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Judge denies Rolling Stone magazine's attempt to kill UVA frat's lawsuit

Students walk past the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house on the University of Virginia campus on December 6, 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Jay Paul/Getty Images

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- A Virginia judge has denied Rolling Stone magazine’s attempt to throw out a $25 million lawsuit filed by the fraternity that was the focus on its now debunked article about a gang rape.

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia filed a defamation lawsuit against the magazine last year over the now discredited article “A Rape on Campus.” The story described in chilling detail a student’s account of being raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in September 2012.

Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore said in his decision released Thursday that the statements made about the fraternity in the story could reasonably be considered defamatory.

An attorney for Rolling Stone didn’t immediately return a message left at her office Thursday.

Phi Kappa Psi previously in a statement that the article was viewed by millions, led to members being ostracized and there was vandalism of the fraternity house.

“Clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed, but more importantly we fear this entire episode may prompt some victims to remain in the shadows, fearful to confront their attackers,” Stephen Scipione, the president of the fraternity chapter in Charlottesville, Virginia, said in a statement in April 2015. 

The article said a woman named “Jackie” was gang-raped at the fraternity house. Police have said there is no evidence the attack took place.