown repeatedly to be false,
both through news reporting and an extensive police investigation.


Even so, Jackie has remained nearly anonymous.
No mainstream media outlet has reported Jackie’s full name.
Investigators for the Charlottesville police,
who found no evidence to support Jackie’s story,
haven’t revealed it, either.
Her identity has also been redacted in documents by a court hearing one of the lawsuits against Rolling Stone.

While it’s debatable whether knowing Jackie’s full name would serve much public purpose,
the collective reticence to identify her plays into an underlying discussion about
the media’s responsibility in identifying accusers.
In contrast, the accused are regularly identified once they are charged.

Proponents of maintaining an accuser’s anonymity say it protects a presumed victim from retaliation or humiliation.
But an emerging faction argues that not naming the alleged victims
perpetuates a climate of silence and shame surrounding such crimes
and discourages more people from reporting them.

Moreover, they say, it’s unfair for media accounts to shield the accuser
but identify the accused, potentially putting a social stigma on a person who may be innocent.

The Washington Post, which broke many of the details that led to the unraveling of Jackie’s story,
hasn’t named Jackie for a particular reason:
The newspaper made an agreement with Jackie not to do so.
In exchange for discussing her story with Post reporters,
The Post agreed in late 2014 not to report her full name.

“We told her we wouldn’t name her,
in large part because we thought she was a ­sex-assault victim at that time
and we don’t name victims of sexual assault without their permission,”
said Mike Semel, The Post’s Metro editor.
“That agreement for anonymity needs to be considered
until we are absolutely certain that there was no assault at all.”

[Maybe the Post should honor its agreement even then.]

Steve Coll, the dean of the Columbia Journalism School, said he, too, would be against revealing Jackie’s name. Columbia’s highly critical report on the Rolling Stone article, which Coll co-wrote, didn’t name Jackie when it was released in April.

“It’s an unusual situation, and I understand the argument on the other side, but I would not name her,” said Coll, a former Post managing editor. “She never solicited Rolling Stone to be written about. She’s not responsible for the journalism mistakes. To name her now just feels gratuitous, lacking sufficient public purpose. That could change depending on how the legal cases unfold, but that’s my sense now.”


‘Our worst nightmare’:
New legal filings detail reporting of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape story

By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2016-07-02

Should "Jackie" be fully identified?

Why Jackie Won’t Be Outed In The Rolling Stone Trial
Her attorneys still maintain she was sexually assaulted, despite the discrediting of a story about her alleged rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.
by Tyler Kingkade
Buzzfeed, 2016-10-24

“That’s such an important reason for having anonymity for survivors,
so they can feel comfortable and not face retaliation or backlash.”

[Yeah, sure, for survivors of a rape that really happened.
Where's the evidence that happened?]

Three days into the trial against Rolling Stone magazine for its story about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia, a document was displayed on the courtroom’s widescreen TVs and the jurors’ personal monitors. Libby Locke, a lawyer for the plaintiff in the libel case, quickly saw a mistake and ordered her colleagues to take the document down.

Attorneys realized they’d done one thing that both sides in this contentious case vowed not to do: identify the woman whose rape allegation is at the center of the trial.

The trial, which opened one week ago, stems from former UVA dean Nicole Eramo’s portrayal in the story of the university response to an alleged gang rape of a student named Jackie in 2012. Eramo is suing Rolling Stone and writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely for defamation, and much of the trial in the first week focused on inaccuracies in the article.

The original article only used Jackie’s first name and pseudonyms for her former friends and the alleged assailants. But when her former friends came forward and challenged Jackie’s account, the story unraveled and was retracted. Despite the version of events surrounding Jackie’s alleged attack largely being discredited, the court is still considering her a sexual assault victim, and so the judge has agreed to maintain her anonymity.

