Phi Kappa Psi releases statement noting factual inaccuracies in Rolling Stone account

Statement says no member worked as lifeguard, no date function held night of alleged gang rape

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The University chapter of Phi Kappa Psi released a statement Friday saying an internal investigation has found several inconsistencies in the report of an alleged gang rape at the fraternity house in Sept. 2012 detailed in a Rolling Stone article published two weeks ago.

The initial article details the story of a first-year student, identified as Jackie, who attended a date function with a fellow lifeguard at a University pool who was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He is identified in the article only as "Drew." The article says he brought her to a party at the fraternity house and then took her upstairs where she found herself in a room with several men who brutally gang raped her over the course of several hours.

Rolling Stone released a letter Friday morning saying new discrepancies have come to light regarding Jackie's report, though it did not specify what those discrepancies are.

The statement from the University chapter says a roster of employees at the Aquatic and Fitness Center for the fall 2012 semester does not list any men belonging to the University chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. It also says the internal investigation found there was no date function or other social activity on the night of Sept. 28, 2012 — the date Jackie identified in the Rolling Stone article as the night of her rape.

Jackie is also reported as saying an individual in the room on the night of her attack encouraged one man to participate in the assault by saying, "Don't you want to be a brother? … We all had to do it, so you do, too."

The fraternity says no pledging activities take place during the fall semester.

"Our Chapter's pledging and initiation periods, as required by the University and Inter-Fraternity Council, take place solely in the spring semester and not in the fall semester," the statement reads. "We document the initiation of new members at the end of each spring. Moreover, no ritualized sexual assault is part of our pledging or initiation process. This notion is vile, and we vehemently refute this claim."

The investigation was conducted by the chapter's undergraduate members, according to the statement, and done as part of an effort to contribute to the ongoing Charlottesville Police investigation into the incident.

"It is our hope that this information will encourage people who may know anything relevant to this case to contact the Charlottesville Police Department as soon as possible," the statement reads. "In the meantime, we will continue to assist investigators in whatever way we can."

Charlottesville Police said they are continuing with the investigation.

"Our purpose is to find the truth in any matter and that’s what we are looking for here," according to a statement sent by police spokesperson Miriam Dickler. "These articles do not change our focus moving forward."

Emily Renda, a University graduated quoted in the Rolling Stone article who also serves as project coordinator for Sexual Assault Response and Prevention in the Dean of Students Office, said any factual inaccuracies in the Rolling Stone article do not alter her commitment to building a culture of survivor support.

“It's an advocate's job to believe and support, never to play investigator or adjudicator," she said in an email. "I didn't and don't question Jackie's credibility because that is not my role. Rolling Stone played adjudicator, investigator and advocate — and did a slipshod job at that. As a result Jackie suffers, the young men in Phi Kappa Psi suffered, and survivors everywhere can unfairly be called into question. We still have to build a culture of support and reporting so that justice can be done right and survivors can find healing. Rolling Stone has run roughshod over years of advocacy, over fairness and justice, and ultimately, over Jackie.”

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