University Of Virginia Student’s Catfishing Scheme Revealed
A University of Virginia student named Jackie appears to have used internet phone services to fabricate the identity of a man she says she was going on a date with on the night she claims she was gang-raped by seven fraternity members.
The fabrication of the man, who Jackie told her friends was named Haven Monahan, adds another layer of intrigue to a bizarre saga which has unfolded after the publication of a Rolling Stone article written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who is now in hiding because of fallout from the largely-debunked piece.
Monahan appears to have come into existence soon after Jackie was romantically rejected by one of her friends, Ryan Duffin.
Duffin, along with two other friends of Jackie’s — Alex Stock and Kathryn Hendley — feature prominently in Erdely’s article.
“She did not take it well,” Duffin told The Daily Caller last week of Jackie’s response to the rejection. “There was a lot of crying involved.”
Soon after that, Jackie began talking about Monahan, a third-year student she claimed had a crush on her. Intrigued, the friends asked for Monahan’s phone number, and Jackie complied by giving it to them.
The friends began corresponding with Monahan, who often steered conversations back to Duffin, the friends told The Washington Times.
Despite claiming she was not interested in the man, Jackie told the friends she was going on a date with him on the night she later said she was gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi house party. Jackie initially told Erdely that she had gone on a date that night with a third-year student named “Drew” she said she knew from her job as a lifeguard at the school’s swimming pool.
At around 1 a.m. on the night of the date, Jackie called Duffin saying that something bad had happened to her. He called Stock and Hendley, and all three met up with her somewhere on campus. The trio recall Jackie saying that she had been forced to perform oral sex on five men that night. She also said she did not want to go to the police and instead wanted to go back to her dorm room.
The friends said they never questioned Jackie’s story until it appeared in the Rolling Stone article. Before that, the furthest they had gone to investigate Monahan was to search for him in the school’s database, which yielded no matches.
But The Washington Times obtained the phone numbers the friends used to correspond with Monahan and found that they were registered to two internet phone services which allow users to send text messages without cellphones. The services can also be used to engage in spoofing.
One number was registered to an internet service called Pinger which allows users to send text messages from the internet or iPads using untraceable numbers.
Duffin told The Times he initially received no response when he sent a text message to the first number Jackie had provided. Instead, he received a text from someone claiming to be Monahan who said he was texting from a friend’s phone.
After that, Monahan said he would begin texting from a third phone, a Blackberry. It was from the Blackberry which Duffin received a picture of a man purported to be Monahan — a man who The Washington Post recently found was actually a high school classmate of Jackie’s who claims he barely knew her.
According to The Times, the three phone numbers were listed under “internet phone” in an online database. Two were labeled “Pinger Internet Phone,” and another was listed under “Enflick Internet Phone.”
Enflick describes itself as “the world’s first all-IP cloud based mobile phone carrier.”
The Times also found that the Blackberry number Duffin corresponded with ended with the domain address, @textfree.us, which is associated with Pinger.
Duffin told TheDC last week that after the night of the alleged incident, he received an email from the address Haven.Monahan@yahoo.com in which a person claiming to be Monahan told him how much Jackie thought of him. The address no longer exists, and no online footprint is attached to it.
“That definitely raises some red flags,” Stock told The Times of the internet phone numbers. “I think as more details come out I definitely feel a little more skeptical. This is all new territory for me. I’m not too technologically savvy.”
“Wow, really? That’s interesting,” Hendley told The Times after being informed of the scheme. “It’s news to me.”
“I think as the story has moved along it has raised some new doubts,” she continued. “I honestly wish I could just talk to her sometimes and ask her myself or at least tell her that I hope she’s all right.”
Jackie’s gang-rape allegation has had massive consequences on campus, albeit not for her. UVA president Teresa Sullivan announced the suspension of all Greek activities for the rest of the semester. Phi Kappa Psi suspended its activities as well. Their fraternity house was also vandalized after the article was first published.