Judge: Fraternity lawsuit against Rolling Stone will continue

Rolling Stone magazine asked a judge to toss out a $25 million lawsuit brought by the fraternity named in the infamous article “A Rape on Campus” which the magazine published in 2014. The Associated Press reports the judge in the case refused to toss out the lawsuit:

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia filed a defamation lawsuit against the magazine last year over the now discredited article “A Rape on Campus.” The story described in chilling detail a student’s account of being raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in September 2012.

Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore said in his decision released Thursday that the statements made about the fraternity in the story could reasonably be considered defamatory.

In June, a different judge dismissed a lawsuit by three members of the same fraternity saying the connection was “too vague and remote.” Those three individuals were not identified by name in the original article. Meanwhile a $7.8 million lawsuit brought by  UVA Associate Dean Nicole Eramo is still going forward. Eramo was named in the story and portrayed as indifferent to the suffering of rape victims on campus.

In the Rolling Stone story, “Jackie” (the pseudonym used in the article) was invited on a date by an upper-classman who brought her to a party at the frat house and then participated in her gang-rape, along with several other fraternity members, during which she was smashed into a glass table.

Jackie’s story fell apart shortly after it was published. The fraternity had not held a party that night. More significantly, the mysterious upperclassman, with the name “Haven Monahan,” who Jackie claimed had taken her on the date that night, did not exist. Photos Jackie had shown her friends of “Haven” turned out to be an old high school classmate of hers who did not attend UVA.

An investigation into the alleged rape by police found “no evidence” to support Jackie’s account.

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