- 2006 Duke University lacrosse case
The 2006 Duke University lacrosse case was a
scandalthat started in March 2006 when Crystal Gail Mangum, [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,265374,00.html Crystal Gail Mangum: Profile of the Duke Rape Accuser] . " Fox News." 11 April 2007.] [http://webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/apps/offender/offend1?DOCNUM=0801264&SENTENCEINFO=yes&SHOWPHOTO=no&numtimesin=1 Mangum, Crystal G.] , North Carolina Department of Correction Public Access Information System] Mueller, Jared. Rotberg, Emily. [http://www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/05/01/News/Dancer.Made.Prior.Allegation-1897624.shtml?norewrite200605060038&sourcedomain=www.dukechronicle.com Dancer made prior allegation] . "The Chronicle". 1 May 2006.] an African American stripperand escort, a student at North Carolina Central University, falsely accused three white members of Duke University's men's lacrosseteam [cite web|url=http://www.goduke.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4200&KEY=&SPID=2027&SPSID=25937|title=Mens Lacrosse at GoDuke.com] of raping her at a party held at the house of two of the team's captains in Durham, North Carolina, USA on March 13, 2006.
April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney GeneralRoy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. Cooper stated that the charged players – Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans – were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse."cite news|last=Beard|first=Aaron|title=Prosecutors Drop Charges in Duke Case|publisher=Associated Press|date=2007-04-11|url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2007/04/11/national/a113721D83.DTL|accessdate=2007-04-11] The initial prosecutorfor the case, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, who had been denounced as a "rogue prosecutor" by Cooper, withdrew from the case in January 2007 after the North Carolina State Bar filed ethics charges against him. That June, Nifong was disbarred for "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation," making Nifong the first prosecutor in North Carolina history to lose his law license based on actions in a case. Nifong was found guiltyof criminal contemptand served one day in jail.cite news|last=Beard|first=Aaron|title=Judge Finds Duke Prosecutor in Comtempt|publisher=Associated Press|date=2007-08-31|url=http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=3548046|accessdate=2007-09-03]
Cooper pointed to several inconsistencies in Mangum’s accounts of the evening as well as unimpeachable
alibievidence provided by Seligmann and Finnerty in the summary of findings report. The Durham Police Department has also come under fire for violating their own policies by allowing Nifong to act as the de factohead of the investigation, giving a suspect-only photo identification procedure to Mangum, pursuing with the case despite vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, and the release of a guilt presuming poster shortly after the allegations.cite news|title=Ex-players seek $30 million settlement|publisher=News & Observer|date=2007-09-08|url=http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/696594.html|accessdate=2007-09-08] The ex-players are seeking unspecified damages and new criminal justice reform laws in a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city of Durham.cite news|title=Ex-players seek $30 million settlement|publisher=News & Observer|date=2007-09-08|url=http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/696594.html|accessdate=2007-09-08] The case has sparked varied responses from the media, faculty groups, students, the community, and others.
Duke University suspended the lacrosse team for two games on
March 28, 2006. On April 5, 2006, Duke's lacrosse coach Mike Presslerwas forced to resign and Duke PresidentRichard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 season.
Timeline of events
Events at the house
Mangum had been working part-time for about two months as an escort and
stripperfor Allure Escort Service, and was also a 27-year-old student at North Carolina Central University. Before arriving at the party that day, she had consumed alcohol and Flexeriland had engaged in sexual intercourse with other clients. [Sherwell, Philip. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/04/02/wduke02.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/02/ixworld.html University rape highlights racial divisions in South] . " telegraph.co.uk". 2 April 2006.] [ [http://abcnews.go.com/US/LegalCenter/story?id=1882072&page=1 Duke Lacrosse Scandal Sheds New Light on the Stripper Industry: A Campus Trend?] . " ABC News." Retrieved on 4 November 2006.] [cite journal |last=Smolkin |first=Rachel |year=2007 |month=August/September |title=Justice Delayed |journal= American Journalism Review|url=http://ajr.org/Article.asp?id=4379 |accessdate=2007-07-23] Mangum's coworker that day was Kim Roberts, but they arrived separately. [http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15238767/ Duke accuser lying, second stripper says] . "MSNBC." 13 Oct 2006.]
