UVA fraternity files $25 million lawsuit against Rolling Stone

This is was a long time coming:

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter at the University of Virginia filed a $25 million lawsuit Monday against Rolling Stone magazine, which published an article in 2014 that alleged a freshman was gang raped at the house during a party.

The lawsuit focuses on a Rolling Stone article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which detailed a harrowing attack on a freshman named Jackie at the Phi Psi house on Sept. 28, 2012. The article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, described how Jackie was raped by seven men while two others watched in a second floor bedroom while a fraternity party raged downstairs. The article alleged that the attack was part of a hazing ritual at the long-time U-Va. fraternity.

The Washington Post found significant discrepancies in the Rolling Stone account, including that the fraternity did not host a party that night in 2012 and that a student identified by Jackie as her main attacker was never a member of the fraternity and did not attend U-Va.

That is putting it lightly. The Washington Post found that Jackie lied. There is no reason to skirt that fact. The story she presented was demonstrably false, down to the existence of the person she claimed she was dating. While none of that matters to Jackie’s supporters, it does matter to the fraternity members who faced harassment as a result of the story: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v275

Aaron Hutter avoids jail sentence for having 1,000 child abuse images and videos — HE IS the Southampton pervert who contacted young children through internet chat rooms. But Aaron Hutter was caught in his own trap when he was snared by sex abuse experts using a fake profile. Their investigations uncovered evidence that he had also built up a collection of more than 1,000 indecent images of children as young as five – and some clips involving animals.

A Logan woman said she was not ­diminishing the problem of domestic violence against women, but wanted people to know that men also suffered abuse — HE WAS punched and scratched, screamed at and threatened. His children were also abused, physically and emotionally. Of a night, he would put his children to bed and then push wardrobes against the door to stop anyone getting into the room. The perpetrator was the man’s wife, the children’s mother.

The Man Who Defends Men Accused of Campus Rape — Last December, James Clark* was finishing his first semester as a sophomore at a prestigious New England liberal-arts college when he received an email saying the dean wanted to speak with him. On the phone, the dean informed him that a female classmate had reported Clark for sexual misconduct. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v269

Breastfeeding mum loses custody of boy after false sex-abuse claims — A mother found to have made false sexual abuse allegations has lost custody of her young son and been hit with a rare order to pay her ex-partner’s full legal costs. In a blistering judgment, Federal Circuit Court judge Josephine Willis said the north Queensland mother “showed ­little emotion or warmth” and communication with her was “quite impossible”.

Children in boot camp abuse investigation suffer lasting damage, lawyer says — The brochure struck a note with some parents: Are you overwhelmed with frustration or fear over your teen’s defiant behavior? Have you run out of ideas or strategies to get your teen on the right track? Have you tried it all and nothing seems to work? The solution, it declared, could be a police-sponsored boot camp for southeast Los Angeles County youth held at a military base in the mountains of San Luis Obispo.

Group supporting male abuse victims launched — MALE victims of domestic abuse have been given a voice, thanks to a new charitable organisation run by an abuse survivor. Swindon’s Voice For Men, run by counsellor Simon Taylor, aims to give abused males a chance to seek help in a non-threatening group environment. Simon, along with partner Su Mills and colleague Michael Bizley launched Swindon VFM this week, complete with website and dedicated listening line in place to help those in need.

Joint Letter Calls for Male Rape Change to Law — Nine Chinese public interest organizations submitted a joint letter on August 5, asking for the inclusion of male rape to the draft ninth amendment of the Criminal Law. The letter, jointly signed by a total of 1,149 people and nine officially approved public interest organizations, was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislative body, through the online opinion-soliciting channel, according to ycwb.com, a Guangzhou based news portal on August 7. The letter proposed that the definition of victims of rape should be broadened to include all possible victims.

Male child sex trade goes on unchecked — The male child prostitution is going on in several hotels and inns around Pirwadhai Bus Terminal, well-placed sources disclosed to The Nation on Saturday. In this regard, the Special Branch (SB) of Punjab Police has prepared a number of reports and sent to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera for further legal action against the owners of the hotels and inns involved in the child prostitution business, sources said.

Prosecutor: Federal Way woman made child porn ‘to troll for men online’ — A Federal Way woman accused of sexually displaying two children to impress a men online has been charged by King County prosecutors. Judith Christine Everett is alleged to have taken sexually explicit photos of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy. Everett, 39, has been charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. Writing the court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson said Everett abused the children “to troll for men online.”

Scotch College: More sex abuse claims surface against Michael Achurch — Matthew Stuart still feels the pain of being denied justice for more than three decades. Even after Melbourne’s Scotch College apologised and paid out compensation for the sexual abuse he suffered as a teenager, the elite school community was still denying it happened and questioning his motivations, he said. But the 51-year-old’s bravery in speaking out about Michael Achurch, as revealed in The Age earlier this year, has prompted at least four others to report being sexually abused by the same teacher.

Sex abuse victim fears others could have been targeted by former teacher and hopes they come forward — A SEXUAL abuse victim has spoken of his relief that the former volunteer teacher who abused him is behind bars. But the man who suffered at the hands of John Weston is concerned there could be more victims and is urging them to come forward. He told the Bristol Post: “I am one of this man’s victims, hence my need to remain anonymous.

Suicide Rates Among Released Male Prisoners 8 Times Higher Than National Average; Mental Health, Support Services Can Help — Preventing suicides while offenders are in prison has been a much bigger priority than preventing them once prisoners get out. But a new study looking into prisoner suicides once they’re released has found that the risk of suicide for male offenders is eight times the national average, with over 25 percent of those suicides occurring in the first four weeks of their release.

