On Friday afternoon, a Charlottesville, Va., federal judge will decide whether a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone Magazine will proceed.

The lawsuit, brought by University of Virginia Dean Nicole Eramo, alleges the magazine defamed her when it published a later-retracted article about an alleged gang-rape on campus. A young woman, referred to only as "Jackie" claimed that seven men gang-raped her as part of a fraternity initiation ceremony. The magazine portrayed Eramo as unsupportive of women who made sexual assault accusations, even though it was her job to help accusers and investigate claims.

The article was published in November 2014, and Eramo brought her lawsuit in May 2015. The article became an international sensation but quickly unraveled when questions arose as to why Rolling Stone never questioned the man who allegedly lured Jackie to a party where the gang-rape took place. It was soon discovered that this man didn't exist, that Jackie had made him up to win the affections of another man on campus (it didn't work).

Jackie had used a text-messaging service to send her friends texts allegedly from this young man, who she said was named Haven Monahan (no one by that name has ever attended U.Va or even appears to live in the U.S.). Pictures she showed her friends of this man were actually of a former high school classmate who barely knew Jackie.

Rolling Stone didn't bother to check any of this, instead adhering to the "listen and believe" mantra of sex assault activists. It had to retract the story and issue an apology, but it has been fighting Eramo in court ever since.

Eramo and Rolling Stone have asked U.S. District Court Judge Glen E. Conrad to rule on whether the case will proceed, according to the Washington Post's T. Rees Shapiro, who unraveled the whole Rolling Stone story. Rolling Stone, Shapiro wrote, has countered Eramo's claim of defamation by citing the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, which found U.Va. in violation of Title IX for creating a "hostile environment" for those making campus sexual assault accusations.

What Rolling Stone ignores is the fact that any school under investigation by OCR will be found in violation, even if the department has to make determinations that contradict victim's advocacy groups and past rulings.

The magazine's lawyers also, amusingly, defend Rolling Stone's actions by claiming the reporter and editors believed Jackie was telling the truth. Whether that helps Eramo or not, it is a sad commentary on Rolling Stone's journalism, as it put all its trust in a sick woman without bothering to verify her story — all because the magazine wanted to jump on the hysteria surrounding campus sexual assault with a story so sensational it couldn't possibly be true (and wasn't).

Even as (former?) Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely and her editors claimed they believed Jackie, notes and correspondence proved inconsistencies in the accuser's story throughout the interview process. Jackie even mentioned a "Law and Order: SVU" plotline that was suspiciously similar to her own story.

Nevertheless, Rolling Stone went ahead with the story, doing real victims of sexual assault injustice by further making it difficult to believe accusers, and potentially making real victims at U.Va. less likely to report sexual assault.

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.