Friends of US student in Rolling Stone story say they pushed to call police after assault - InfoNews

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Friends of US student in Rolling Stone story say they pushed to call police after assault

In this image taken from video, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, University of Virginia student Alex Stock talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Charlottsville, Va. Stock, and two other friends of an alleged victim of a gang rape at a U.Va. fraternity, challenged details in a Rolling Stone article that used the woman's attack to paint a picture of a culture of sexual violence on the campus was wrong on a number of key points: most important that they didn't encourage her to report the attack and that they were more concerned about their reputations than her well-being. (AP Photo)
December 15, 2014 - 9:49 AM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Three friends of an alleged victim of gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house say they were incorrectly portrayed as being more concerned about their reputations than her well-being in a magazine article that set off an intense debate about violence on campuses and ethics in journalism.

Almost a month after the scathing Rolling Stone article was published, Kathryn Hendley, Alex Stock, and Ryan Duffin say they are still trying to set the record straight — even though the magazine has apologized for the story and noted discrepancies in it.

The friends told The Associated Press that the article was wrong on a number of key points, especially its assertion that they urged the victim not to report the alleged attack. Their alleged indifference was woven into a narrative that portrayed a culture of sexual violence on college campuses in the United States.

Duffin, a 20-year-old, third-year student referred to as "Randall" in the article, told the AP that not only did he encourage the alleged victim to go to police, but he started to call police on his cellphone until she begged off saying she just wanted to go back to her dorm and sleep.

"Everything that the article said about me was incorrect," Duffin said.

The AP also spoke with the two other friends portrayed in the article: third-year, 20-year-old University of Virginia students Hendley and Stock, known as "Cindy" and "Andy" in the article. None of the three friends was contacted by Rolling Stone's reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, before the article was published; each rejected multiple assertions made in the article.

All three say Erdely has since reached out to them, and that she has told them she is re-reporting the story. Hendley told the AP that Erdely apologized to her for portraying her the way she did.

Erdely and Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana did not respond to an email from the AP on Sunday morning seeking comment.

The three friends say they continue to work on correcting the record about what happened that night, and at least one, Duffin, wonders to what extent he believes the victim's own version of what happened — or whether any discrepancies in her story matter.

"People at U.Va. want answers just as much as I do," Duffin says. "But if anything, the takeaway from all this is that I still don't really care if what's presented in this article is true or not because I think it's far more important that people focus on the issue of sexual assault as a whole."

Other news media have also interviewed the friends, but this is the first time Duffin has allowed his full name to be used. A lawyer representing the victim, who has been identified only as "Jackie," has declined several requests by the AP to interview Jackie and did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this article. The AP does not typically name alleged victims of sexual assault.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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