Report Shreds 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story, But Many On Campus Have Moved On A review of a story about an alleged rape is the latest in a long saga for the U. of Virginia. The fraternity implicated in the story plans to sue; advocates say fewer rape victims are coming forward.
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Report Shreds 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story, But Many On Campus Have Moved On

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Report Shreds 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story, But Many On Campus Have Moved On

Report Shreds 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story, But Many On Campus Have Moved On

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/397835270/397891205" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At the University of Virginia today, the Columbia report was one more chapter in a long, troubling story for the campus. From member station WVTF, Sandy Hausman reports.

SANDY HAUSMAN, BYLINE: While the Rolling Stone story itself prompted huge buzz at the university last November, Columbia's analysis did not appear to be fodder for conversation at the campus food court this afternoon. Of 30 students questioned, only three had discussed or even seen the report.

ALEX STOCK: I think people are burnt out to be honest. I mean, a week ago, the chief of police had his press conference, and this is basically saying what the chief of police said.

HAUSMAN: That's Alex Stock, a business major and one of three friends that Rolling Stone says counseled Jackie after the alleged assault. He was portrayed as more concerned about the school's reputation than Jackie's well-being. But Stock says that was not the case, and reporter Sabrina Erdely never called him.

STOCK: Initially, when I sort of told people, you know, this is me, and that's not an accurate portrayal - at least of myself, a lot of people didn't believe me. They thought, you know, well, this has to be true. I mean, just look at - you know, the Rolling Stone published it and how dare you question this?

HAUSMAN: Had reporter Erdely talked with him and other friends, Stock says Rolling Stone's story might have been very different.

STOCK: You know, we would have talked about how Jackie's credibility has been sort of a question for us for a long time, and that she might have done some of the investigation that happened after the fact before publishing the article, which is probably what should have happened.

HAUSMAN: At the local Sexual Assault Resource Agency, director Rebecca Weybright says the story has prompted more discussion about rape on campus, but she says fewer people are now willing to report assaults.

REBECCA WEYBRIGHT: Hopefully the fact that there is more discussion and there is more awareness of this issue, that will make things better in the future. But I think in terms of survivors feeling like they'll be believed, there's been some significant damage.

HAUSMAN: And the fraternity where Jackie was allegedly assaulted also claims damage. Phi Kappa Psi announced today it would sue Rolling Stone. Local attorney Lloyd Snook, who has followed affairs at UVA for more than 30 years, says he would have advised the fraternity not to sue.

LLOYD SNOOK: Number one, it's very unlikely that they would be successful, and number two, that they would, by doing so, make relevant every single complaint that everybody's ever had about Phi Psi and sexual misconduct at Phi Psi.

HAUSMAN: Still, the fraternity accused Rolling Stone of reckless reporting. Virginia's governor described in abject failure of accountability in journalism. And the university's president said the article did nothing to combat sexual violence and had damaged serious efforts to address the issue. For NPR News, I'm Sandy Hausman in Charlottesville.

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