Time for Accountability: UVA Frat Files $25 Million Lawsuit Against Rolling Stone

by David French

This is good news:

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter at the University of Virginia filed a $25 million lawsuit Monday against Rolling Stone magazine, which published an article in 2014 that alleged a freshman was gang raped at the house during a party.

The lawsuit focuses on a Rolling Stone article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which detailed a harrowing attack on a freshman named Jackie at the Phi Psi house on Sept. 28, 2012. The article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, described how Jackie was raped by seven men while two others watched in a second floor bedroom while a fraternity party raged downstairs. The article alleged that the attack was part of a hazing ritual at the long-time U-Va. fraternity.

The Washington Post found significant discrepancies in the Rolling Stone account, including that the fraternity did not host a party that night in 2012 and that a student identified by Jackie as her main attacker was never a member of the fraternity and did not attend U-Va.

The fraternity’s lawsuit isn’t the only suit against Rolling Stone:

The magazine also faces a $7.5 million federal lawsuit filed by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. associate dean who assists sexual assault survivors on campus and who alleges that she was vilified in the Rolling Stone account.

The Rolling Stone story was simply too good to check. It perfectly advanced the narrative — featuring brutal, predatory rich kids (from a southern school, no less), indifferent administrators, and a devastated victim. And, like many of the “poster child” campus rape cases of the last two years, it was fundamentally false. If campus rape is such an epidemic, why are poster kids so hard to find?

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