Rolling Stone Retracts UVA Rape Story: “Sorry”

Update #3: The indefinite suspension of UVA Greek Life will end in January, at the end of this semester.

Update #2: Read what UVA students’ reactions to the news today.

Update: Phi Kappa Psi issued their official statement Friday afternoon.

Rolling Stone is “sorry” for publishing a story on the UVA fraternity that allegedly gang raped a woman. In the article, Rolling Stone accused the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity of gang raping a woman named “Kim” in Fall of 2012. The problem was that in an attempt to protect the victims’ anonymity (which is 100% a good idea), the author of the story never contacted any of the alleged rapists (100% not a good idea).

“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,” wrote RS managing editor Will Dana in a statement titled as “A Note To Our Readers.”

That “new information” Will is writing about probably came from The Washington Post, which published a story this morning about the inconsistencies in the story:

• “Phi Kappa Psi did not host a party on Sept. 28, 2012, the night that a university student named Jackie alleges she was invited to a date party, lured into an upstairs room and was then ambushed and gang-raped by seven men who were rushing the fraternity.”

“A name of an alleged attacker that Jackie provided to them for the first time this week, for example, turned out to be similar to 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.”

[Editor’s Note: In the case of fairness we’d like to point out that this was not the first allegation of rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house. Writer Liz Seccuro has also claimed that she was gang raped at the same house back in 1984–and that story is a small section of the original Rolling Stone article you can still read here (although it has the “Note To Our Readers” inserted above it). The majority of rape survivors, of course, are not liars.]

Earlier today, news broke that the UVA faculty would be proposing to extend the ban of fraternities throughout the remainder of the school year while an investigation into the crime happened. No news of whether or not that proposal has been removed from the table.

Bad news for Rolling Stone as they’ll probably get hit with a defamation lawsuit, but UVA has got to breathing a very small sigh of relief. It has not been a good year for the board of trustees. The awful murder of their student, plus two suicides, is tragic enough news.

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