Last month we discussed the fact that attorneys in a pending lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine over the “Jackie” rape hoax were pushing to have the discredited “victim” testify as part of the proceedings, but her lawyers were fighting against the request. They claimed that having to provide testimony could potentially “re-traumatize” her, though how that’s possible if she wasn’t actually traumatized the first time was not explained.
There’s a quick update for your consideration today because the judge in the case is apparently having none of it and determined that she will be deposed anyway. (CNN)
The woman identified only as “Jackie” will be deposed on Thursday by attorneys representing Rolling Stone and Nicole Eramo, the University of Virginia administrator who is suing the magazine and the author of the now-retracted article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely…
Attorneys for Jackie had resisted the deposition, arguing that she would be re-victimized if forced to recount the incident under oath and it could bring her “extreme psychological” and “irreparable harm.”
At a hearing held Monday in a Charlottesville, Virginia, Judge Glen E. Conrad denied a motion filed by Jackie’s attorneys to quash the deposition subpoena.
When I first read about the initial request and tentative refusal on Jackie’s part I thought that was pretty much the end of the story. There is apparently no mechanism to prosecute someone for a false rape allegation when it isn’t directed at an actual human being, as opposed to a fictional character which the accuser made up based on some text messaging partner. Without finding her to have officially lied, it seemed as if the court would have to treat her as still being at least a potential victim and I assumed they would bow to her wishes. The judge, however, has surprised me by finding a middle ground.
First of all, the deposition won’t take place in the courtroom where the public could see her. (And we might finally be able to officially identify her in stories such as this, though everyone is pretty much 100% sure of her identity already anyway.) Attorneys for Ms. Eramo will be able to depose her for five hours per day for two days, but the depositions will be sealed so we won’t even get to find out what happened when this stage is complete. Of course, it’s possible that none of it will have much – if anything – to do with the alleged gang rape because the suit deals primarily with the accusations that Eramo was insufficiently cooperative and helpful in the aftermath of the “attack.”
One gets the feeling that sooner or later this entire farce will fall down the memory hole. Even if there is some satisfaction provided to the fraternity and to Eramo, it will be in the form of beating up Rolling Stone for their horrid reporting rather than calling out the accuser for fabricating the story. This doesn’t really solve anything in the larger scheme of things because it does nothing to deter others from making such spectacular false claims in the future.