Police Release Details Of UVA Rape Investigation; Claim Accuser Embellished Another Attack Story

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

Charlottesville, Va. police chief Timothy Longo said Monday that he was unable to “conclude to any substantive degree” that a University of Virginia student named Jackie was gang-raped at a fraternity party in 2012, as she told a Rolling Stone reporter for an article published in November.

Longo also revealed for the first time during a press conference that Jackie likely embellished another story involving an attack last April.

However, the police chief stated that Jackie will “absolutely not” face charges in the case. He also said that despite evidence suggesting that Jackie fabricated the story, “that doesn’t mean that something terrible didn’t happen.”

But Longo told reporters that because of a lack of information and because Jackie has refused to provide statements to the police that the investigation into the gang-rape is “suspended” rather than closed.

Jackie claimed she was gang-raped by seven members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity during a house party on Sept. 28, 2012. She said the brutal attack was conducted by her date that night — a third-year fraternity member named Drew.

But those claims, which were reported by Rolling Stone’s Sabrina Rubin Erdely, were debunked in the weeks after the article’s Nov. 19 publication.

Longo said that Jackie first claimed that she was attacked during a May 20, 2013, meeting with UVa. Dean Nicole Eramo.

“Jackie was referred to Dean Eramo at the time for some academic issues, and it was during the course of that meeting that she described a sexual act,” Longo said.

“But that act that was described was not consistent with the facts and circumstances that I’d say were described in the article…” he continued, adding that Jackie did not disclose the specific location of the attack.

Jackie met with Eramo again on April 21, 2014, regarding a physical assault in which she said four men threw a beer bottle which hit her in the face on April 6.

It was at that time that Jackie first told Charlottesville police of her alleged Sept. 2012 gang-rape.

But Longo revealed that Jackie refused to provide details of the gang-rape and also appeared to have fabricated details of the beer bottle attack. He said that Jackie claimed that her roommate — a nursing student — picked shards of glass out of her face. But the roommate told police that did not occur.

A picture obtained by investigators showed Jackie with “more of an abrasion as opposed to a blunt trauma injury” on her face, Longo said.

She also said she called her mother after that attack, but Longo said that police found no records that such a call was placed.

Jackie’s gang-rape story made headlines immediately after Erdely’s article was published.

University president Teresa Sullivan immediately suspended the fraternity as well as all Greek-life activity on campus. Phi Kappa Psi’s fraternity house was vandalized and the members went into hiding.

But holes appeared in the story more than a week after it was published. Some of Jackie’s friends said that she had told different versions of the story. Emily Renda, a friend of Jackie’s who works on campus as a sexual assault activist, said that Jackie initially told her she had been gang-raped by five men, not seven.

Three friends mentioned in the Rolling Stone article who met Jackie that September night said that she never told them she had been gang-raped by seven men. One friend, Ryan Duffin, said that Jackie claimed she had been forced to perform oral sex on five men. And while Jackie told Erdely that she had gone on a date with a student named Drew, she told her three friends that her date was named “Haven Monahan.” (RELATED: Here Is What The UVA Student Behind The Rolling Stone Article Wrote About A Friend She Had A Crush On)

Duffin told The Daily Caller in December that Jackie had a huge crush on him during that time period. He also shared a bizarre love letter Jackie seemingly wrote about him. That letter, sent to Duffin through “Haven Monahan,” included plagiarized passages from episodes of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Scrubs.” (RELATED: Did UVA Student Plagiarize ‘Dawson’s Creek’ In Love Letter To Friend?)

Further, it was revealed that Jackie had set up an elaborate “catfishing” scheme involving  Monahan, whose name was not listed in a UVA student directory or online. (RELATED: University Of Virginia Student’s ‘Catfishing’ Scheme Revealed)

Longo also revealed that investigators did speak with Rolling Stone’s Erdely. He said that Erdely, who has been in hiding since her article was debunked, was able to provide more detail on some aspects of the article.

Longo said that Charlottesville police met Jackie on Dec. 2, but that “through her lawyer she refused to give a statement or answer any questions.”

Police also looked at Phi Kappa Psi’s membership roster, bank records and lease records to determine who may have been present on Sept. 28, 2012. Jackie told Erdely that she entered the fraternity house during the midst of a huge party. She said when she left at around 3 a.m. after being attacked that the party at the house was still raging. (RELATED: UVA Gang-Rape Accuser’s Friend Shares New Details In Interview)

Police reached nine out of the 11 members living in the house at the time. None said they knew of a sexual assault or that they knew Jackie.

Further investigation revealed that there was no evidence that a party had taken place, Longo said. There was no party registered on the chapter’s social calender. And the fraternity’s sister sorority had a formal on the same night. The thinking is that it is unlikely that Phi Kappa Psi would have had a large party for fear that it would “cannibalize” the sorority’s guest list.

Longo also said that investigators found a photograph time-stamped at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2012, which showed an empty Phi Kappa Psi house.

Follow Chuck on Twitter