March 13, 2006, a party was held at the residence of the captains of the Duke lacrosse team, a house that Duke University had recently purchased. The players were consuming alcohol at the party. They contacted Allure and requested two white strippers, but the women who arrived, Mangum and Roberts, were respectively black and half-Asian, half-black. One player asked if the dancers had any sex toys, and Roberts responded by asking if the player's penis was too small, according to the team captains. The player then took a broomstick and suggested that she use it for that purpose. This exchange of words abruptly stopped the performance, and both strippers went inside the home's bathroom. While the women were still in the bathroom, Seligmann and Finnerty left the house. The women came out, and Mangum roamed around the yard half-dressed and shouting.cite web | title = What Really Happened That Night at Duke | url = http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18110003/site/newsweek/page/2/ | publisher = Newsweek | date = 2007-04-23issue | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ]
Shortly before 1 a.m., Mangum and Roberts entered their vehicle. A verbal altercation took place between the women and the team members, after which Mangum and Roberts departed in Roberts' car. Evans, who had only heard some of the taunting because he was on the phone, became concerned that the police would be called and cite him for a noise violation, so he told the other players to leave.
As Roberts drove away with Mangum, the two women began to argue. Roberts pulled over and attempted to push Mangum out. [ [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/LegalCenter/story?id=2614634&page=1 'Go Ahead, Put Marks on Me'] . "ABC News." 30 Oct 2006.] When that measure failed, Roberts drove Mangum to a nearby
Krogersupermarket, went inside, and spoke to a security guard. She told the guard that a woman was refusing to leave her car. The guard walked to the car and asked Mangum to leave, but Mangum stayed in the vehicle. The guard said that she did not smell alcohol on Mangum's breath, but thought she might have been under the influence of other drugs. At 1:22 AM, the guard called 911 to report that Mangum refused to leave the car. Police then arrived, tried to remove Mangum from the car, and questioned her. [Cuomo, Chris & Setrakian, Lara. [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/LegalCenter/story?id=1849938&page=1 Exclusive: Guard Who Saw Alleged Duke Victim Says No Sign or Mention of Rape] . " ABC News". 17 April 2006.]
Mangum was then involuntarily committed to the Durham Access Center, a mental-health and substance-abuse facility. It was there where she first claimed that she had been raped. ["Defense motion seeks more reports in Duke lacrosse case", "The News & Observer." 31 August 2006.]
Mangum was transferred to
Duke University Medical Centerand received treatment for genital injuries, but it was unclear whether or not these injuries were consistent with rape. There were no abrasions, tears, or bleeding in the vaginal area, but investigators did find swelling in the vaginal area, along with tenderness in Mangum's breasts and lower-right quadrant. There was no blunt-force trauma, but Mangum had two nonbleeding scratches on her right knee and a nonbleeding scratch on her right heel, which had been there before she arrived at the party. There was diffuse swelling of the vagina, and investigators did not note any other injuries in the rest of the report. Mangum later claimed that she had performed using a vibrator for a couple in a hotel room shortly before the lacrosse-team party. This activity, or a yeast infection, might account for the swelling. [ [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002981402_dukenight09.html Piecing together what happened at the Duke lacrosse-team party] ."The Seattle Times". 9 May 2006.] [ [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/468272.html Lacrosse files show gaps in DA's case] . "The News & Observer." 6 August 2006.] [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196631,00.html Defense Sources: Duke Accuser Gave Conflicting Stories About Alleged Rape] ." Fox News". 24 May 2006.] [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/479650.html Cop says nurse found trauma in Duke case] . "The News & Observer." 27 August 2006.] [ [http://www.wcnc.com/localsports/college/acc/stories/wcnc-ad-6_9_06.6ca5d5fd.html Duke accuser's injuries questioned] . "WCNC.com." 9 June 2006.] [Neff, Joseph. "To the end, the account continues to change", "The News & Observer." 18 April 2007.]
