Rolling Stone has lost a defamatory case over an article detailing a campus rape case that police allege never happened.

What happened in the original story?

The article in question “A Rape on Campus,”had been published in November 2014. The original story had detailed an account of a fraternity party gang rape that had victimized a source identified as “Jackie,” and suggested that the school had performed a cover-up of sorts to keep the crime under-wraps.

Nicole P. Eramo, a former associate dean of students at theUniversity of Virginia, instigated the defamation suit after she felt that the Rolling Stone magazine article had vilified her.

According to the original suit, Eramo claimed that Rolling Stone had implied that she had manipulated the Jackie figure against reporting her rape both in the original article and supposed media appearances. Added to that, the story suggested that Eramo had also failed to report the incident to the proper authorities. As the suit alleged, the publication ignored following up on possible leads and sources that could have disproven the story.

Reports allege that police had not found an evidence of the rape detailed in the original article taking place.Although Rolling Stone eventually retracted the story, which can still be found on some archival sites, the publication had at one point sent the story to the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism for review.

What happens now?

The jury had not only found Rolling Stone to be liable for the defamation suit, but also the parent company Wenner Media, and the article’s original writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely. In the end, they were all found guilty of defamatory charges.During the trial, Jann S. Wenner, who serves as Rolling Stone’s founder and editor,implied that “Jackie” had tried to use the publication to commit fraud, and had lied to their reporters, and that the only source they intentionally denied communications with was the supposed rapists.

That said, however, Rolling Stone has issued a statement apologizing to Eramo and claiming that they had committed journalistic mistakes that they have no intention of repeating in the near future.

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