UVa Grads Sue Rolling Stone Over Retracted Campus Rape Story - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UVa Grads Sue Rolling Stone Over Retracted Campus Rape Story

Posted:
The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (Photo: AP) The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (Photo: AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Three University of Virginia graduates and members of a fraternity who were portrayed in a debunked account of a gang rape in a retracted Rolling Stone magazine story filed a lawsuit against the publication and the article's author, court records show.
    
The three men, George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford and Ross Fowler, filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York. They are also suing Rolling Stone's publisher, Wenner Media.
    
A lawyer for the men said they suffered "vicious and hurtful attacks" because of inaccuracies in the November 2014 article, which was written by journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
    
Also Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Will Dana, Rolling Stone's managing editor, will be leaving the magazine next month. Dana said in a statement to The Times that after 19 years at Rolling Stone, "I have decided that it is time to move on."
    
When asked whether Dana's departure was linked to the retracted story, a spokeswoman for the magazine's publisher, Jann Wenner, said that "many factors go into a decision like this," according to the report.
    
In the lawsuit, the three 2013 graduates said the article "created a simple and direct way to match the alleged attackers" from the alleged gang rape to them based on details provided in the story.
    
For instance, Elias' room at the fraternity house was "the mostly likely scene of the alleged crime" based on the details in the Rolling Stone article.
    
"Upon release of the article, family friends, acquaintances, co-workers and reporters easily matched (Elias) as one of the alleged attackers and, among other things, interrogated him, humiliated him, and scolded him," the lawsuit said, adding that Hadford and Fowler "suffered similar attacks."
    
In the lawsuit, their lawyer said each of their identities was listed online by anonymous users when the article first came out and each of their "names will forever be associated with the alleged gang rape."
    
"These claims had a devastating effect on each of the plaintiffs' reputations," their lawyer, Alan L. Frank, wrote in Wednesday's filing.
    
The men are suing on three counts, including defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and are asking for at least $75,000 for each count.
    
Kathryn Brenner, a spokeswoman for Wenner Media, said the magazine declined to comment on the lawsuit. Erdely did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday. A Rolling Stone representative couldn't immediately be reached late Wednesday for comment on the newspaper's report about Dana leaving the magazine.
    
The Charlottesville Police Department has said it found no evidence to back the claims of the woman identified in the story only as "Jackie," who said she was raped in 2012 by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.
    
A U.Va. associate dean sued Rolling Stone magazine for more than $7.5 million in May, saying a debunked and retracted account of an alleged gang rape on campus cast her as the "chief villain."
    
A report published by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism earlier this year said Rolling Stone failed at virtually every step of the process, from the reporting by Erdely to an editing process that included high-ranking staffers.
    
No one at Rolling Stone was fired as a result of the article, titled "A Rape on Campus." Dana posted an apology on the publication's website, and Erdely also apologized in a statement.
    
The article roiled the U.Va. community, sparking protests at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house and a wrenching period of soul-searching by the university. For the three former students, the article made them unable to focus on school and work, and embarrassed them about their association with the fraternity.
    
Despite its flaws, the Rolling Stone article heightened scrutiny of campus sexual assaults amid a campaign by President Barack Obama. The University of Virginia had already been on the Department of Education's list of 55 colleges under investigation for their handling of sexual assault violations.
    
The article also prompted President Teresa Sullivan to temporarily suspend Greek social events. Fraternities later agreed to ban kegs, hire security workers and keep at least three fraternity members sober at each event.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Dover Leaders Say High-Crime Areas Will be Saturated With Police

    Dover Leaders Say High-Crime Areas Will be Saturated With Police

    Friday, May 26 2017 8:40 PM EDT2017-05-27 00:40:44 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 11:23 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:23:35 GMT

    DOVER, Del. -- After a number of shooting incidents in recent weeks, Dover's mayor and police chief on Friday announced officers will be focusing their efforts in high-crime areas in the city. Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said the effort comes after the city has seen more than 20 shooting incidents in 2017 and at a time when the summer is fast approaching and children and teenagers will be leaving school. "We are not going to ease up on the people that are using our city to c...

    More

    DOVER, Del. -- After a number of shooting incidents in recent weeks, Dover's mayor and police chief on Friday announced officers will be focusing their efforts in high-crime areas in the city. Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said the effort comes after the city has seen more than 20 shooting incidents in 2017 and at a time when the summer is fast approaching and children and teenagers will be leaving school. "We are not going to ease up on the people that are using our city to c...