A couple of hours after the party ended, Ryan McFadyen, a member of the lacrosse team, sent an email to other players saying that he planned to have some strippers over and made references to killing them and then cutting off their skin while wearing his Duke-issue spandex and ejaculating.
The e-mail was provided to Durham police by an unnamed Duke University employee with administrative access to the contents of student, staff, and faculty e-mail.Fact|date=September 2008 The police claimed their source for the e-mail was an addressee, who confidentially shared the contents.Fact|date=September 2008 The players suggest that the e-mail was conceived as humorous
irony. Administrators say the email was an imitation of Patrick Bateman, the protagonist/ antiheroin the Bret Easton Ellisnovel " American Psycho." McFadyen was not indicted of any crime, but he was suspended from Duke, due to what the university described as safety concerns. [ [http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0405061duke1.html Duke Rape Case E-mail Shocker] . " The Smoking Gun". 5 April 2006.] However, on June 29, 2006, the university reinstated him citing the fact he had broken no University policy through his actions.
Minute-by-minute list of events
The Duke student newspaper, "The Chronicle", published this list of events.
"Timeline of March 13"
Based on several published reports, "The Chronicle" offers readers a timeline for the night of March 13 and the early morning of March 14.
11:30 p.m. - Approximate time, according to a Durham police warrant, of the two exotic dancers' arrival at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.
11:50 p.m. - Neighbor Jason Bissey told the Raleigh News and Observer that he saw two women walk to the back of the house, where they were greeted by a man.
12:00 a.m. - Bissey sees the two women enter the house.
12:02 a.m. - A time-stamped photo provided by defense attorneys shows women dancing in front of the lacrosse players.
12:03 a.m. - Another photo shows both dancers leaving the party.
12:03 a.m.-12:30 a.m. - There is a 27-minute gap where no photos were taken.
12:07, 12:14 a.m. - Phone bills indicate two outgoing calls are made from sophomore Reade Seligmann's cell phone.
Sometime before 12:24 a.m. - A taxi driver has said in a written statement that he picked up Seligmann and a friend a block and a half away from the party.
12:24 a.m. - Seligmann's ATM card is used at a Wachovia bank. The taxi driver confirmed that he drove Seligmann and his friend to a bank and fast food restaurant before taking them to West Campus.
12:25 a.m. - Seligmann calls his girlfriend, another Duke sophomore, on his cell phone.
12:20 a.m.-12:30 a.m. - Bissey told the Durham Herald-Sun he saw the women leave the house during this period, only to try to go back inside to retrieve a missing shoe.
12:30 a.m. - A time-stamped photo shows Mangum, wearing only one shoe, rifling through her purse and apparently smiling on the back porch of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.
12:37 a.m. - A photo shows the woman lying on her side on the porch, apparently passed out.
12:41 a.m. - A photo shows the woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car with the door open.
12:45 a.m.-1:00 a.m. - Bissey said he saw the two dancers leave in a car sometime during this time period. He said he saw one man standing adjacent to the East Campus wall, shout "Thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt." He added that he saw the players leave the residence shortly thereafter.
12:46 a.m. - Seligmann's DukeCard is used to gain access to his Edens dormitory.
12:53 a.m. - The second dancer calls 911, saying white men who came out of 610 N. Buchanan yelled "nigger" at her from near the East Campus wall. Defense attorneys have questioned inconsistencies in the call - the caller first said she was driving, and later said she was walking when the slur was yelled.
12:55 a.m. - Durham Police Department officers arrive at a quiet 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. They saw there was evidence of a party, but nobody answered the door when the officers arrived.
1:22 a.m. - A female grocery clerk at a Kroger located on Hillsborough Road calls 911, saying "There's a lady in someone else's car, and she will not get out.... She's like, intoxicated, drunk or something."
1:30 a.m. - The police officer who came to respond to the Kroger call tells a dispatcher that Mangum does not need medical attention, adding, "She's not in distress. She's just passed-out drunk."
1:58 a.m. - An e-mail sent from the Duke account of sophomore lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen discusses hiring strippers and "killing the bitches."
