From the New York Times:
Police Find No Evidence of Rape at UVA Fraternity
By OWEN ROBINSON and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG MARCH 23, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The police here said Monday that they had found no evidence that a woman was gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity house in 2012 and that they were suspending their investigation, after a lengthy inquiry in which the accuser refused to cooperate. But they said the inquiry was not closed.
“I can’t prove that something didn’t happen, and there may come a point in time in which this survivor, or this complaining party or someone else, may come forward with some information that might help us move this investigation further,” Police Chief Timothy Longo told a roomful of reporters here.
“That doesn’t mean that something terrible did not happen to Jackie on the evening of Sept. 28, 2012,” Chief Longo said, referring to the accuser and adding that his department was simply unable to corroborate her account. He added, “This case is not closed by any stretch of the imagination.”
The announcement came four months after a now-discredited report of the sexual assault was published in Rolling Stone, roiling the historic university — and the world of journalism. But it was not entirely unexpected; university officials said in January that the police had informed them there was no “substantive basis to confirm the allegations.”
But Monday’s news conference did little to clear up the sense of confusion that has surrounded the Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus,” which detailed what appeared to be a brutal gang rape of a student, identified only as Jackie, in an upstairs room of the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012, followed by a botched response by the school’s administration.
Asked why he did not officially clear the fraternity and its members of wrongdoing, Chief Longo replied, “I think I just did.”
The 9,000-word article set off a national debate about sexual assault on campus — and the fraternity culture more broadly — and cast an unflattering spotlight on the University of Virginia, depicting one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious universities, founded by Thomas Jefferson, as a place where partying took precedence over learning. But within days, the magazine admitted serious flaws in the article.
While Chief Longo said the authorities have “no basis to conclude that anything happened in that fraternity house,” he also made clear that his officers believe that something may have happened to Jackie — just not what was reported in Rolling Stone. “There is a difference between a false allegation and something that may have happened that may be different than something that is reported in that article,” he said.
The four-month inquiry included an examination of records and interviews with those connected with the case, including university officials, members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and another fraternity house, two of Jackie’s best friends and others.
Investigators also made “numerous attempts,” the chief said, to identify a man identified in the Rolling Stone article as “Drew,” who was said to be Jackie’s date on the night she was said to have been raped. But they were unable to find him.
I don’t care if the cops couldn’t find him. #IBelieveInHavenMonahan
The authorities also discovered a time-stamped photograph of the Phi Kappa Psi house on the night that the rape was said to have taken place; it showed that the entrance corridor of the house was empty.
“We weren’t able to support that a party was taking place,” the chief said.
So, the NYT continues to not mention:
– the name “Haven Monahan”
– that Jackie catfished Haven Monahan into existence
– the actual subsequent Kristallnacht on campus when goodthinker students smashed with impunity the windows of the frat house that Haven is a member of
In other words, New York Times coverage remains devoted to keeping its readers uninterested in the fiasco and ambivalent over how much truth there was in the story that the NYT promoted hard.
In contrast, here’s the new article by a real reporter, T. Rees Shapiro, in the Washington Post.