    More
  • OC Business Owner Fined for Selling Out-of-State Cigarettes

    OC Business Owner Fined for Selling Out-of-State Cigarettes

    Friday, May 26 2017 4:10 PM EDT2017-05-26 20:10:08 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 11:22 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:22:32 GMT

    Ocean City Police  uncovered a cigarette smuggling scheme that resulted in the criminal citation of a local businessman for violating Maryland tax regulations. 

    More

    Ocean City Police  uncovered a cigarette smuggling scheme that resulted in the criminal citation of a local businessman for violating Maryland tax regulations. 

    More
  • Man Found Guilty of Assault After Punching Correctional Officer

    Man Found Guilty of Assault After Punching Correctional Officer

    Friday, May 26 2017 7:57 PM EDT2017-05-26 23:57:58 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 11:21 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:21:36 GMT
    Eric Dolby was already serving a life sentence for burning a man alive.Eric Dolby was already serving a life sentence for burning a man alive.

    A 27-year-old Wilmington man, already serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of a Dover man, has been convicted by a superior court jury of assault in a detention facility. 

    More

    A 27-year-old Wilmington man, already serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of a Dover man, has been convicted by a superior court jury of assault in a detention facility. 

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Man Found Guilty of Assault After Punching Correctional Officer

    Man Found Guilty of Assault After Punching Correctional Officer

    Friday, May 26 2017 7:57 PM EDT2017-05-26 23:57:58 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 11:21 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:21:36 GMT
    Eric Dolby was already serving a life sentence for burning a man alive.Eric Dolby was already serving a life sentence for burning a man alive.

    A 27-year-old Wilmington man, already serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of a Dover man, has been convicted by a superior court jury of assault in a detention facility. 

    More

    A 27-year-old Wilmington man, already serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of a Dover man, has been convicted by a superior court jury of assault in a detention facility. 

    More
  • Teen Hospitalized After OC Hotel Fall

    Teen Hospitalized After OC Hotel Fall

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:48:06 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 7:22 AM EDT2017-05-26 11:22:21 GMT

    Ocean City police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City on Thursday afternoon.

    More

    Ocean City police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City on Thursday afternoon.

    More
  • Maryland State Police Make Large-Scale Drug Bust Spanning 5 Counties, Including Del

    Maryland State Police Make Large-Scale Drug Bust Spanning 5 Counties, Including Del

    Friday, May 26 2017 8:38 AM EDT2017-05-26 12:38:42 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 8:46 AM EDT2017-05-26 12:46:05 GMT

    Maryland State Police and several other law enforcement agencies arrested 18 people in four Maryland counties and one Delaware county, connected to a large scale distribution of opioids, in which police say an estimated $130,000 worth of drugs were recovered along with $98,000 in cash.

    More

    Maryland State Police and several allied law enforcement agencies arrested 18 people in four Maryland counties and one Delaware county, connected to a large-scale distribution of opioids, in which police say an estimated $130,000 worth of drugs were recovered along with $98,000 in cash.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Dover Leaders Say High-Crime Areas Will be Saturated With Police

    Dover Leaders Say High-Crime Areas Will be Saturated With Police

    After a number of shooting incidents in recent weeks, Dover's mayor and police chief on Friday announced officers will be focusing their efforts in high-crime areas in the city.

    Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said the effort comes after the city has seen more than 20 shooting incidents in 2017 and at a time when the summer is fast approaching and children and teenagers will be leaving school.

    More

    After a number of shooting incidents in recent weeks, Dover's mayor and police chief on Friday announced officers will be focusing their efforts in high-crime areas in the city.

    Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said the effort comes after the city has seen more than 20 shooting incidents in 2017 and at a time when the summer is fast approaching and children and teenagers will be leaving school.

    More
  • Sussex Tech Softball Wins, Wears Pink for Injured Teammate

    Sussex Tech Softball Wins, Wears Pink for Injured Teammate

  • Historic Seaford Diner Torn Down

    Historic Seaford Diner Torn Down

    One of the last remaining 1950's diner cars on Delmarva is now nothing but rubble.

    The Seaford Eagle Diner was ripped down Tuesday morning so the owners can re-build a new restaurant on site. Owner Serkan Darilmaz says the diner was in such bad shape that renovating it would've come at an astronomical cost.

    More

    One of the last remaining 1950's diner cars on Delmarva is now nothing but rubble.

    The Seaford Eagle Diner was ripped down Tuesday morning so the owners can re-build a new restaurant on site. Owner Serkan Darilmaz says the diner was in such bad shape that renovating it would've come at an astronomical cost.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices