The Washington Post, to its credit, is reporting that University of Virginia rape hoaxer Jackie Coakley faked a terminal illness and pretended to be a man to try and get her romantic interest to date her. The gang rape lies she produced were also part of that same protracted attempt to enter into a relationship with Ryan Duffin. Although T. Rees Shapiro has sadly only included Jackie’s first name in his article, its publication is a very positive development that will help correct the great damage done to the reputations of various UVA fraternity members.
Despite never having set foot at UVA, let alone attended it, the Jackie Coakley false rape debacle became deeply personal to me. My first ROK article was actually about then Jezebel writer Anna Merlan’s shrieks of sadness that Coakley had not been gratuitously raped. A lot has happened since then, including the unexpected condemnation of Rolling Stone “journalist” Sabrina Rubin Erdely and editor Will Dana in a report by the Columbia University School of Journalism, which had launched an investigation into the frankly horrendous excuse for journalism that the UVA article was.
Some lessons in stalking and psychopathy
Jackie Coakley’s determination to date Ryan Duffin, irrespective of his repeated turning down of her advances, evinces some clearly unbalanced and psychotic behavior. What’s more is that instead of the usual pattern of punishing the man who spurned her, she took the arguably even more reprehensible act of using uninvolved fraternity members to make false gang rape claims designed to win Duffin’s heart.
Coakley went further, however, and used a fictitious man named Haven Monahan to text Duffin and goad him into returning feelings for her. Police have confirmed that the Monahan character is nothing but an invention. Pictures of him texted to Duffin were of a former classmate of Coakley’s from northern Virginia. Eventually Coakley made her now well-known accusations of gang rape by a group of fraternity brothers, including Monahan.
Duffin rushed to be with her after she told him about the “rape,” as she clearly wanted him to. Coakley’s “hysterical” reactions made her seem believable to him and his fellow comforting friends. He also drew closer to her when she fabricated having a terminal illness, news the character Haven Monahan had relayed to him. Nevertheless, the numbers of male students participating in the rape changed, as did the first name Jackie attributed to Monahan. In fact, she told Duffin she could not tell if his real name was John or Jake or something else. Duffin understandably grew suspicious.
The wider implications
Let’s set aside the holes in Jackie Coakley’s story. Here we have a seemingly well-adjusted and intelligent young man, Ryan Duffin, who was led to trust her, in spite of the gargantuan lies she was telling. Women are, in their own twisted way, capable of delivering performances that superficially match what they are claiming.
This case provides another demonstration of the utter minefield of trusting testimony alone. By false rape standards, Coakley’s reporting to others was sudden. None of the usual delays accompanied her histrionic behavior. Yet the allegations were equally as invented as those of an Emma Sulkowicz or Lena Dunham.
What happens when an accusing woman combines the maximum believability of a Jackie Coakley with a greater level of consistency and the ability to stop herself from overreaching? Gridiron player Brian Banks’ tormentor Wanetta Gibson is one of those individuals, only undone by her own later and unsolicited admissions. The idea of being able to discern deceit based on face-to-face contact and an appraisal of someone’s testimony is purely fanciful.
In broader terms, the Coakley case shows the desperate need for due process and beyond reasonable doubt after rape accusations to approximate the standards expected when other crimes are alleged. A person is extremely unlikely, for example, to be convicted of an armed robbery without CCTV evidence, the recovery of what is stolen, proof of injury, or multiple witness statements of the same individual incident (i.e. not the Bill Cosby witch hunt of disconnected allegations being bundled together as one “truth”). Both courts and non-judicial discussions are engaged in a perpetual cycle of watering down thresholds to secure more convictions and social condemnation.
All this is even more important when we consider the UVA hoax consisted of claims circulating freely without any trial having taken place. Feminists and SJWs seem to think that the absence of a trial, which requires police evidence (or politicized pressures to create it), means mere accusations are allowed to stick as a de facto branding of guilt for accused individuals.
Some much needed rain
Jackie Coakley is yet to face the comparatively token threat of a university Honor Code trial. UVA was more than happy to suspend Greek Life activities across the whole university, not just for the fraternity at the center of the hoax, but the person conclusively outed as a fabulist escaped unscathed. Some things never change.
In the end, the continued willingness of even CNN and The New York Times, not just the more conservative Post, to air this saga illustrates a marked qualitative change in how many reporters respond to rape hoaxes. Sure, perhaps a majority of journalists, a notoriously left-leaning profession, remain unwilling to tackle such egregious issues. Regardless, T. Rees Shapiro’s piece is an excellent vindication of the truth and should be welcomed by anyone supportive of justice and not mob mentalities.
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