(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Virginia told ABC News Monday that the fraternity feels vindicated after Charlottesville, Virginia, police said their investigation found “no evidence” of an alleged rape at the fraternity house.
Stephen Scipione, president of the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, said in a statement, “These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must have dealt to survivors of sexual assault.”
He continued, “We hope that Rolling Stone’s actions do not discourage any survivors from coming forward to seek the justice they deserve.”
Phi Psi has been working with the Charlottesville police throughout the investigation, the statement said.
“Following the publication of the defamatory article, the chapter launched an extensive internal investigation, which quickly confirmed that the horrific events described in the Rolling Stone article did not occur,” the statement said. “Both the Virginia Alpha chapter and Phi Psi’s national organization adhere to a strict zero tolerance policy in regards to sexual assault.”
Phi Psi said it is “exploring its legal options to address the extensive damage caused by Rolling Stone.”
The woman, identified as “Jackie,” alleged in a Rolling Stone article that she was gang-raped by seven men at a UVA Phi Psi fraternity party on Sept. 28, 2012.
But police said Monday they were not able to conclude that an incident occurred at Phi Psi that night.
Police said “we can’t say something didn’t happen” to her, but they have “no basis” to conclude anything happened at Phi Psi.
During the investigation, police talked to about 70 people, including Jackie’s friends and fraternity members, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said. Investigators talked to nine of the 11 Phi Psi members living in the house at the time, and none of them knew Jackie or had any knowledge of the alleged assault, Longo said.
Police also found no evidence that a party or event took place at Phi Psi on Sept. 28, 2012, noting that a time-stamped photo from that night shows the house practically empty, Longo said.
In January, a police investigation cleared Phi Psi of any involvement in the alleged rape and the fraternity was reinstated on campus.
Longo noted on Monday that the case is not closed, but is suspended until they are able to gather more information.
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