Mary Katherine Francisco, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 21, 2015
Two months after its publication, many are questioning the truth behind Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA.” Sabrina Rubin Elderly’s article focuses on University of Virginia student “Jackie” who alleges that she was gangraped during a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity party in 2012. The article states that Jackie’s friends, “Randall,” “Andy” and “Cindy,” discouraged her from explaining the incident to authorities. Recently, the three friends have spoken out against the article and have been accepting interviews.
UVA junior and Winchester, Virginia native, Ryan Duffin, was referenced as “Randall” in the Rolling Stone article. Along with Alex Stock “Andy” and Kathryn Hendley “Cindy,” Duffin states that their reactions to Jackie’s experience were completely different than depicted in the article.
“I met Jackie on my second day at college in 2012 through a mutual friend we had both met at orientation. She was a very friendly, outgoing person,” stated Duffin. The three friends claimed that Jackie grew fond of Duffin, but he wanted their relationship to remain friendly. Shortly after expressing her romantic feelings for Duffin, she told them that she had a date with a UVA junior.
“On the night of Sept. 28, 2012, Jackie called me to ask if I’d come meet her in front of a nearby dorm. She said something bad had happened but didn’t go into further detail. I quickly arrived to the picnic table where she sat. It was pretty dimly illuminated by a nearby streetlight. It looked like she had been crying, and she looked frightened. I knew she’d been on a date that night, so the first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘Could she have been raped?’ I called our mutual friend, Alex, and asked him to come meet us. He showed up with Kathryn, and Jackie vehemently insisted that Kathryn not be there. So while Kathryn waited out of earshot, Jackie told Alex and me what had happened,” said Duffin.
“She told us that she had been on a date with Haven Monahan when he stopped his car in front of his fraternity house. He told her there was something he needed to grab from his room. When they got to the room, Haven locked the door behind her and, through some method of coercion, forced her to perform oral sex on five other men who were waiting in the room.” The name, Haven Monahan, has been found not to exist in the UVA database nor belong to any citizen in the United States.
“Upon hearing this, I immediately wanted to call the police. The only reason we didn’t call the police was because Jackie didn’t want to notify them. She was pretty insistent on that point. She said she didn’t want to be subjected to continual interrogation from police officers because it would force her to relive the sexual assault. Jackie said she’d go to the authorities when she was ready, but she never followed through,” said Duffin.
When asked if he knew why he was misrepresented in the Rolling Stone article, “I’m not really sure why Alex, Kathryn and I were portrayed so negatively. Jackie was quite apologetic when I asked her about the article. She tried to attribute it to Sabrina Erdely’s sensationalist writing style. After my conversations with Sabrina herself, I’m not so sure. I can’t really provide proper comment on the matter.”
Duffin said he still is uncertain what truly occurred that September night. He said the interviews have been winding down, but he will be involved with a Katie Couric special focusing on the bigger issue of sexual assault on college campuses. He believes the focus needs to shift from Jackie’s allegations to the harsh reality of sexual assaults.
Despite discrepancies, the article created a nation-wide discussion surrounding sexual assaults on college campuses. Currently, the federal government is investigating 86 colleges. As of now, Shenandoah University is not on the list of schools to be investigated. If you or anyone you know have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment or gender inequality, you can contact Shenandoah University’s Title IX coordinator, Ashley Wisniewski 540-665-4921.