Rolling Stone Admits Big Problems in UVa Rape Story

Magazine apologizes as 'discrepancies' emerge in alleged victim's account
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2014 12:40 PM CST
Rolling Stone Admits Big Problems in UVa Rape Story
Protestors carry signs in front of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia on Nov. 22.   (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Ryan M. Kelly)

A bombshell article by Rolling Stone about a gang rape at the University of Virginia is quickly unraveling. The magazine today issued a note to readers that casts doubt on the credibility of the alleged victim, a student identified only as Jackie. "There now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced," says the note. Managing editor Will Dana says the magazine regrets "the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account," a lapse that had come under heavy scrutiny after the story's publication. "We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story."

Among the problems: Frat Phi Kappa Psi says it didn't host a party on Sept. 28, 2012, the night Jackie says the assault by seven men took place in a bedroom, reports the Washington Post. Also, no member of the frat seems to match Jackie's descriptions. The newspaper says that several of Jackie's close friends now doubt her account because of changing details and other inconsistencies, as do campus advocates on the issue of sex assault. Jackie herself, though, stands by the story. “I never asked for this” attention, she tells the Post. “What bothers me is that so many people act like it didn’t happen. It’s my life. I have had to live with the fact that it happened every day for the last two years.” (More University of Virginia stories.)

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