Rolling Stone magazine admitted fault Friday after publishing a story regarding a female student at the University of Virginia (UVA) who was allegedly gang-raped at a fraternity house. Rolling Stone indicated they regretted publishing their UVA article due to new details in the case and released an apology to their readers, the university and all parties involved.
The article which was originally published on the music magazine’s website November 19, interviewed a student who claimed to have been raped at the Phi Kappa Psi house party in September 2012. The original story titled A Rape on Campus by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, reported on a female student who was only identified as Jackie to which she detailed her alleged assault allegations. However, because of new discoveries in the UVA case Rolling Stone magazine admitted Friday they now see discrepancies in Jackie’s account.
On their website, Rolling Stone regrets the UVA article and stated that prior to publishing their article and due to the sensitive nature of Jackie’s account, the magazine decided to honor her request not to contact members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity she alleged gang raped her. The apology, written by Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana apologized to anyone that may have been affected by the original article.
Reported in the original Rolling Stone article, Jackie, a UVA freshman at the time of her allegations, a Phi Kappa Psi junior was her date during the time of the frat party. She told the Rolling Stone reporter that she willing walked to an upstairs room with her date, which the article identifies as a man named Drew.
The then 18-year-old student described being ambushed by seven men, including Drew, who she alleged participated in her three-hour assault. Jackie names Drew as the ring leader and alleges that he and one other man did not rape her, but did contribute to giving instructions and encouragement to the other five.
According to NBC News, The Washington Post reported that no current members or pledges of Phi Kappa Psi in 2012 fit the description of the men Jackie details in her account. The fraternity chapter also added that no pledging events were scheduled the time of Jackie’s alleged attack.
In a statement released by the UVA Phi Kappa Psi chapter, the fraternity denies knowledge of the allegations written in the article. According to the chapter’s statement anyone who commits any form of sexual assault will be brought to justice. The fraternity is showing full support with the Charlottesville Police Department in Virginia to investigate all accounts of the allegations.
UVA is one of 86 schools under federal investigation, however according to Rolling Stone the university is complying fully with the investigation launched in the magazine’s November article. After the original published story in the music magazine, UVA student demonstrators protested for quicker and better action against sexual attackers on campus.
According to Rolling Stone they regret the UVA article as they were trying to be sensitive to the humiliation they say many women feel after being assaulted. The magazine feels disappointed in their decision not to contact or interview Jackie’s alleged assailants. The attorney for Jackie, Palma Pustilnik with the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society stated she would not comment on the case as of yet, according to NBC News.
By Keeley Ibrahim
Photo by Bob Mical – Flickr License