Lawyer Pulled From UVA Rape Investigation Because Of The Frat He Belonged To

A high-profile lawyer picked to investigate disturbing rape allegations at UVA is longer on the case because he belonged to a different chapter of the fraternity at the center of the allegations, student newspaper The Cavalier Daily reports.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring made the announcement Friday morning that former federal judge
Mark Filip will no longer serve as independent counsel to review UVA’s sexual misconduct policy.

“This situation is too serious to allow anything to undermine the confidence in the objectiveness and independence of this review,” Herring said.

Filip was a member of the fraternity involved in the dispute, Phi Kappa Psi, though he belonged to a different chapter. Several rapes occurred at UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi house, according to an explosive Rolling Stone article released Wednesday.

Following the article’s release, student protests prompted UVA president Teresa Sullivan to solicit the help of Charlottesville police in investigating an alleged 2012 gang rape at Phi Kappa Psi. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he was “deeply disturbed” by the allegations and asked university officials to conduct a full review of their sexual assault procedures.

The university announced late Thursday that Filip, former US deputy attorney general, had been chosen to lead the review. Filip, a University of Illinois graduate, had been the formal rush chairman of the university’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter back in 1988.

Filip is now a senior partner with the firm Kirkland and Ellis and was supposed to examine how the university can improve its response to sexual assault allegations.

In an email sent out Thursday to members of the UVA community, Rector George Martin wrote that of central importance will be the question of how the university should respond when a victim does not want to press charges.

“The counsel will examine the relevant legal issues as well as the University’s policies and processes, giving particular attention to the question of how to respond in situations where there is serious and credible information about sexual misconduct but no willing complainant,” the email said, according to The Cavalier Daily.

Phi Kappa Psi voluntarily suspended all operations, writing in a statement that the fraternity remains “ready and willing to assist with the fair and swift pursuit of justice, wherever that may lead.”

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