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Rolling Stone casts doubt on U.Va. rape story

RICHMOND, Va. — Rolling Stone is casting doubt on a young woman’s account of being gang-raped at a fraternity party at the University of Virginia.

The magazine says in a statement posted to its website Friday that there now appear to be discrepancies in the account given by the woman, known publicly only as “Jackie.”

The account was published in a lengthy article in Rolling Stone last month and has put a spotlight on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses in the U.S.

In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.

The statement said that because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story, Rolling Stone decided to honor her request not to contact the men she claimed organized and participated in the attack. That prompted criticism from other news organizations.

“We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account,” the magazine’s statement said. “We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.”

University President Teresa Sullivan has asked Charlottesville police to investigate the reported gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house.

The school also had suspended activities at all campus fraternal organizations because of the story.

The statement posted on Rolling Stone’s website and signed by managing editor Will Dana said only that those discrepancies in the woman’s account became apparent “in the face of new information.” It does not detail that information.