UVA Fraternity Reinstated After Rolling Stone Rape Claim, but Police Investigation Not Over

Police determine Rolling Stone allegations did not happen at Phi Kappa Psi.

January 12, 2015, 12:01 PM

— -- The University of Virginia announced this morning in a statement that the local Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter has been reinstated, effective immediately.

Phi Kappa Psi came under fire after a now-discredited article in Rolling Stone that told the story of a violent gang rape of a woman named "Jackie," who said she had been lured to the fraternity house and brutalized for hours.

"The reinstatement resulted after consultation with Charlottesville Police Department officials, who told the University that their investigation has not revealed any substantive basis to confirm that the allegations raised in the Rolling Stone article occurred at Phi Kappa Psi," the statement said.

The Charlottesville Police Department investigation into the incident remains open, police Capt. Gary Pleasants said, and will be "completed in a couple of weeks and the department will put out a report."

"The CPD is not saying something didn't occur," Pleasants said. "They found the incident did not occur at that fraternity. The Charlottesville Police Department is still investigating the incident as reported to see what, if anything, may have occurred and where it may have occurred.”

Phi Kappa Psi said in a statement today that its own investigation into the Rolling Stone allegations revealed many factual errors.

"As a result, our fraternity was vandalized, our members [were] ostracized based on false information," said Stephen Scipione, president of the Virginia Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi.

"We are pleased that the university and Charlottesville Police Department have cleared our fraternity of any involvement in this case," Scipione said in the statement. "We believe that in the midst of this ordeal, there is an opportunity for good. This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in ensuring student safety."

According the university, President Teresa Sullivan informed fraternity officials of the fraternity's reinstatement following an update from the police department.

"We welcome Phi Kappa Psi, and we look forward to working with all fraternities and sororities in enhancing and promoting a safe environment for all," Sullivan said in the statement.

The university today would not comment directly on the Rolling Stone article's claims.

"We will not comment on the allegations described in the article due to the ongoing police investigation and the [state attorney general's] independent counsel review," university spokesman Anthony de Bruyn said.

A Rolling Stone spokeswoman said last month that its own internal review of the story was continuing. But the magazine backed away from key points after acknowledging that the author did not contact a key person in the narrative at the request of the article's central figure, rape victim "Jackie."

The woman at the center of the story, “Jackie,” had no comment, her attorney said.

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