A group of University of Virginia students featured in the Rolling Stone article on sexual assault at the school have confirmed the name of fellow UVA student Jackie’s alleged rapist to CNN — and it’s looking increasingly likely that he doesn’t exist.
Jackie’s story of gang rape at a UVA fraternity house was a main part of a now-notorious Rolling Stone report on the sexual assault culture of the school. Much of what Jackie told Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely has since been called into question, based on statements from the fraternity and investigative work primarily by The Washington Post.
The group of three friends who were with Jackie the night she was allegedly raped — all of whom were pseudonymous in the Rolling Stone article but have recently spoken on record about the story — are now telling a very different version of the night’s events than what was originally presented by Erdely, who they say never contacted them.
According to the friends, Jackie had told them she was going on a date that night with a UVA student named Haven Monahan, whom she had supposedly met in her chemistry class, CNN reports. Rolling Stone originally reported that Jackie’s date was with “Drew,” a pseudonym given to a member of UVA fraternity Phi Kappa Psi who she met “while working lifeguard shifts together at the university pool.”
While it has been previously reported that the name Jackie had given her friends — now revealed as Monahan — did not match anyone in Phi Psi or even in UVA, there now seems to be more evidence that the alleged rapist does not exist.
CNN reports that “Jackie told her friends that Monahan dropped out of the university after the assault, but a university record check by CNN revealed that no one by that name ever attended the university. Another check found no one by that name in the United States.”
A separate search by Business Insider based on the name reported by CNN did not yield any matches in a public records database. There also appear to be no references to anyone named Haven Monahan online, except in reference to Jackie and ongoing investigation into Rolling Stone’s UVA story.
Jackie’s friends said they exchanged text messages with Monahan on multiple occasions, and received at least one email from a Yahoo account in his name.
The Washington Times reports that the friends were given three numbers for Monahan — a number supplied by Jackie that the students originally reached out to and was supposedly his personal mobile phone, a second number that he replied from and said was a friend’s phone, and a third number that he continued the conversation on and said was his BlackBerry.
According to The Times, all three of these numbers “were labelled as an ‘Internet Phone’ on a database background check.” This means that they were sent using “services that allow users to send SMS text messages from a computer or iPad without having a phone number,” The Times reports.
Last week, The Washington Post confirmed that a photo supposedly of Monahan that the friends received from the BlackBerry number was actually a former classmate from Jackie’s high school, who “said he barely knew Jackie and hasn’t been to Charlottesville for at least six years.”
All of this adds up to growing evidence questioning the identity of Haven Monahan, Jackie’s alleged rapist.
“There’s a very good chance whoever I was texting was Jackie,” UVA student Alex Stock, a friend identified as “Andy” in Rolling Stone, told CNN. “There’s a definite possibility.”
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