"The timeline was compiled by Jared Mueller and Tiffany Webber using information provided by ABC News, NBC 17 News, the Durham Herald-Sun, The Raleigh News & Observer and The New York Times." [Webber, Tiffany & Mueller, Jared. [http://www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/04/20/News/Time-Line.Of.March.13-1863432.shtml?norewrite200605052308&sourcedomain=www.dukechronicle.com "Timeline of March 13"] . "The Chronicle". 20 Apr. 2006: pg 5.Picture of the Duke Chronicle article. (Text is not available).]
Investigation and prosecution
Shortly after the party, the prosecution ordered 46 of the 47 team members to provide DNA samples (the only black member of the team was exempt since Mangum had stated that her attackers were white), though some members had been absent from the party. The players gave cheek swabs and statements to the police the day after the party. They also offered to take lie-detector tests, but the police turned them down. On Monday,
April 10, 2006, it was revealed that DNA testing had failed to connect any of the 46 tested members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2404002 Attorneys: No DNA match in Duke lacrosse case] . " ESPN". 11 April 2006.] After the initial rounds of testing done by the state crime lab were completed, the district attorney sought the services of a private laboratory (DNA Security of Burlington) to conduct additional tests. DNA from multiple males was found inside Mangum and upon the rape kit items that had been tested. [cite news |first=Laura |last=Parker |title=Disbarment may not be end for Nifong |url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-06-17-nifong_N.htm?csp=34 |publisher="USA Today" |id= |pages= |page= |date= 2007-06-19|accessdate=2007-10-26] However, Nifong falsely represented to the public and to the court that DNA had only been found from a single male source, her boyfriend.Beard, Aaron. [http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/articles/2006/05/12/defense_attorney_2nd_dna_tests_complete/ 2nd DNA test shows no conclusive match] . " Associated Press". 12 May 2006] [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195479,00.html Duke Lacrosse Player: 'I'm Absolutely Innocent'] . " Fox News". 16 May 2006.]
December 13, 2006, defense attorneys filed court papers stating that the private lab had found DNA from multiple males in Mangum's body— but none that belonged to the accused players. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,236362,00.html Key DNA Evidence in Duke Rape Case Withheld From Defense for Six Months, Lawyers Charge] . "Fox News." 13 December 2006.] [ [http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/12/13/D8M06O7G0.html Lawyers: DNA Not Linked to Duke Athletes] . " Associated Press". 13 December 2006.]
December 15, 2006, defense attorneys argued in a motion that the DNA report given to Nifong's office (and thus what the defense attorneys received) was incomplete, omitting information that showed DNA samples from several men on the woman and her underwear, but that none of the genetic material matched any of the players. The director of the DNA lab, Brian Meeham, acknowledged that the decision violated the lab's policies, but stated that his lab did not try to withhold information. [http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1107841/ Paternity Test Ordered in Duke Lacrosse Rape Case] . "WRAL.com." 15 December 2006.] Rather, Meehan claimed, he decided to withhold the exculpatory DNA evidence after discussing it with Mike Nifong in an attempt to not drag anyone else through the mud. [ [http://www.dukechronicle.com/news/2006/12/11/News/Lab-Director.Withheld.Dna.Information-2598741.shtml Lab director withheld DNA information] . "The Chronicle." 15 December 2006.]
