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The University of Virginia fraternity at the center of a retracted Rolling Stone sexual assault expose said Monday it’s moving forward with a lawsuit against the magazine.

The Virginia Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in a statement announced plans to sue Rolling Stone following a report Sunday from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism that found the magazine failed to follow basic journalistic principals when it published a story that accused members of the fraternity of gang-raping a woman known only to readers as “Jackie.”

The report said that Rolling Stone failed in its reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking.

{mosads}“The magazine set aside or rationalized as unnecessary essential practices of reporting that, if pursued, would likely have led the magazine’s editors to reconsider publishing Jackie’s narrative so prominently, if at all,” the Columbia Journalism Review said. “The published story glossed over the gaps in the magazine’s reporting by using pseudonyms and by failing to state where important information had come from.”

In a news release, chapter President Stephen Scipione said the article created a public opinion that ostracized members of the fraternity and led to vandalism of the fraternity house.

“As the national media descended on the school to cover the misguided story, news outlets cast the fraternity house as the iconic symbol of this troubling issue,” he said. “The intense and comprehensive media coverage conveyed these falsehoods to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.”

Media outlets, Scipione said, are still using images of the fraternity in reporting the ongoing story.

“Clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed, but more importantly we fear this entire episode may prompt some victims to remain in the shadows, fearful to confront their attackers,” he said. “If Rolling Stone wants to play a real role in addressing this problem, it’s time to get serious.”

Scipione said the Charlottesville Police Department has formally cleared the Phi Kappa Psi chapter of all sexual assault allegations stemming from the article. He said the fraternity is still waiting, however, on the conclusion of the investigation into multiple incidents of vandalism that occurred at the chapter house in the wake of the article’s publication. 

Tags Fraternities and sororities Phi Kappa Psi

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