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Former University of Virginia Dean Nicole Eramo was not the only one who sued Rolling Stone for a negative portrayal in the magazine’s now-discredited article about a gang rape.

While the lawsuit brought by three members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was dismissed in June, the lawsuit filed by the U.Va. chapter of the fraternity as a whole continues.

The Friday verdict that found Rolling Stone, its publisher and the author of the retracted story liable for defamation on multiple counts will likely help the fraternity chapter. The fraternity, like Eramo, has to prove that Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely knowingly published false information about them.

A jury has now ruled that Rolling Stone and Erdely did so with Eramo, and it looks like the fraternity will have a much easier time.

I was uncertain that Eramo would prevail, because while it was clear Erdely was derelict in her duty as a journalist, I wasn’t sure Eramo could prove the author was out to get her.

The doctored photo in the magazine that made Eramo look sinister, however, helped the jury decide. Also, students who had spoken to Eramo about their sexual assault accusations told Erdely prior to publication that her description of the dean was wrong, but she kept it as is.

For the fraternity, evidence presented in Eramo’s trial revealed that Erdely began writing her article with a severe bias against fraternities. Erdely, in her interview with the rape hoaxer Jackie, said the fraternity members who allegedly gang-raped the accuser represented a “banality of evil” and that she wanted to “get these guys.”

Erdely also cited to Jackie research she had found that claimed fraternity members were “more likely to rape people” and hold “rape-supportive attitudes.” It was clear from this interview that Erdely had a preconceived notion about fraternities and indeed wanted to attack them.

A lawyer for Eramo perhaps summed it up best in his closing arguments: “Once they decided what the article was going to be about, it didn’t matter what the facts were.”

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This line, the verdict favoring Eramo, and Erdely’s pre-existing bias against fraternities should make the next lawsuit against the magazine a slam dunk.

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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