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Man UVa. picked to lead fraternity rape investigation ‘out’ over fraternal ties

Man UVa. picked to lead fraternity rape investigation ‘out’ over fraternal ties
Posted at 12:54 PM, Nov 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-21 21:59:36-05

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The man initially chosen to investigate gang-rape allegations at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia, detailed in a recent Rolling Stone article, was replaced before he ever got started. Concerns about former federal Judge Mark Filip's appointment were raised because Filip was in Phi Kappa Psi -- at the University of University of Illinois.

"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. This is a necessary step and the independence and objectivity of the review must be unimpeachable," Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement. "Because the University's proposed candidate, former federal Judge Mark Filip, has a prior affiliation with a chapter of the fraternity described in the Rolling Stone article, the University and I agree that, despite the agreement-in-principle between the University and Judge Filip, another candidate will be selected. This situation is too serious to allow anything to undermine confidence in the objectivity and independence of this review."

Phi Kappa Psi suspended its activities Thursday after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said he was "deeply disturbed" by what he read in Rolling Stone and ordered a full and fair investigation to take place.

"Sexual violence is a nationwide problem, and it is critical that our schools acknowledge that this is a pervasive issue and take bold action to end it," Governor McAuliffe said in a statement.

Slut Walk at the University of Virginia

In hopes of encouraging female students and sexual assault victims to not be ashamed, several students organized a Friday "Slut Walk" on campus.  The walk is part of a worldwide movement that works to "challenge mindsets and stereotypes of victim-blaming and slut-shaming around sexual violence."

A similar walk took place in Richmond two years ago.

‘Greek life is a big institution here, and it has a lot of power’

Some UVa. students said they would be uncomfortable reporting sexual assaults on campus. Fourth-year student and sorority member Allison Lank said there is pressure for first-year students to conform.

"If that means not speaking out about sexual assault, just so you can join a sorority and getting into parties.  I think that’s definitely possible," Lank said.

Other students said the Rolling Stone article painted the University of Virginia in an unfair light.

"I feel like it was a very biased article that looked at one side of it and just a few stories," first-year student Maddie Pence said.

Fraternity vandalized

Police in Charlottesville continue to investigate vandalism that occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house the day after the Rolling Stone article was published.

"A number of windows had been broken with bottles and chunks of cinder block and a portion of the building had been spray painted,” police said.

Greg McQuade will have an updated report from the University of Virginia ahead on the CBS 6 News at 5 p.m.