Monday, March 23, 2015

Rolling Stone Rape Allegation: No Evidence, According to Police

Charlottesville police find no evidence in U-Va. sexual assault case

Statement Analysis has been added to this WP article:  


Students walk through an outdoor corridor on the University of Virginia campus on Dec. 6, 2014. The day before, Rolling Stone magazine issued an apology for discrepancies that were published in an article regarding the alleged gang rape of a University of Virginia student by members of a campus fraternity. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
This post has been updated.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. — Police here say they have found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012, noting that months of investigation led detectives to discredit several claims about the alleged assault.

Police Chief Timothy J. Longo on Monday afternoon said the police department had multiple meetings with “Jackie” — the woman who claimed she was gang raped at a fraternity party — and that she declined to speak about the alleged incident or provide any information about it. Numerous lines of inquiry yielded evidence that the fraternity did not have a party the night of the alleged attack, and police were unable to find anyone matching the description of the alleged attacker.

“We’re 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,” Longo said at a news conference. “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.”

The announcement came after a five-month investigation spurred by allegations of a brutal fraternity house gang-rape described in a 9,000-word magazine account that went viral online in November. The Rolling Stone report unraveled under scrutiny, as the accuser’s version of events was publicly challenged by her friends, members of the fraternity and sexual assault advocates on campus. After Washington Post reports revealed flaws in the account, Rolling Stone’s editors backed away from it.
Longo’s statement was the first official discrediting of the account, but he said he would keep the investigation open in case witnesses wanted to come forward with anything that might lead police to any information about an attack.

The Rolling Stone article examined allegations of sexual assault at U-Va. and what it characterized as the administration’s apparent lackluster response; the article fueled an ongoing national debate about the prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses. The article focused on a junior named Jackie who told the pop culture magazine that she was attacked by seven men during a party at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in 2012 after she went on a date with one of the men.

In interviews with The Post, Jackie said that she stood by the account she provided to Rolling Stone.

“I never asked for this attention, she said in an interview. “What bothers me is that so many people act like it didn’t happen. It’s my life. I have had to live with the fact that it happened — every day for the last two years.”

Note the order of what bothers her, within her words.  It is not the assault that bothers her first, but:  

1.  That so many people act like it didn't happen
2  I have had to live with the fact that it happened every day for the last two years



Jackie also told The Post that she never expected that a police investigation would be fruitful, saying numerous times that she did not expect any charges in her case. She said she knew there was little, if any, forensic evidence that could prove the allegations two years afterward.
A Post investigation into the claims found significant inconsistencies in the account. Phi Psi fraternity members strongly rebutted the allegations, saying they did not have a party on the night in question and did not have a member fitting the description of the alleged attacker; an alleged attacker — who Jackie told friends she was on a date with that night — turned out not to be a U-Va. student, had not been in Charlottesville in years, attends another school in another state, and said he barely knew Jackie; and Jackie’s friends told The Post that her version of events to the magazine did not match what they saw on the night she claims she was assaulted.

Police said they confirmed these same findings. They also said that an alleged physical assault Jackie reported — when she told police that four men followed her and then threw a bottle at her face — had significant inconsistencies. It was at that time — in spring 2014 — that police twice asked Jackie about the alleged sexual assault at the urging of a university officials, and Jackie declined to talk to police about it.

After the Rolling Stone article published, Longo’s force began investigating the claims at the behest of University President Teresa A. Sullivan. He said they were “horrific allegations,” and police immediately went to work. He said Jackie agreed to an interview with police after Thanksgiving break, but on Dec. 2 went to the department with a lawyer and declined to give police a statement, answer any questions, or give police access to her university records.

Detectives interviewed numerous Phi Kappa Psi members, including most of those who lived in the house in September 2012, at the time of the alleged attack. Longo said they found photographs of the house the night in question that show it empty and reviewed other records that indicate the house had no party on the night Jackie said she went to a party there, was lured upstairs and was attacked.

Longo also said police interviewed Jackie’s friends who met with her the night she said she left the fraternity bloody and shaken; they told police what they told The Post, that she was not physically injured and met them in a different location than was described in the Rolling Stone account.
Police also investigated the name for an alleged attacker — Haven Monahan – a name that Jackie gave her friends as the person she was going on a date with that night. That name that did not match anyone at the fraternity or at the University of Virginia, and police were unable to determine if such a person exists.

