Yesterday I wrote this:
More on the UVA rape story
I think I’ve made my point that the UVA rape story doesn’t hold up. Something may have happened at UVA — things do happen at drunken frat parties — but it almost certainly wasn’t what’s described in the now infamous Rolling Stones story. I’ll just throw a fact in: Little Bookworm has a friend who’s a Sophomore at UVA. He told her that the story is bunk. The accused fraternity didn’t have a party — any party — on the night claimed. Moreover, to the extent the party is alleged to have been a “pledge party,” those take place in a different time of year than the alleged rape party.
Today, the Washington Post reports this:
A lawyer for the University of Virginia fraternity whose members were accused of a brutal gang rape said Friday that the organization will release a statement rebutting the claims printed in a Rolling Stone article about the incident. Several of the woman’s close friends and campus sex assault awareness advocates said that they also doubt the published account.
Officials close to the fraternity said that the statement will indicate that Phi Kappa Psi did not host a party on Sept. 28, 2012, the night that a university student named Jackie alleges she was invited to a date party, lured into an upstairs room and was then ambushed and gang-raped by seven men who were rushing the fraternity.
The officials also said that no members of the fraternity were employed at the university’s Aquatic Fitness Center during that time frame — a detail Jackie provided in her account to Rolling Stone and in interviews with The Washington Post — and that no member of the house matches the description detailed in the Rolling Stone account.
To toot my own horn, I’ve been in the lead on this story every step of the way. It all started because I’m a big fan of the Rules of Evidence. Although the rules are all codified now, they’re actually the result of hundreds of years of experience in courtrooms in the English-speaking world. Jurists observing human nature came to certain conclusions about the indicators of reliability and, from those indicators, created the evidentiary rules on which our American judicial system relies.
The Rolling Stones story barely satisfied the first person narrative indicator and failed at all others. Its probative value was virtually nil. That set off my alarm bells, and I seem to have been proven correct. Whatever happened at the University of Virginia isn’t what Rolling Stones reports.