The phone numbers given to a group of friends by Jackie, the student who says she was raped in 2012 at a UVA frat hours, were all set up at an online site that allows people to send texts from a computer.
Last week the Post reported that the man who supposedly took Jackie on a date the night of the alleged attack had previously been communicating with Jackie’s friends via cell phone numbers she had provided to them. The friends never saw the mystery man in question and were unable to locate him on any social media. At one point the Post recounts they were even beginning to wonder whether they had been in contact with a real upperclassman at all.
Today the Washington Times adds significant new detail to the story. It turns out the cell numbers provided by Jackie, “are registered to Internet services that…can be used to redirect calls to different numbers or engage in spoofing.” The site, known as Pinger, is an app that allows people to text for free but it can also be used to set up free texting accounts on the web. It’s at least possible then that the accounts Jackie’s friends were texting were not connected to a phone at all. Told about the source of the texts, one of Jackie’s friends, Alex Stock, tells the Times, “That definitely raises some red flags.”
Despite the new revelations, Jackie’s friends continue to support her, albeit somewhat more hesitantly than before. Ryan Duffin, who appears to have been the real object of Jackie’s affections, recalls that Jackie eventually wanted to get out of the story. “There came a point when she didn’t want that anymore, she tried toretract, but the reporter said at that stage it wasn’t possible,” he tells the Times. He adds, “More and more is coming to the surface, and I think there will come a time when we know what really happened, especially since I know there is a police investigation.”
Charlottesville Police have refused to comment other than to say that they are continuing to investigate the incident.