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Make rape fakers pay higher price

| Sunday, June 18, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
University of Virginia students walk to campus past the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
University of Virginia students walk to campus past the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

It's settled, but far from over. The University of Virginia fraternity defamed by Sabrina Erdely will receive a $1.65 million payment, it announced last week.

Erdely's manufactured tale of gang rape by Phi Kappa Psi members, published by left-wing Rolling Stone magazine, combusted spectacularly after scrutiny by independent journalists in late 2014. In another defamation lawsuit, Nicole Eramo, UVA dean of students, won a $3 million jury verdict last year that she told NBC 29 in Charlottesville, Va., “was vindicating.” But is it enough to compensate for the harm done — and to deter future rape hoaxers and their media enablers?

Phi Kappa Psi initially sued for $25 million. Eramo's jury award also shrunk in a settlement with Rolling Stone in April. Despite her court victory, she faced a mountain of legal bills. And Erdely's other victims? Three other Phi Kappa Psi alumni filed a third defamation suit that a federal judge dismissed last year. But in April, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York heard arguments for reinstating the case.

There are other forgotten targets of Erdely's shoddy work, published by Rolling Stone, who have yet to see any accountability for her.

In 2011, Erdely published a massive “investigation” alleging a “high-level conspiracy” to cover up sexual abuse by Philadelphia Catholic clergy. Erdely featured the allegations of “Billy Doe” against two priests and a lay teacher. His testimony resulted in convictions of four men (one of whom died in prison). “Billy” pocketed a $5 million settlement.

Ralph Cipriano, independent investigative journalist and founder of BigTrial, reported last month that a key detective in the case, Joe Walsh, filed an affidavit outlining the deception of former altar boy “Billy” — a.k.a. Daniel Gallagher. Pressed on whether his stories were true, Gallagher admitted he “just made up stuff and told them anything,” Walsh wrote. Cipriano reported Walsh had “repeatedly informed the prosecutor in the case .... that Gallagher wasn't a credible witness,” that “there was no evidence that backed up Gallagher's fantastic stories” and that evidence “actually contradicted Gallagher.” But the prosecution proceeded anyway. Rolling Stone has never reviewed or updated that Erdely article — or informed readers of the real scandal of yet another fake rape hoax and prosecutorial misconduct.

In 2013, Erdely published “The Rape of Petty Officer (Rebecca) Blumer: Inside the military's culture of sex abuse, denial and cover-up.” As Washington Examiner reporter Ashe Schow pointed out, Erdely “apparently made no attempt to contact members of the military involved in investigating the case, instead relying on victim's advocates with no direct knowledge” of Blumer's claims.

Too few journalists are willing to challenge the corruption of the criminal justice system. Politicized police departments and pro-prosecution courts have failed to uphold the accused's constitutional rights. Juries need to send louder messages and impose strong deterrents against rape fakers and their propagandists. Make them pay. Big time.

Michelle Malkin is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on CRTV.com.

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