DNA from a broken false fingernail from Mangum, which was retrieved from the trash in the bathroom, showed some characteristics similar to David Evans' DNA, according to the private laboratory, but the match was not conclusive. [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguinslive/s_453128.html Report: DNA link possible for third Duke player] . "
Associated Pressand the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review". 12 May 2006.] Defense attorneys have suggested that any DNA present may have come from the tissue paper, cotton swabs, or other hygiene-related trash that had been in the garbage can along with the fingernail, since David Evans lived in the house. This was confirmed later by Attorney General Cooper's investigation: "... to the extent that Evans's DNA could not be excluded, the SBI experts confirmed that the DNA could easily have been transferred to the fingernails from other materials in the trash can." [http://www.ncdoj.com/DocumentStreamerClient?directory=PressReleases/&file=SummaryConclusions.pdf Summary of Conclusions] . North Carolina Attorney General’s Office & North Carolina Department of Justice. Accessed on 2007-10-26.] Mike Nifongclaimed that the lack of DNA is not unusual and that 75-80% of all sexual assaultcases lack DNA evidence. However, the reason that most rape cases lack DNA is that the majority of rape victims do not immediately go to the hospital for the rape exam. Instead, they wash away most or all of the DNA evidence over the days, weeks, or months before they contact authorities, if they do. In this case, Mangum had a rape-kit exam administered only hours after the end of the party, and the absence of DNA is considered unlikely by many legal experts. [Spilbor, Jonna. [http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20060414_spilbor.html The Rape That Never Was: Why, In Light Of The Lack Of DNA Evidence, The Case Against Duke's Lacrosse Team Should Be Dropped] . "FindLaw." 14 April 2006.]
During Nifong's ethics trial on
June 14, 2007, the complete DNA findings were revealed during Brad Bannon's testimony. It revealed, according to conservative estimates, that the lab had discovered at least two unidentified males' DNA in Mangum's pubic region; at least two unidentified males' DNA in her rectum; at least four to five unidentified males' DNA on her panties; and at least one identified male's DNA in her vagina. [http://bp1.blogger.com/_k_8jgSqqBEw/RnG7LUtFURI/AAAAAAAAAAU/nPzwO3xy2QI/s1600-h/Rape+Kit+Spreadsheet-001.jpgY-Str (Male) DNA Characteristics Discovered by DNA Security on the Rape Kit Items] . Retrieved on 14 June 2007.]
Arrests and investigation timeline
April 10, 2006, defense attorneys stated that time-stamped photographs exist that show the dancer was injured upon arrival and very impaired. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2403062 Attorney: Photos will clear Duke lacrosse players] . " ESPN". 10 April 2006.]
April 18, 2006, two members of the lacrosse team, Collin Finnerty (20) and Reade Seligmann (20), were arrestedand indictedon charges of first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offenseand kidnapping. [ [http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/duke/ncduke41706ind.html North Carolina v. Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann] . " FindLaw". 17 April 2006.] [Chen, Saidi. [http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/04/21/News/Lawyer.Claims.Player.Has.Alibi-1865481.shtml?sourcedomain=www.dukechronicle.com&MIIHost=media.collegepublisher.com Lawyer claims player has alibi.] . "The Chronicle". 21 April 2006.] Collin Finnerty had previously been charged with assaulting a man in Washington, DCand shouting anti-gay epithets at him. It was never considered a hate crime. He pleaded guilty and agreed to community service in November 2005 as part of a diversion program. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2421050 Finnerty ordered to stand trial in D.C.] . " Associated Press". 25 April 2006.] On January 10, 2007, the matter was cleared on Finnerty's record by a judge after monitoring Finnerty for several months and learning more about his character. [ [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/430109.html Seligmann's backers say he 'is not a nasty player'] . "News & Observer." 19 April 2006.] [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/lacrosse/2006-04-19-duke-cover_x.htm Race and class divisions shade case against 2 lacrosse players] . "USA Today." 19 April 2006.] Seligmann reportedly told teammates that he was glad at being indicted, alluding to a solid alibi in the form of ATM records, photographs, cell phone records, an affidavit from a taxi driver, and a record of his DukeCard being swiped at his dorm. [Price, S.L, and Evans, Farrell. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/06/22/duke0626/index.html The Damage Done] . "The Augusta Chronicle." 26 June 2006.]
April 18, search warrantswere executed on Finnerty and Seligmann's dorm rooms. [ [http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/duke/ncduke41806sw.html Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Search Warrants] . "FindLaw". 18 April 2006.] [Cuomo, Chris, Avram, Eric, & Setrakian, Lara. [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/LegalCenter/story?id=1858806&page=1 Key Evidence Supports Alibi in Potential Rape Defense for One Indicted Duke Player] . " ABC News". 19 April 2006.]