"Haven Monahan" cannot come into her language from a vacuum.  All language must come from somewhere:  


Late last year, The Post pursued information about that same name, which ultimately appeared to be a combination of names belonging to people Jackie interacted with while in high school in Northern Virginia, both of them swimmers. Both of those people – who attend different colleges and bear no resemblance to the description Jackie gave of her attacker – said in interviews that they knew of Jackie but did not know her well and certainly did not have contact with her after she left for U-Va.

The Post also obtained a photograph that was purportedly of Monahan and determined that that photograph was of a third person, a student who attended high school with Jackie. That other person – also a swimmer – is a student at a different college out of state and was competing in an athletic event on the date of the alleged attack. He said he had not been in Charlottesville for at least six years and never had any sort of a relationship with Jackie. 
He expressed shock that his photograph was used in connection with the allegations and asked not to be identified for his safety.

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner announced in December that Columbia University would examine the magazine’s reporting of the U-Va. story. Columbia journalism school dean Stephen Coll told The Post that the school’s investigation will be published in Rolling Stone in the next two weeks.

7 comments:

Curiouser said...

I saw this and was wondering if you knew anything about the case?

Norfolk police arrested the father of a missing Virginia teen on Saturday after he broke into a home and punched a dog.

Wesley Hadsell, 36, said he was looking for clues in the disappearance of his 18-year-old daughter, Anjelica, who went missing March 2. He's convinced Anjelica was kidnapped, and broke into the home of the person he believes took his daughter against her will, police said.

"I want my daughter home," Hadsell told WAVY. "That's what I want, and that's all I want. Anybody who wants to say something about that or get in the way of that, then I'm sorry. So what, some ways are unorthodox. I didn't have anything to do with her disappearance. I don't know where she's at."

My Sew Imperfect Life said...

Peter, could you please do an analysis of the step-father of AJ's statements? I think you could bring real insight into the case. She is still missing, and he keeps talking...It's already been transcribed & is under the 1st AJ thread. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

People who make up phony stories sure have a tendency to go overboard.

Lis said...

Here's a quote for you:

Hadsell told WAVY he found his daughter’s jacket in the couch, rolled up behind a cushion. Hadsell said, “I was just trying to make the evidence come to light. It’s not like I had the jacket, I didn’t plant the jacket, I didn’t know anything about that. It was the fact of the overwhelming information that led me there.”

Hmmmm.

rob said...

I'm guessing this girl wanted to bring attention to sexual attacks that do happen on campus, the same way that Charlie wanted to bring attention to violence against gays.
Too bad they don't see their actions as being as bad as what they are wanting to high-light.

Jenn said...

Mr. Hyatt,

I am a DomVi victim. For years, I was called a liar and an exaggerator. I brought my ex up on charges and then dropped charges out of fear and perceived lack of support. One day, I recorded the bastard.

He and his lawyer pled guilty in response to my evidence and got a plea deal...do you know to this day, he STILL denies hurting me? Since I got a PFA, letting my recordings "leak out" to the people he's lying to is verboten and so I am STILL accused of lying and his story to everyone is that he pled guilty to avoid a worse sentence.

This man beat me, dragged me down the hallway by my hair, choked me, threatened and began to run into me with the car, URINATED on me and talked about "chopping me into lttle pieces."

The denial infuriates me.
The accusations that *I* am the liar INFURIATE me.

In my situation, the sheer insanity of bullshit made it so that at times, I began to doubt my own memory of the incidents. The gaslighting is so severe and it works. I hold onto these recordings as a reminder that I am NOT crazy and no matter what he says, IT HAPPENED.

I realize there are other reason's to call Jackie's account into question but please don't be biased by the valitity of the unrest caused by being doubted when you ARE telling the truth. The sheer mindfuck of my experience is what STUCK once the immediate threat of bodily harm was gone.

Peter Hyatt said...

Jenn,

I am sorry for what you went through.

There are those people who willfully choose not to believe the truth and should you have video tape evidence, they would turn their eyes away and deny what is before them.

Those like this are not worth a second thought, nor an explanation from you.

You bear the emotional scars of such brutality.

You owe them nothing.

Peter