Special Reports

Did The University Of Virginia Ask A Student To Retract Her Rape Accusations?


Last year, the Internet went into a frenzy when a Rolling Stone magazine article reported a group sexual assault at the University of Virginia (UVa). The now-retracted article, which was published on Nov. 19, 2014, was written by Sabrina Erdely.

It was claimed in the article that several members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the school had raped a woman named Jackie. The act was said to have happened during a chapter house party as part of an initiation rite.

However, as other journalists checked the claims, they found major discrepancies. This led to Rolling Stone issuing multiple apologies for the story.

The issue has been brought up once again since, according to BuzzFeed News, the retraction of the University of Virginia sexual assault story is now being debated in federal court. UVa dean Nicole Eramo is suing Rolling Stone for libel and asking for $7.5 million in damages.

She argued that the writer, Sabrina Erdely, defamed her in the article through the portrayal of her response to the alleged group sexual assault. The trial moved into closing arguments on Tuesday.

Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder and publisher, admitted that he disagreed with the managing editor then, Will Dana, when it was announced that the magazine was "officially retracting" the entire article. Wenner described it as "inaccurate" and said that "we do not retract the whole story."

"To withdraw a retraction would seem to be an assertion that Rolling Stone is standing by the story," Michael C. Dorf, a Chicago-based attorney, said. "The only possible reason I could think for doing this is that Rolling Stone is going to try to use truth, the ultimate libel defense, as its trial strategy."

According to The Daily Progress, an attorney of the University of Virginia has asked a student to disavow the Rolling Stone story. Apparently, Jackie did not inform the university of her allegations nor did she identify the fraternity in question.

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