May 15, 2006, a third Duke lacrosse team player, former team captain and 2006 Duke graduate David Evans, was indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, sexual offense and kidnapping. [Baker, Mike. [http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/05/15/D8HKBCN80.html 3rd Member of Duke Lacrosse Team Indicted] . " Associated Press". 15 May 2006.] Just before turning himself in at the Durham County Detention Center, he made a public statement declaring his innocence and his expectation of being cleared of the charges within weeks. [ [http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/duke/ncduke41706ind.html Indictments (North Carolina v. Finnerty, Seligmann)] FindLaw, April 17, 2006] [ [http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/duke/ncduke41806sw.html Dorm Room Search Warrants] FindLaw, April 18, 2006] [ [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5348321 NPR: Duke Lacrosse Players Arrested on Rape Charges] April 18, 2006] [ [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/11/lkl.01.html Duke University Rape Scandal; Interview With Dave Holloway] April 11, 2006]
June 8, 2006, court documents revealed that Roberts, in her initial statement, said she was with Mangum the entire evening except for a period of less than five minutes. Additionally, after hearing Mangum saying she was sexually assaulted, she was incredulous. [Neff, Joseph. [http://web.archive.org/web/20070420135240/http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/448437.html Filing: Second dancer called allegations a 'crock'] , " The News & Observer". 8 June 2006.]
December 22, 2006, District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped the rape charges against all three lacrosse players. The kidnapping and sexual offense charges were still pending against all three players.
December 28, 2006, the North Carolina bar filed ethics charges against Nifong over his conduct in the case, accusing him of making public statements that were prejudicial to the administration of justice and of engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. The 17-page document accuses Nifong of violating four rules of professional conduct, listing more than 100 examples of statements he made to the media. [ [http://www.wral-tv.com/news/local/story/1120129/ State Bar Files Ethics Complaint Against Mike Nifong] . "WRAL.com." 28 December 2006.]
January 12, 2007, Nifong sent a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asking to be taken off the case, giving the responsibility of the case to the Attorney General's office. [cite news | url = http://abcnews.go.com/US/LegalCenter/story?id=2791514 | title = DA in Duke Rape Case Asks to Be Taken off Case | publisher = ABC News | date = 2007-01-12| first = Lara | last = Setrakian | accessdate = 2007-04-01 ] On January 13, 2007Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that his office would take over the case. [cite news
title=Prosecutor Mike Nifong Removed From Duke Case
January 24, 2007, the North Carolina State Bar filed a second round of ethics charges against Nifong for a systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion that was prejudicial to the administration of justice when he withheld DNA evidence to mislead the court.
April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced at a press conference that he had dismissed all charges against the three lacrosse players. [cite news|title=Charges Dropped In Duke Lacrosse Case|date=2007-04-11] He not only dismissed the charges but he took the unusual step of declaring the accused players innocent. [cite news |first=Aaron |last=Beard |title=Duke Charges Expected to Be Dropped |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_/ai_n18997041 |publisher=Associated Press |date= 2007-04-12|accessdate=2008-09-18]
Defense and media questioning
Credibility of the accuser
Lawyers for the Duke lacrosse players have said that Mangum was intoxicated with alcohol and possibly other drugs. [ [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=1859737&page=1 "Alleged Duke Rape Victim Wants Her Life Back"] . "
ABC News". 19 April 2006.] By the accuser's own admission to police, she had taken both Flexeriland "one or two large-size beers" before the party. [ [http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1092027/ Report: Police Notes Bolster Prosecution Of Duke Lacrosse Case] . WRAL, 2006-08-25.] It has since been confirmed by the Attorney General's office that Mangum has taken Ambien, methadone, Paxiland amitriptyline, although when she began taking these medications is uncertain. She has a long history of mental problems and has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.Jarvis, Craig. " [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/563697-p3.html Mangum's life: conflict, contradictions] ", "The News and Observer", 2007-04-13. Retrieved on 2007-04-14.] She also has taken anti-psychotic medications such as Seroquel. [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/11/60minutes/main2673456_page5.shtml The Duke Case: Innocent] . "60 Minutes." 15 April 2007.]
