Phoenix TV station KSAZ reports that a headline-grabbing article that alleged a university gang rape has been retracted by Rolling Stone magazine. The retraction comes after a top journalism school's scathing review of the article that initially shocked readers and prompted protests at the University of Virginia, where the alleged rape took place.
Two weeks ago, the city of Charlottesville said it could find no evidence to back the controversial claims of a woman who told Rolling Stone that she had been raped by seven men at a frat house.
The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism criticized the entire publication process at the magazine, from its substandard reporting, fact-checking and editing, to its inadequate editorial control.
According to KSAZ, the University of Virginia accused the magazine of "irresponsible journalism."
And who pays the price, ultimately, for these sorts of sensationalist, error-riddled accusations? Innocent people. Not just in this case where innocent students became the focus of a national furor, but in other cases where officials and members of the public are too quick to take unsubstantiated accusations as gospel truth. Far too often, people find themselves vilified in media and charged in court with serious crimes.
When an innocent person is charged, they face years of prison, and a lifetime of lost relationships and opportunities to build meaningful, satisfying lives. This is why it is so important to have on your side an attorney experienced in violent crime defense, whether the charges include rape, sexual assault, aggravated assault, manslaughter or murder.
Please see our Violent Crimes page to learn more about how the Valley of the Sun firm The Law Offices of John Phebus can help you.