Sunday, January 10, 2016

More on the sensational gang rape at UVA story in Rolling Stone

This is so unbelievable, horrifying and upsetting. Even after the sensational gang rape at UVA story in Rolling Stone was thoroughly discredited, I still figured that something awful must have happened to "Jackie", and in the traumatic aftermath, she fabricated something much worse. It now appears clear that nothing whatsoever happened to her – rather, she invented everything in a demented attempt to win the affection of a fellow student. 

Ryan Duffin was a freshman at the University of Virginia when he met a student named Jackie.

Both teenagers were new to campus in September 2012, and the pair quickly became friends through a shared appreciation of alternative rock bands such as Coheed and Cambria and the Silversun Pickups. Early on, Duffin sensed that Jackie was interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with him. Duffin valued her friendship but politely rebuffed Jackie's advances for more.

Just days after he met her, Duffin said, he was goaded into a text message conversation with a U-Va. junior named "Haven Monahan," whom Jackie said she knew from a chemistry class.

What followed was what lawyers representing U-Va. associate dean Nicole Eramo described in new court documents as an elaborate scheme to win him over — a practice known as "catfishing" — that morphed into a sensational claim of gang rape at a U-Va. fraternity and a Rolling Stone story that rocked the U-Va. campus and shocked the nation.

A Charlottesville Police investigation later determined that no one named Haven Monahan had ever attended U-Va., and extensive efforts to find the person were not successful. Photographs that were texted to Duffin that were purported to be of Monahan were actually pictures depicting one of Jackie's high school classmates in Northern Virginia. That man, now a student at a university in another state, confirmed to The Post that the photographs were of him.

Police ultimately determined that no gang rape occurred, and Rolling Stone retracted its story.

"All available evidence demonstrates that 'Haven Monahan' was a fake suitor created by Jackie in a strange bid to earn the affections of a student named Ryan Duffin that Jackie was romantically interested in," Eramo's lawyers wrote in court papers filed this week.

I hope prosecutors throw the book at her. The harm she has done is incalculable, especially to the countless genuine victims of sexual assault/rape, who are now less likely to come forward and, if they do, are more likely to be disbelieved. (If I recall correctly, various studies have shown that fewer than 10% of sexual assault/rape claims are found to be meritless.)
For more on what I believe is a national crisis, I highly recommend Jon Krakauer's excellent book, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.

'Catfishing' over love interest might have spurred U-Va. gang-rape debacle

 January 8 at 5:26 PM

 Subscribe in a reader