Article Claims That “Dylann Roof, Killer of 9 Charleston Church Members” Was “Raped and Beaten by Inmate”


Fact Test - False

The claim(s):

An article from a website entitled viralmugshot.com purports that Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of the June 17, 2015 Charleston, South Carolina church shooting which killed nine individuals, was beaten and raped by an inmate while in prison.

Specifically, the article states:

“Dylann Roof and his appointed attorney have no plans to file charges against the inmate accused of raping and beating him Thursday morning as the accused church shooter went to the showers.”

And:

“Stafford hit Roof in the face and back, leaving him with bruises on his face and back after he was raped for 5 minutes the report adds. Roof was checked out by jail medical staff and received 15 stitches to his rectum and returned to his cell.”

Another article from a website entitled nymeta.co appears to be an earlier source of a similar claim (their variation, however, was different), and though an archive, dated August 7, 2016, of the nymeta.co article does exist, the website is presently unavailable.

nymeta.co - Suspended

In the version of events from nymeta.co, the following was stated:

“Shocking news out of South Carolina as it is being reported that Dylann Roof, the Charleston Church Shooter, has just been raped inside his prison cell. . . . He remains in critical condition in a prison infirmary for treatment of multiple injuries due to being sexually assaulted numerous times. He is also being put on a suicide watch. Apparently two African-American prisoners were responsible for the assault according to the correction officer who was on duty.”

And:

” ‘After examining Roof, we have confirmed that he was sexually assaulted. His injuries are severe and his requires immediate surgery to repair his rectum. A marking was also left on his back that read “Black Owned” which appeared to have been carved into his skin,’ according to Dr. Nicols of the prison.”

The truth:

These claims are false.

Dylann Roof was assaulted, but not raped, in 2016 by one fellow inmate named Dwayne Stafford. An incident report on Twitter, published by a crime reporter from the Charleston Post and Courier, claims that this incident occurred on August 4, 2016, at approximately 7:45 AM. Numerous other articles appear to confirm this date and time, including, for example, the pieces which can be found here, here, and here.

According to Google, the initial publishing date of the aforementioned article from viralmugshot.com was June 17, 2015, the date of Roof’s attack, indicating that the false story on Roof being beaten and raped, which stemmed from the August 4, 2016 event, must be a later revision of an original or prior article that can no longer be viewed.

Dylann Roof, Killer Of 9 Charleston Church Members Raped & Beaten by Inmate - DATE POSTED.png

As of recently, the fabricated story by viralmugshot.com has been disseminated widely; yet, this is not the first time that such a false tale has been circulated, or debunked.

An AP Fact Check available on usnews.com from January 3, 2017 directly refutes the similar claim of nymeta.co that Roof was raped while in jail (“A widely shared story claiming convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof was raped in jail is not true”).

Other outlets such as yahoo.com and columbian.com also republished this refutation.

A number of stories on viralmugshot.com are either sensational or fabrications, and while a live version of nymeta.co is no longer available as of the writing of this post, its previous about section can be found on sites.google.com:

“NY Meta is an entertainment website. We post the latest trending articles circulating the web. Whether interesting, controversial, abnormal, thought provoking or satirical we aim only to entertain with the stories we publish.”

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