The University of Virginia fraternity at the center of a gang-rape accusation made in a Rolling Stone article published in November has been reinstated by the school after police investigators found no evidence that the assault occurred at the fraternity’s house.
The fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, has also been reinstated, effective immediately, university president Teresa Sullivan announced on Monday.
“The reinstatement resulted after consultation with Charlottesville Police Department officials, who told the University that their investigation has not revealed any substantive basis to confirm that the allegations raised in the Rolling Stone article occurred at Phi Kappa Psi,” according to a press release at UVA Today.
Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants tells The Daily Caller that an investigation is still ongoing.
“UVA just reinstated Phi Kappa Psi, because we found no basis that the alleged incident occurred at that fraternity. We are still a couple weeks away from completion,” Pleasants told TheDC.
The investigation into Phi Kappa Psi was sparked after Rolling Stone reported about claims made by a UVA student named Jackie who claimed she was gang-raped on Sept. 28, 2012 by seven members of Phi Kappa Psi.
Jackie told Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely that her gang-rape was coordinated by a Phi Kappa Psi member named “Drew” whom she knew from her job as a lifeguard at the school. Jackie claimed that “Drew” instructed his fraternity brothers to rape her in an upstairs room at a fraternity house party. Jackie claimed that the men punched her, and raped her on top of broken glass. She also claimed one man raped her with a glass bottle.
But Jackie’s story — and Erdely’s reporting methods — came under intense scrutiny, and her story eventually crumbled. Three of Jackie’s friends who came to her aid on the night in question told reporters that she never claimed she was violently gang-raped. She said she was forced to perform oral sex on five men. Jackie also did not mention a fraternity to her friends at the time.
It also came to light that Jackie told her friends that she was going on a date with a UVA student named “Haven Monahan” the night in question. It turned out that no person named Haven Monahan ever attended UVA and that, in all likelihood, Jackie fabricated him.
But Jackie’s story sent shock waves through the UVA community, as well as across the U.S.
Phi Kappa Psi was suspended pending an investigation into the gang-rape. Their fraternity house was also vandalized by angry students.
UVA administrators have done little to address the damage done to Phi Kappa Psi, having so far refused to apologize to the fraternity.
That did not change with President Sullivan’s statement on Monday, in which she focused on increasing safety measures for students.
“We welcome Phi Kappa Psi, and we look forward to working with all fraternities and sororities in enhancing and promoting a safe environment for all,” Sullivan said in a statement.
The reinstatement comes after Sullivan’s decision last week to put in place guidelines aimed at improving safety for students at Greek-life events.
“In today’s 24-hour news cycle, we must guard against a rush to judgment as we often don’t have all of the facts in front of us,” Stephen Scipione, president of Phi Kappa Psi at UVA, told UVA Today.
“We believe that in the midst of this ordeal, there is an opportunity to move forward with important safety improvements. This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in this problem. It’s opened all of our eyes to the problem of sexual assault,” Scipione continued. “Now it’s time to do something about it. As a fraternity, we are going to continue discussing that need in the coming weeks.”