The writer of what the Washington Post calls a “blockbuster” Rolling Stone magazine story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity said she was unable to contact or interview the men who supposedly perpetrated the crime. In interviews with the Post and Slate.com, writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely declined to answer repeated questions about the men's response to an allegation by a female student named Jackie that they had sexually assaulted her at a university fraternity party in 2012.
“I reached out to [the accused] in multiple ways,” Erdely told Slate. She said the eventually talked to someone she identified as the fraternity’s “national crisis manager.” Sean Woods, who edited the Rolling Stone story, said Erdely did not talk to the alleged assailants. “We did not talk to them. We could not reach them,” he said. However, he said, “we verified their existence,” in part by talking to Jackie's friends. “I'm satisfied that these guys exist and are real. We knew who they were.” News organizations typically seek comment from those accused of criminal acts or from their attorneys as a matter of fairness and balance, as well as to confirm that the individuals exist, the Post says.