In its second full day of deliberation, the jury in former Associate Dean Nicole Eramo’s lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine, Sabrina Erdely and Wenner Media, Inc. was still unable to reach a verdict and will continue their discussions into the sixteenth day of the trial.
The court adjourned at approximately 5 p.m.Thursday. Deliberation will resume Friday at 8 a.m.
Erdely is suing over her depiction in a November 2014 Rolling Stone article entitled “A Rape On Campus,” which described the alleged gang rape of a former University student named Jackie at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house and her treatment by the University and Eramo in the aftermath of the alleged assault.
In the months following the article’s publishing, it was discredited when a Charlottesville Police Department investigation of Jackie’s claims failed to substantiate her account and a Columbia Journalism Review report then condemned the article as a “journalistic failure.” Rolling Stone retracted the article in April 2015.
Eramo claims the article maliciously portrayed her as indifferent towards sexual assault victims.
The entirety of Thursday was spent in deliberation, though the court briefly met Thursday morning to answer a jury question about whether to consider as evidence a Washington Post article published in the weeks following the publication of “A Rape on Campus.”
The Washington Post article — published Dec. 1, 2014 —raised questions about the sourcing of “A Rape On Campus” and reported Erdely had not contacted Jackie’s alleged assailants.
U.S. District Court Judge Glen Conrad clarified the article should be considered as evidence, but with limiting instructions saying the jury should only consider parts containing direct quotes from Erdely.
Conrad had initially denied the jury’s request for the article during their first day of deliberations.
The judge has instructed the jury to consider each of the defendants separately in their verdict.
“Each defendant is entitled to a fair consideration of the evidence,” Conrad wrote in his instructions to the jury. “All parties are equal before the law.”