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Dec 09, 2014 12:42 PM EST

'Jackie's' Former UVa Roommate Backs Up Sexual Assault Claim in Op-Ed (READ)


Rolling Stone may have had holes poked throughout their University of Virginia (UVa) gang rape article, but "Jackie's" former roommate says that does not mean the story is not true.

In an op-ed for the Cavalier Daily student-run newspaper, Emily Clark backed up her former roommate's claim of going "through a traumatizing sexual assault." She argued that Rolling Stone was not the party that misplaced their trust, but that it was Jackie who told her story to the wrong people.

"I remember my first semester here, and I remember Jackie's. Jackie came to UVA bright, happy and bubbly. She was kind, funny, outgoing, friendly, and a pleasant person to be around," Clark wrote. "That all notably changed by December 2012, and I wasn't the only one who noticed. Our suite bonded that first semester and talked many times about the new troubles we were facing in college. Jackie never mentioned anything about her assault to us until much later. But I, as well as others, noticed Jackie becoming more and more withdrawn and depressed."

According to the Huffington Post, Jackie's friends and support system never questioned her story. Julia Horowitz, assistant managing editor at the Cavalier Daily, wrote for Politico recently that Rolling Stone's piece may have been sensationalized, but it certainly contains some truth.

Some sexual assault survivors and advocates for policy reform believe Rolling Stone's public backtracking on their unwavering support of Jackie will set back their efforts. What Horowitz and Clark pieces represent is that Rolling Stone made an editorial gaffe, notably pointed out by several other publications. That does not mean Jackie's story is not true, they argue.

For their ground-breaking article, the magazine's editorial team acknowledged that they made a mistake in not seeking out the men who Jackie said assaulted her. Rolling Stone also apparently did not try to contact the man who Jackie said led her to the party where the assault occurred. As it turns out, that party did not take place on the night in question and the man did not belong to the fraternity in question.

Despite the recent developments, both UVa officials and the Charlottesville Police are still looking into the matter.

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