(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, unveiled the results Monday of an investigation into an alleged rape at the University of Virginia and noted that authorities found “no evidence” that allegations detailed in a controversial Rolling Stone article in November 2014 were true.
“We have no evidence that supports those assertions” in the article, police said.
Police said they were not “able to conclude any substantive degree that an incident” occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi house on Sept. 28, 2012.
The woman, identified as “Jackie,” alleged in the article that she was gang-raped by seven men at a UVA Phi Kappa Psi fraternity party in September 2012.
But the magazine quickly backpedaled on the story and Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana said the author of the feature, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not talk to any of the students involved in the alleged rape before publishing the story out of respect for Jackie.
“We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account,” Dana wrote in a letter published on the magazine’s website. “We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.”
In a series of tweets in December, Dana said, “We made a judgment — the kind of judgement reporters and editors make every day. And in this case, our judgement was wrong.”
“We should have either not made this agreement with Jackie…or worked harder to convince her that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story,” Dana continued. “That failure is on us — not on her.”
University President Teresa Sullivan also released a statement at the time, saying that university officials are “first and foremost concerned with the care and support of our students and, especially, any survivor of sexual assault.”
In January, a police investigation cleared Phi Psi of any involvement in the alleged rape and the fraternity was reinstated on campus.
The Columbia University Journalism School is also conducting a review of the Rolling Stone article and is expected to release its findings in the next few weeks.
Erdley has not spoken.
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