False rape reports are rare, but making a false claim to police can lead to criminal charges for the accuser even when no specific person is named as an alleged assailant. In the Duke lacrosse rape story from a decade ago, which is often compared to the Rolling Stone–UVA story, the accuser, Crystal Mangum, was initially kept anonymous. Mangum was outed widely after the state not only dropped charges against her alleged assailants but also declared them innocent.

Jackie never filed a police report about her alleged assault at the Phi Kappa Psi frat house. The Charlottesville Police Department’s investigation of her case in 2015 was conducted at the request of UVA. Although police found no evidence to support her rape claims as described in Rolling Stone, the cops avoided saying that Jackie was not assaulted at some point. They never officially closed the case.

Just because they couldn’t find evidence to support the events described in the article, Charlottesville Chief of Police Tim Longo said at the time, “that doesn’t mean something terrible did not happen to Jackie on Sept. 28, 2012. We’re just not able to gather sufficient facts to determine what that is.”
Testimony during the trial so far has revealed the inner workings of Rolling Stone, and how UVA handled reports of sexual assault. But the court took extra steps to conceal Jackie’s last name and what she looks like from courtroom spectators for reasons largely stemming from agreements struck before the trial started.

On Monday, the court began playing prerecorded video depositions from Jackie. However, the video monitors in the courtroom were turned off for the gallery, which is where the public and press sit.

At another point in court, lawyers questioned Erdely on what Jackie told her about an April 2014 incident — separate from the alleged rape — in which she was attacked by men outside a bar. They showed jurors a photo that Jackie had sent to Erdely, supposedly taken soon after the men threw a bottle at her. The photo showed what appeared to be a large dark mark around Jackie’s eye, but the monitors for the gallery were turned off to hide her appearance. These steps are taken even though cameras, cell phones, and recording devices are not allowed in the courtroom.

In her deposition played for jurors Monday, Jackie said she stands by the account she gave to Rolling Stone of being gang-raped at a UVA fraternity. Lawyers for Jackie maintain that she is a rape victim and repeatedly refer to her in legal filings as a sexual assault survivor.

Eramo and her attorneys have said in court papers that “Jackie’s claims were entirely false, and that she likely invented the supposed gang rape in order to gain the sympathy of a man she was romantically interested in and to cover for her failing grades.” Still, they agreed to keep her anonymous “in the continuing spirit of cooperation and good faith.”


No mainstream media outlet at the local or national level has published Jackie’s full name or image,
though some far-right blogs have.
None of the publicly available court documents or police reports
use Jackie’s full name, show her email address, or display her phone number.
Long-standing journalistic conventions call for news outlets
to avoid using a sexual assault victim’s
name unless they expressly give permission.

[OK, but what makes a person "a sexual assault victim"?
In this case, the only evidence that Jackie is "a sexual assault victim" is her own word.
And many of her other claims have been proven to be fictions.
1. Her claims about what her "three friends" said to her the night she claimed to have been raped.
2. Her false claims about who she was dating.
3. The existence of Haven Monahan.
4. The night she claimed to have been raped at a fraternity party, the frat was not having a party.

How many proven lies can a woman get away with
before her claim to "be a sexual assault victim"
is no longer taken as sufficient to maintain her anonymity?]

When the Columbia School of Journalism conducted a review of Rolling Stone’s errors,
it did not use Jackie’s name.
Steve Coll, the school’s dean and a veteran journalist,
told the Washington Post earlier this year that he didn’t think Jackie should be exposed.
“She never solicited Rolling Stone to be written about,” Coll said.
“She’s not responsible for the journalism mistakes.
To name her now just feels gratuitous, lacking sufficient public purpose.”

[Yes, she's not responsible for journalism mistakes.
But she is responsible for her own statements.
And those statements were not made in a setting where she can claim they were private in nature.

Is there a "public purpose" in outing women (or men)
who make false claims of rape?
To a reporter for a national magazine, with reasonable expectation
that they will receive wide dissemination?
I think there most certainly is.]