The Duke defense lawyers or media reports have said that:
*DNA results revealed that the woman had sex with a man who was not a Duke lacrosse player. Attorney Joseph Cheshire said the tests indicated DNA from a single male source came from a vaginal swab taken from Mangum. Media outlets reported that this DNA was from her boyfriend. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195355,00.html Defense: 2nd DNA Tests Show No Conclusive Link to Lacrosse Players] . "
Associated Press". 13 May 2006.] However, it was later revealed that DNA from multiple males who were neither the lacrosse players nor Mangum's boyfriend had been found, but that these findings had been deliberately withheld from the Court and the defense. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,236362,00.html Key DNA Evidence in Duke Rape Case Withheld From Defense for Six Months, Lawyers Charge] . "FoxNews." 13 December 2006.]
*She was convicted of stealing a car and sentenced to 3 weekends in detention. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2401203 Duke lacrosse players' attorneys step up defense] . "
ESPN". 9 April 2006. ]
*She had made a similar claim in the past which she did not pursue. On Aug. 18, 1996, the dancer - then 18 years old - told a police officer in Creedmoor she had been raped by three men in June 1993, according to a police document. The officer who took the woman's report at that time asked her to write a detailed timeline of the night's events and bring the account back to the police, but she never returned. ["Event told of accuser in lacrosse rape case", "News & Observer."
14 November 2006.] [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/11/60minutes/main2082140.shtml?CMP=ILC-SearchStories Duke Rape Suspects Speak Out] . "60 Minutes." 15 October 2006.]
*The strip club's security officer said that Mangum told co-workers four days after the party that she was going to get money from some boys at a Duke party who had not paid her, mentioning that the boys were white. The security guard did not make a big deal of it because he felt that no one took her seriously. [ [http://www.newsobserver.com/145/story/506116.html Accuser in Duke lacrosse case wanted money, man says] . "News & Observer."
4 November 2006.]
Inconsistencies in Mangum's story
Over the course of the scandal, police reports, media investigations, and defense attorneys' motions and press conferences brought to light several key inconsistencies in Mangum's story.Khanna, Samiha & Blythe, Anne. [http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/421799.html Dancer gives details of ordeal] . "
The News & Observer". 25 March 2006.] [Jarvis, Craig. [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/563697-p3.html Mangum's life: conflict, contradictions] , "The News and Observer", 2007-04-13. Retrieved on 2007-04-14.] Some of the questions about her credibility were:
*Durham police said that Mangum kept changing her story and is not credible, reporting that she initially told them she was raped by 20 white men, later reducing the number to only three.
*Another police report states that Mangum initially claimed she was only groped, rather than raped, but changed her story before going to the hospital.
*The second stripper who performed at the house, Kim Roberts, said that Mangum was not raped. She stated that Mangum was not obviously hurt. Likewise, she refuted other aspects of Mangum’s story including denying that she helped dress Mangum after the party and saying that they were not forcefully separated by players like Mangum had reported.
* Mangum did not consistently choose the same three defendants in the photo lineups. Media reports have disclosed at least two photo lineups that occurred in March and April in which she was asked to recall who she saw at the party and in what capacity. In the March lineup, she did not choose Dave Evans at all. There was only one individual she identified as being at the party with 100% certainty during both procedures - Brad Ross. [ [http://abclocal.go.com/images/wtvd/pdf/suppression_2.pdf Suppression] . Accessed on 2 June 2007.] After being identified, Ross provided to police investigators indisputable evidence that he was with his girlfriend at
North Carolina State Universitybefore, during, and after the party through cell phone records and a sworn affidavit from a witness. [http://www.newsobserver.com/content/news/crime_safety/duke_lacrosse/story_graphics/20061008_dukelax.pdf Conflicting Identifications] . "The News & Observer." Accessed on 24 December 2006.]
*A police report released
June 23, 2006, said that Mangum initially claimed she was attacked by five men and changed her story several times.