Bulletin Board v261

Illiberal Feminism Is Running Amok — When men disagree with illiberal feminists, a favored silencing tactic is to accuse them of “mansplaining.” The term grew out of a fairly brilliant 2008 essay by feminist writer Rebecca Solnit, who described the exquisitely annoying feeling of having a certain type of man condescendingly lecture a woman on a topic about which he knows very little—in this case Solnit’s own book.

Men Can Be Raped Too: Expert Urges Government to Recognize Male Rape — For the sake of gender equality, Jia Jian, a legal expert lecturer at the Chongqing-based Southwest University of Political Science and Law, made a proposal last Monday that the Chinese government expand the Criminal Law’s definition of rape victims in order to include males.

National support for abused men — For the first time in New Zealand, a national structure has been set up specifically to support male survivors of sexual abuse. Members from regional support groups around the country gathered at a hui in Nelson and made a commitment to the body, which would be known as the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (MSSAT).

Sexual assault cases: ‘Nirbhaya’ centres to focus on young male victims — Growing increasingly aware of molestation and sexual assault of young boys, the civic body will soon set up ‘Nirbhaya’ centres that, apart from providing medico-legal, surgical and psychological counseling to women victims, will also specifically cater to adolescent boys who have been subjected to such assaults. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v110

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

You were raped? Prove it

Three weeks after police released their report discrediting the rape accusation made by a UVA student, there are still defenders of Jackie claiming that she is the real victim. It is amazing to witness the level of cognitive dissonance on display.

The police report could not have been clearer: there was zero evidence supporting Jackie’s claim of being gang-raped in frat house by seven men. The police could not verify a single element of the story. Indeed, they found the opposite: plenty of evidence suggesting nothing happened. One could not ask for more evidence that this was a false accusation outside of a video of Jackie somewhere else when the alleged rape took place.

Yet that has not stopped the excuses made on this woman’s behalf. There have been some amazing bad article. By far the best and the dumbest came from Sargon of Akkad’s “pumpkin” Jessica Valenti. (Feel free to look it up and read it for yourself, but understand you could have been staring at the wall instead of reading that idiocy.) Cheryl Hunter wrote such an article for the Good Men Project. She begins with:

There’s an epidemic afoot, and it is catching. Unlike other communicable diseases, no matter on which side of the vaccination issue you find yourself, no injection will save you.

It is an epidemic of silence around sexual assault, and it is characterized by two factors:

  • The silence of victims
  • The silence of those who know the victims or know the perpetrators

There is not an epidemic afoot. This precisely the kind of hyperbolic language that led to Rolling Stone’s article. There is, however, a tendency within society to silence those who want to speak about uncomfortable things. These things can range from sexual assault to religious differences. It is human nature not to cause discord within one’s community. Discussing these things causes discord, ergo there is a concerted effort to shut down any discussion about them. As noted, it is not limited to sexual violence. The same thing happens with child abuse, drug addiction, and religious deconversion.

Yet that is not Hunter’s actual point. This is:

Was “Jackie” in the Rolling Stone article A Rape On Campus really gang raped? Perhaps we’ll never know. I was, though, and I think the Rolling Stone debacle fuels the epidemic of silence, and has long-range importance to us all, regardless of our gender or whether we, personally, have been sexually assaulted or not.

The Rolling Stone debacle… on second thought, let us call it what it is. The Rolling Stone fuck up happened because the people involved did not exercise basic journalist skills and fact-check their source. The only thing this fuck up fuels is more fuck ups as people insist on believing any and every woman who claims rape regardless of whether her story holds up under scrutiny.

Hunter goes on: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v257

Ayaan to Liberals: Get Your Priorities Straight — Few figures on the intellectual scene today are as controversial or as compelling as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A Somali-born author, speaker, activist, and former politician, Ali, 45, became a hijab-wearing radical Islamist as a teenager in Kenya, then a liberal atheist as an immigrant in the Netherlands; the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001 led her to a final break with faith.

B.C. teacher suing over ‘unimaginable hardship’ after false accusations of rape, torture — A Vancouver Island teacher falsely accused of sexual assault and torture by a Grade 9 student — accusations that were later shown to be ripped off from TV episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — is seeking compensation for more than two years of “unimaginable hardship.” In an arbitration hearing last year, the student described a series of sadistic rapes that left her beaten and bloody, as well as torture, including waterboarding and being buried alive.

Binghamton woman accused of sexual abuse of infant — A Binghamton woman is accused of sexually abusing an infant boy and producing child pornography. Thirty-four year-old Latasha Mitchell was charged in federal court recently after a complaint was made on the New York child abuse hotline. She was arrested by Binghamton Police in February for allegedly committing a criminal sexual act in connection with the child abuse. Continue reading

The rolling stone of confirmation bias

Rolling Stone published a report concerning their article ‘A Rape on Campus’. The Columbia School of Journalism conducted the report. It reveals a host of problems with Rolling Stone’s article, its writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and its single source named “Jackie.”

The report follows the complete discrediting of Jackie’s rape allegations against the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi. Police conducted a thorough investigation after the Washington Post reported the numerous inconsistencies in Jackie’s story and Rolling Stone’s failure to engage in basic fact-checking. How the situation got to this point is a long story. The report is 13,000 words. Yet it shows what happens when one allows confirmation bias to dictate how one reports. Continue reading