In November 2014, Rolling Stone published an article titled “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” that recounted the alleged gang-rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia frat house in 2012. Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity named in the article, suspended the activities of its UVA chapter the day after the article was published and the UVA president, facing pressure from the outraged community, suspended all Greek organizations temporarily.
After the initial outrage, some began questioning the article’s credibility and only a month after its publication, the story quickly began to unravel. The accused fraternity reported that it hadn’t hosted any functions on the day of the alleged sexual assault and Jackie’s friends told the Washington Post that they were beginning to doubt her story.
Rolling Stone has since retracted the story and apologized extensively for its inaccuracies and the cursory (or complete lack of) research done to corroborate the story. Jackie and her friends still maintain that she was sexually assaulted, but not in the manner, at the place, or by the people mentioned in the article. In January of 2015, local police reported that they were “not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house or any other fraternity house, for that matter,” adding, "That doesn’t mean something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie … we’re just not able to gather sufficient facts to determine what that is.”
In April of 2015, the UVA chapter of Phi Kappa Psi announced its plan to move forward with a lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine for its false allegations and the harm it caused the organization.
Image via Bob Mical