After a four month investigation, police have stated that they believe that there is not sufficient evidence to continue investigating the case of “Jackie” being allegedly gang raped at the University of Virginia (UVA) in 2012. Their news conference on Monday provided the public with the little information that they had, but stated that there was no basis to conclude that anything happened, even stating that there was no evidence that a party even occurred on the night in question. Police Chief Timothy Longo stated that he could not prove the case either way but that until someone else came forward with new evidence that he could not move the investigation further.
The investigation began in an uproar. It all started when an article was published in Rolling Stone magazine. The article, A Rape on Campus, told the horrific story of how a freshman, Jackie, was raped by seven members of Phi Kappa Psi at a frat party on September 28, 2012. The article stated that Jackie went on a date with a man named Drew but was eventually led to her gang rape at UVA. The article also stated that UVA failed to take action.
After being published in November, the article sparked national debate over the insecurity of college campuses. It put UVA and Phi Kappa Psi under direct scrutiny, a move which now has Rolling Stone backtracking and making public apologies. After the police announcement that there was no evidence, Rolling Stone has issued statements that they will be investigating to see “what went wrong.” A spokesperson said that they will be publishing a review of the story on April 8. After the story was published, the fraternity was suspended pending investigation. Phi Kappa Psi hinted at a possible law suit against the magazine, though no word of specific intentions has come yet. Now, sources state that the fraternity has publicly stated that they are considering their legal options. Though UVA was upset at their new founded spotlight, this article was only the most recent problem for them.
UVA has had a bad couple of years. Security around the area seems to be a problem for them. In the past, two students have gone missing and were later found dead, including the disappearance of Hannah Graham. UVA also experienced spotlight when Martese Johnson, an African-American student, was beaten bloody by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents, during his arrest. This sparked racial tensions at the campus.
Teresa Sullivan, UVA’s president, has made several public statements about the matter of security since the article first appeared. In her most recent statement, she listed steps that she would be taking to better security at UVA, including changing the rules of fraternity houses and their parties. Some of the rules include the demand that at least three fraternity members be sober at every party, the forbearance of beer kegs being present at any party, and the demand that security workers be present during parties. But the battle for UVA is far from over.
Police worked hard to find evidence for the rape case. One of the biggest pieces of evidence against the allegations was a photograph that police found that was time-stamped on the night of September 28, 2012. In the photograph the doorway was empty, leading police to believe that a party never even occurred on that night. Police stated that the victim, Jackie, did not cooperate with them and that they even had trouble locating some of the frat party members, like Jackie’s supposed date named Drew. According to sources, police talked to 70 people to try and get specific information about what may have happened that night, but no one claimed to know anything about a rape.
Police Chief Longo stated that their lack of information does not necessarily mean that a rape did not occur. He said it may be likely that something did happen to Jackie, and the fact that she did not cooperate is only normal behavior for a rape victim. He asked anyone with more information to come forward, but until the police have more information the investigation into Jackie’s story has been suspended.
By Crystal Boulware