The Girl At The Center of the UVA Fake Rape Case Apparently Made The Whole Thing Up To Catfish A Guy She Had A Crush On

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 6.33.10 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 6.32.34 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 6.32.46 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 6.32.55 PM

The Washington Post

Ryan Duffin was a freshman at the University of Virginia when he met a student named Jackie.

Both teenagers were new to campus in September 2012, and the pair quickly became friends through a shared appreciation of alternative rock bands such as Coheed and Cambria and Silversun Pickups. Early on, Duffin sensed that Jackie was interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with him. Duffin valued her friendship but politely rebuffed Jackie’s advances for more.

Just days after he met her, Duffin said, he was goaded into a text message conversation with a U-Va. junior named “Haven Monahan,” whom Jackie said she knew from a chemistry class.

What followed was what lawyers for Nicole Eramo, an associate dean at U-Va., described in new court documents as an elaborate scheme to win Duffin over by creating a fake suitor, Monahan, to spark romantic interest — a practice known as “catfishing” — that morphed into a sensational claim of gang rape at a U-Va. fraternity that Jackie said was instigated by the fictitious upperclassman, and finally a Rolling Stone story that rocked the U-Va. campus and shocked the nation.

A Charlottesville Police investigation later determined that no one named Haven Monahan had ever attended U-Va., and extensive efforts to find the person were not successful. Photographs that were texted to Duffin that were purported to be of Monahan were actually pictures depicting one of Jackie’s high school classmates in Northern Virginia. That man, now a student at a university in another state, confirmed to The Post that the photographs were of him.

“All available evidence demonstrates that ‘Haven Monahan’ was a fake suitor created by Jackie in a strange bid to earn the affections of a student named Ryan Duffin that Jackie was romantically interested in,” Eramo’s lawyers wrote in court papers filed this week.

Court documents indicate that a crush Jackie had on Duffin freshman year was the spark for all that has happened since, that the attention-seeking events on Sept. 28, 2012 spiraled into a sensational tale that evolved, made its way into a national magazine’s pages, and then took on a life of its own.

It’s been so long since this whole Rolling Stone fiasco that all the outrage and everything has pretty much died down and gone away. That’s only natural. The news cycle rolls on, we find new things to get pissed off about. It’s not like you can just stay actively heated at Rolling Stone magazine for inventing a rape story for pageviews and setting the fight for real sexual assault victims back 30 years forever – I mean, I do, but I wouldn’t expect all of you to.

But with this report from the Washington Post released over the weekend and all the court documents coming out, you can’t help but look at all of it, step back and say…

What the fuck?

Jackie had told Duffin that a date with Haven Monahan on Sept. 28, 2012, had gone terribly wrong, claiming that the upperclassman had forced her to perform oral sex on five other men. That fall night, Duffin was among a group of friends who rushed to be by Jackie’s side as she cried; Duffin described her as being hysterical and appearing traumatized. Duffin said Jackie appeared not to be injured — a red dress that she had worn on the date was not disheveled or torn — and she declined to go to police or the hospital that night to report the assault.

Jackie became the central figure of a sensational 9,000-word story published two years later in Rolling Stone, describing a brutal gang rape in a campus fraternity house that allegedly occurred that same night.

But the account in Rolling Stone differed significantly from the facts she relayed to Duffin in 2012. She told Rolling Stone that the attack involved nine fraternity brothers participating in a hazing ritual. And the name Jackie later gave of her alleged attacker also did not match the Haven Monahan identity she gave to Duffin in 2012.

And it gets even weirder…

Here’s the whole thing – it’s long, but I wouldn’t be doing it justice if I cut any parts out.

Duffin said that his friendship with Jackie began to take a turn quickly as she pursued a deeper relationship with him. Though she had only known Duffin for a few weeks, Jackie spent $350 on a birthday trip to Washington D.C. and tickets for the two of them to see the Silversun Pickups at the 9:30 Club.

Once he began exchanging text messages with “Haven Monahan,” Duffin said he was struck by how the supposed U-Va. junior was infatuated with their mutual friend.

“He immediately started talking about Jackie,” Duffin told The Post in 2014.

But then Duffin noticed that Haven Monahan began talking about a freshman who Jackie had a crush on.

“Get this she said she likes some other 1st year guy who dosnt like her and turned her down but she wont date me cause she likes him,” Haven Monahan wrote in a text to Duffin. “She cant turn my down fro some nerd 1st yr. she said this kid is smart and funny and worth it.”

Duffin’s conversations with Haven Monahan continued, and according to transcripts submitted in Eramo’s case, the text messages extensively detailed Jackie’s unrequited feelings for Duffin.

At one point, Haven Monahan confronted Duffin about his lack of interest in dating Jackie, urging Duffin to have more sympathy for her, claiming that she had a terminal illness. Surprised by the revelation, Duffin texted Jackie, who confirmed the diagnosis.

“Ryan, it means I’m dying,” she texted.

Duffin replied: “I had no idea. Do you want to talk?”

In late September 2012, Jackie announced that she had a date at the Boar’s Head Inn with Haven Monahan. In an interview with The Post in 2014, Jackie said that the red dress she wore on the date — which Rolling Stone reported was later covered in her blood after the gang rape — had actually been purchased especially for the trip with Duffin to see the band in D.C.

At 10:23 p.m. on the night of the alleged rape, Jackie texted Duffin: “Just wondering. What are you doing now?”

Duffin said he was busy, but when Jackie alluded to something being amiss, he texted: “I want to know what’s going on.”

“Nothing is going on I promise I feel really stupid cause I ran to you and I always run to you,” Jackie replied. He and two other friends then went to meet Jackie near the dorms and found her hysterically upset, making the claims about being forced to perform oral sex.

The next morning, Sept. 29, Jackie texted Ryan about the alleged assault, according to the transcript:

“Ryan you know you are my favorite person of all time and I trust you more than anything in the world. I just need time to clear my head and I will go and report it. I need to do it when I’m ready though. And right now I’m not. Right now I just need someone to hug me and give me chocolate or something and in a few hours or a few days I’ll be ready”

So what you had here was someone who was clearly mentally unstable, obviously obsessed with a guy, so obsessed that she was actively catfishing him, telling people she was terminally ill and dying – that was the source Rolling Stone used as the centerpiece for their pageview record shattering exposè on the evils of fraternity life. Think about that for a second. The story that shut down Greek Life at UVA, ruined the lives of all the kids whose names got leaked, started nonstop around the clock protests and a nationwide movement to crack down on the rapist monsters who join frats. All based on a source that was never given even a basic fact check, and on crucial witnesses who were never even SPOKEN to:

“Had any of us been contacted it never would have blown up like this,” Duffin said of the Rolling Stone account. noting that he and two others who met with Jackie the night of the alleged attack were not interviewed prior to the story running.

Just a reminder that Sabrina Erdley still has a job at Rolling Stone.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 8.54.48 AM