Virginia Police Find No Evidence of Alleged UVA Rape Reported in Rolling Stone


The University of Virginia is pictured. (Credit: WTVR)

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[Breaking news update 11:42 a.m.]

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Long said investigators did not find evidence to support that a sexual assault happened at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia in September of 2012. Police began investigating after Rolling Stone last November published a story detailing the account of “Jackie,” a college student who said she was raped at the Phi Kappa Psi house. Long also noted that just because police found no evidence to support the article’s content, “That doesn’t mean that something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie” on the day in question,” he said, only that law enforcement were unable to gather facts to legally prove it.

[Original story]

Almost five months after Rolling Stone published a controversial story detailing an alleged gang rape of a female student at the University of Virginia, police in Charlottesville will announce their findings at 2 p.m. ET Monday.

Shortly after the story was published in November, large portions of it were called into question.

It told the story of “Jackie,” who said seven men in a dark room sexually assaulted her at a fraternity party.

Initially, the story sparked a national debate about rape on college campuses, and many news outlets interviewed the reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, about the piece. UVA suspended the fraternity’s activities, and outrage spread throughout campus as many struggled to comprehend the horrific experience that Jackie said she endured.

The article also suggested the school failed to respond to the alleged assault.

Weeks after the story was published, some in the media pointed to apparent discrepancies and contradictions in it. Friends of the victim said they doubted her account. Rolling Stone said it didn’t obtain the accused people’s side of the story.

Rolling Stone editors had chosen not to contact the man who allegedly orchestrated the attack on Jackie, or any of the men she said participated in it, “because the editors feared retaliation against her,” the magazine said, adding that it regretted that decision.

“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,” Rolling Stone said in December.

Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana later tweeted that “the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story.”

Rolling Stone issued an apology for discrepancies in its article and began to fact-check it. Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has been leading the independent review, CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter reported Sunday. Stelter said there has been much speculation about Coll’s findings.

Columbia University’s review will be published in early April in the magazine.

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