The national president of Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity whose University of Virginia chapter members were falsely accused of gang-rape by a student named Jackie, has shared new details on who may be sued now that local police have all but determined that she lied about the attack.
Jackie’s claims about the Sept. 28, 2012, gang rape appeared in a Nov. 19 Rolling Stone article written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
“As a national organization, we ask that Rolling Stone remove the story from its website,” Phi Kappa Psi’s national president Scott Noble told The Daily Caller on Monday. “A simple apology is not acceptable due to the reckless reporting with an intent to harm innocent students trying to receive…an education.”
Noble’s comments followed a statement released earlier Monday by UVA chapter president Stephen Scipione. He said that the chapter is “exploring its legal options to address the extensive damage caused by Rolling Stone.”
Noble added to that, telling TheDC that while the local chapter and its attorneys will determine what moves to make next, they are “now pursuing serious legal action toward Rolling Stone, the author and editor, and even Jackie.”
Noble, Scipione and Phi Kappa Psi’s members were largely silent during the investigation into the allegations.
Both Scipione’s and Noble’s responses came after Charlottesville, Va. police chief Timothy Longo said in a press conference that investigators could find no evidence to support Jackie’s claims as told to Erdely.
Jackie told Erdely that she was gang raped by seven Phi Kappa Psi members on the September night. Though Longo said that the investigation is not closed — merely suspended — he pointed out that investigators found evidence suggesting that Jackie changed her story numerous times. (RELATED: Police Release Details Of UVA Rape Investigation; Claim Accuser Embellished Another Attack Story)
For example, she claimed that she was gang raped by the seven members during a large house party. Longo pointed to several pieces of evidence suggesting that no party occurred at the house that night. Longo also said that Jackie embellished details of a beer bottle attack she said she sustained on April 6, 2014. Jackie claimed that her roommate picked shards of glass out of her face after the attack. The roommate denied that happened.
Noble said that a statement from Phi Kappa Psi’s national office is forthcoming and that “we will continue to escalate our pressure on Rolling Stone and all involved going forward.”
“We needed the system to officially clear our name,” he said.
So far, Phi Kappa Psi has not received a direct apology from those who perpetuated the story. Immediately after the story was published UVA president Teresa Sullivan suspended the fraternity and all Greek-life activities. The Phi Kappa Psi house was also vandalized and some of its members went into hiding.
Neither Jackie nor Erdely have spoken publicly on the matter. Jackie refused to provide details of her alleged attack to investigators. Longo said that Erdely did provide some additional detail on top of her reporting.
Rolling Stone has brought on the Columbia School of Journalism to investigate its reporting but has not offered a full comment on the matter. The magazine added a lengthy editor’s note to its web version of the 9,000-word article but has not removed it from its website.
Though Sullivan reinstated Phi Kappa Psi earlier this year, she has so far not apologized to organization.
“Serious damages and harm were caused to the young men and their housing,” Noble told TheDC. “Their civil right to receive an education [was] violated and life and school was put on hold.”