If you read Rolling Stone magazine or have gone to the University of Virginia, you may have heard about the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity that was accused of gang rape. Interestingly, the article describing the fraternity gang rape was proven to be false, and now the three men at the center of the story have decided to sue the magazine for defamation.
When you’re accused of a sexual assault crime or rape, it can immediately tarnish your reputation, even if you’re not proven guilty. For these men, their names and identities had been published around the globe. One of the graduates reported living in the room where an alleged crime took place, and because of this, he reported being humiliated, scolded and interrogated for something he hadn’t been involved in.
The other two men in the case claim they suffered attacks of a similar nature when their names and hometowns were shared online, putting their lives at risk. They claim to have suffered emotional turmoil and are looking to be compensated for defamation. Previously, a woman involved in the same case claimed she was defamed when the article falsely accused her of trying to persuade a student not to report being raped.
In situations like this, a defense is needed immediately to help you shut down rumors before they get out of control. Magazine articles or online blog posts describing your guilt should not be allowed to stand, since they are simply defaming your name before trial. You are innocent until proven guilty, and like these men, you can fight back against false claims.
Source: Reuters, “University of Virginia graduates sue Rolling Stone over rape story,” Joseph Ax, Reuters, July 29, 2015