Review set for University of Virginia policy after campus rape report

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2014 6:56 PM

(Reuters) - An independent counsel will review the University of Virginia's sexual violence policies after a Rolling Stone story on an alleged gang rape at a fraternity, state Attorney General Mark Herring said on Friday.

The magazine on Wednesday carried a female student's description of an assault by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi house in September 2012. Police in Charlottesville, site of the school, are investigating the reported incident.

"In light of the disturbing events described in this week's Rolling Stone article, the University has asked me to appoint an independent counsel to review their structure of prevention and response to reports of sexual violence," Herring said in a statement.

The school had proposed that former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Mark Filip carry out the review, but Herring and the university had agreed to pick another candidate, the statement said. Filip was Phi Kappa Psi member at the University of Illinois.

University President Teresa Sullivan said in a statement on Wednesday that the Rolling Stone article had several details that were previously not disclosed to university officials.

The magazine said faculty and the woman's friends had discouraged her from sharing her story. Sullivan said the school took sexual misconduct seriously.

The University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi said on Thursday it had voluntarily surrendered its fraternity agreement with the school and suspended its activities during the investigation.

The Rolling Stone story came two months after a University of Virginia student, Hannah Graham, went missing, sparking national headlines. Her remains were found in October and a Charlottesville man has been charged in her disappearance.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Eric Walsh)