Is There a Case for Naming ‘Jackie’ in the Rolling Stone Sex Assault Lawsuit?
The gang-rape story she told has been discredited,
but ‘Jackie,’ who still maintains she was sexually assaulted at the University of Virginia,
remains under a cloak of anonymity.
by Lizzie Crocker
Daily Beast, 2016-10-28


Yet the full identity of the University of Virginia student who, evidence suggests,
may have fabricated a harrowing story to a Rolling Stone reporter,
remains an open secret:
While known to many people, Jackie’s full name continues to be protected
by both the court and the mainstream media.

If ever a rape story has been disproved, it is this one.
Why not admit that?
Jackie continues to claim she was raped,
but so many of her other claims surrounding the alleged rape
have been disproved,
why does she have a shred of credibility in this matter?
But the feminists don't give a damn about truth
(or giving both sides of the story when it comes to domestic violence).]


The media’s decision not to expose Jackie’s full identity rests on
a long-standing journalistic standard
against naming alleged victims of sexual assault,
so as to protect their privacy and livelihoods.

Likewise the court’s decision
to allow Jackie to remain pseudonymous during trial proceedings ....

Indeed, Erdely admitted to relying almost entirely on Jackie—
a single, unreliable source—
to mount a series of damning accusations against UVA, Eramo, and Phi Kappa Psi....


Police found no evidence to corroborate Jackie’s story
that she was assaulted at Phi Kappa Psi or any other fraternity,
as she told Dean Eramo, friends, and Erdely,
giving inconsistent accounts to these parties.

Instead, they found evidence suggesting
she’d serially lied about various details of her alleged assault,
some of which weren’t included in the Rolling Stone article.
Jackie’s roommate denied pulling shards of glass from Jackie’s face,
as Jackie said she’d done,
after claiming male bullies on campus threw a bottle at her after the alleged assault;
Jackie also claimed she’d phoned her mother after she was hit by the bottle,
but phone records showed no calls were placed at the time.

Police determined there was no party at Phi Kappa Psi on Sept. 28, 2012,
the night of her alleged assault,
and found no evidence that “Haven Monahan,”
the junior Jackie told friends she’d been on a date with the night she was supposedly raped,
is a real person.

Eramo’s attorneys have presented texts in court filings between “Monahan” and Jackie’s friend Ryan Duffin,
arguing that they were part of a catfishing scheme by Jackie to win Duffin’s affections.


Jackie and her attorneys have consistently maintained that
she is a victim of sexual assault,
though they’ve provided no evidence or further details in court filings
beyond simply claiming victimhood.

In a deposition played before the court earlier this week,
Jackie—whose face was not shown to jurors—
occasionally contradicted her own testimony.


Yet strange as it is for a person at the center of this lawsuit (though neither a defendant nor the plaintiff) to remain unidentified both in court and in the media, it’s debatable whether naming her would serve the public.

“Jackie’s allegations and interactions with the reporter are absolutely critical in the case, but publishing her name for the whole world to see is a different issue altogether,” said Robert Drechsel, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Drechsel noted that, for the time being, he couldn’t articulate any overwhelming public interest in identifying her.

“There might be future developments in the case which could change that, but it seems the right thing to do at this point is to not name her,” he said.

[Okay, just what is "the public"?
The feminists who have feasted and profited on playing the role of victim,
no matter how inappropriate or unjustified that is
(in some cases by insuring that only one side of a story is told),
or those, often men, who been victimized by feminist lies and their one-sided stories?]


I am going to make an assumption that the general current line,
that Jackie cooked up her whole story to attract attention and sympathy,
is valid.
That may be wrong, but the overwhelming number of proven lies from Jackie sure doesn't do much for her credibility.

If that assumption is correct, what should Jackie do now?
I suggest, and advise, a full mea culpa.
Bare her breast (metaphorically!),
admit she made many horrible mistakes,
say she didn't realize how many people would be hurt by her deceits,
that she now sees the error of her ways,
that she now repents the so-common path of feminists of lies and deceits,
that she will try and be truthful from now on,
and ask for forgiveness for her past errors.