Rape and sexual assaults are crimes punishable by long prison sentences and with the “Mark of Cain” following the accused for the rest of his or her life. It can be a destroyer of reputations, and sometimes, of life. But what happens to the accused when the accusation proves to be false?
Rape and Rumors of Rape
In 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine published a story about a horrific 2012 gang rape of a University of Virginia freshman. The article was supposed to expose underreported rape and sexual assaults on campuses and what, if anything, college administrators and society as a whole was doing about it. Members of the fraternity where the alleged rape was supposed to have taken place were all painted with a broad brush as “rapists.” Conversations and debates about this problem went viral, but as it did, more and more people began to question certain facts about the case and the real motive behind Rolling Stone Magazine’s reporting of it. Under intense scrutiny, the facts, or lack thereof, that precipitated the writing of the article eventually fell apart, and Rolling Stone Magazine retracted the story. Its editor left the magazine with the dark cloud of journalistic malpractice following him out the door. See NewYork.com for details about this story.