Judge Nap: UVA Punished Fraternity 'Without Giving a Damn About the Truth'
Judge Andrew Napolitano told Megyn Kelly that a University of Virginia fraternity should pursue a lawsuit after Rolling Stone published allegations of a gang rape that turned out to be false.
An independent review, done by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism at Rolling Stone's request, dubbed the story a "journalistic failure at every level" on Monday.
None of the names of the alleged rapists were mentioned in the now-retracted article, so the judge explained that the lawsuit would have to come from the fraternity itself.
Napolitano pointed out that only individuals can bring a defamation claim. Megyn pointed out that the fraternity and the university suffered a huge "P.R. hit" from the false allegations and were "completely maligned and defamed."
He answered that his hope is that a lawsuit is filed and is heard by a "courageous judge."
"I hope they get a court that says, 'the facts here are so outrageous, this was such a reckless disregard for the different between truth and falsity we want a jury to evaluate everything that happened here.' Because the people who did this need to be shamed and if they have financial assets, they need to be punished," he argued.
After the story by Rolling Stone contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely made headlines last fall, the university moved swiftly to temporarily suspend fraternity and sorority activities.
The fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, whose members were accused of the rape, suspended its UVA chapter in response.
Phi Kappa Psi has said it plans to sue Rolling Stone. Judge Napolitano said he believes the fraternity has a legitimate case, but called the actions of the university president "just as horrific and maybe worse than the magazine."
He said it was "reprehensible" for Teresa Sullivan to punish the university's entire Greek system based on a magazine article that only accused a handful of students of wrongdoing.
"The same thing happened with the University of Oklahoma. A couple of students got drunk at a fraternity and the president of the university - again a state-owned school - decided to punish people that had nothing to do with their hate-filled, but probably protected rant. This is liberal intelligentsia in the academy wanting to prove how strong it is to defend the rights of a victim, that it created more victims and didn't give a damn about the truth," he said.
Both agreed that no one wants to discourage rape victims from coming forward, but young men who are accused can also be victimized when an allegation is made public without proper fact-checking.
Watch their full analysis above from "The Kelly File."