Conservatives and those who will claim to be interested in “evidence” and “reason” will tell you that because we are dealing here with a claim that can be proven or disproven such facts are vital. This misses the point entirely. As Salon’s Katie McDonough points out, Jackie’s friends are merely creating “cover for the same tired bullshit: derailing public conversations about rape so that we will talk about virtually anything else.”

The accused fraternity, which the Post records has been “vilified, had its house vandalized and ultimately suspended all of its activities,” released a statement “denying that such an assault took place in its house,” and is now “working with police to determine whether the account of a brutal rape at a party there was true.” Thus far, it has “reviewed the roster of employees,” confirmed that it “did not host ‘a date function or social event’ during the weekend of Sept. 28, 2012,” and recorded that “no ritualized sexual assault is part of our pledging or initiating process.”

This approach is all wrong, and the fraternity should be ashamed of itself. As Amanda Marcotte notes, “people who worry how a rape accusation can ruin a man’s life don’t worry about how accusing a woman of lying can do the same.” It’s downright appalling that, despite this, those who have been charged in public of planning and executing terrible crimes would stoop to the level of refuting these claims or attempting to verify them independently. Are they not aware of what such a process could do to the reputation of a victim who has merely leveled dubious accusations, or, for that matter, to the cause of social justice in general?