The 9,000-word story, titled “A Rape on Campus,” focused on the alleged gang rape of a freshman named “Jackie” in 2012. This review left a horrible taste in readers mouths and now the magazine is preparing to publish an independent review by Columbia University of what went wrong in the making of the story. For UVA, that means yet another round of news coverage that could be both even worse than before.
“Rolling Stone didn’t do its job,” said UVA student body president Abraham Axler. “And in some ways our community was responsible for the cleanup of that mistake, and that’s what people are angry about.”
But by early December, the gang rape story had unraveled. Amid mounting doubts about some of the details in Jackie’s story — seven attackers over a period of hours — and widespread criticism of Rolling Stone’s decision not to contact the alleged rapists, the magazine apologized and said it would investigate further. The police said they couldn’t find any evidence that the rape happened, but said it was definitely a possibility that something very traumatic happened and Jackie has not spoken publicly about the incident.
But “the reality of campus rape is that around 70% of sexual assaults are by an acquaintance or someone the person knows, alcohol is usually present, and it is rare (if it happens at all) to see any sort of beat down (especially one to the degree of the fabricated story),” Alex Pinkleton, a friend of Jackie’s wrote in an email.
It is extremely shocking that even with the a whole story out from the publication Rolling Stone, UVA is saying that they made a huge mistake. I am even more shocked that the student body of UVA didn’t proceed into getting justice for those who were traumatized by this event.