December 22, 2006, Nifong dropped the rape charges after Mangum stated that she was penetrated from behind but that she did not know with what. In North Carolina, penetration with an object is considered sexual assault, not rape. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/22/sports/22cnd-duke.html?ex=1324443600&en=663f0920072de97f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss Rape Charges Dropped in Duke Case] . "New York Times." 22 December 2006.]
January 11, 2007, several more inconsistencies came to light after the defense filed a motion detailing her interview on December 21, 2006. For example, she changed details about when she was attacked, who attacked her, and how they attacked her:"Accuser changes story in lacrosse case", "The News & Observer." 11 January 2007.] [http://wral.com/news/local/story/1133573/ Lacrosse Defense: Accuser's Story Changes Again] . "WRAL.com." 11 January 2007.] :*In the new version from the December 21 interview, Mangum claims she was attacked from 11:35 p.m. to midnight, much earlier than her previous accusations. This new timing is before the well-documented alibi evidence for Reade Seligmann that places him away from the house. However, the defense revealed that this new timing would suggest Seligmann was on the phone with his girlfriend during the height of the attack. Additionally, she received an incoming call at 11:36 p.m. and somebody stayed on the line for 3 minutes, which would be during the party according to the new timetable.:*The new statement contradicts time stamped photos that show her dancing between 12:00 and 12:04 a.m. It would also mean that they stayed at the party for nearly an hour after the supposed attack since Kim Roberts drove her away at 12:53 a.m. In her April statement, Mangum said they left immediately after the attack.:*Mangum changed the names of her attackers, saying they used multiple pseudonyms.:*The accuser also changed her description of Evans. She previously claimed that she was attacked by man that looked like Evans except with a mustache, but more recently stated that the assailant just had a five o'clock shadow.:*Mangum claimed that Evans stood in front of her, making her perform oral sex on him. Previously, she stated that Seligmann did this. In the latest statement, she stated that Seligmann did not commit any sex act on her and that he had said that he could not participate because he was getting married. Although he has a girlfriend, there has never been anything to suggest he was engaged or getting married.
*North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said Mangum told many different accounts of the attack. In one account, Mangum claimed she was suspended in mid-air and was being assaulted by all three of them in the bathroom. Cooper then said this event seemed very implausible due to the small size of the bathroom. According to a "
60 Minutes" investigation, the accuser gave at least a dozen different stories.
*Mangum, at one point, claimed both Evans and Finnerty helped her into her car upon departure. However, a photo shows her being helped by another player, while electronic records and witnesses reported that Evans and Finnerty had already left. Upon seeing the photo, Mangum claimed that it must have been doctored or that Duke University paid someone off. [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/11/60minutes/main2673456_page2.shtml The Duke Case: Innocent] . "60 Minutes." 15 April 2007.]
*In its own investigation, "
The News & Observer", North Carolina's second largest newspaper, determined that Mangum gave at least five different versions of the incident to police and medical interviewers by August 2006. [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/468272.html Lacrosse files show gaps in DA's case] . " The News & Observer". 6 August 2006.]
Nifong hired Linwood E. Wilson, whose private detective career was marked by ethics complaints and has limited experience working criminal cases, as his chief investigator. Media has questioned his ethics in his investigation of this case. During his private detective career, at least seven formal inquiries into his conduct were performed, and, in 1997, he was reprimanded by the state commission. After his appeal of the decision was rejected, he allowed his detective license to expire. One former client claim that he demanded additional money for work done after she fired him. She said she fired him since he did not make much progress in the case.
In response to criticism, Wilson stated that he never had anybody question his integrity. Shortly after Nifong's disbarment, it was reported on
June 25, 2007, that interim district attorney Jim Hardin Jr. fired Wilson from his post."DA's investigator was rebuked", "News & Observer." 8 February 2007.] [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/535608.html Ethics of Nifong's detective at issue] . "News & Observer." 24 January 2007.]
Durham Police Department's actions
Lawyers and media have questioned the methods of the photo identification process, have suggested that police have utilized intimidation tactics on witnesses, and have argued that the police supervisor in the case, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, has unfairly targeted Duke students in the past.
Lawyers and media reports alike suggest that the photo identification process was severely flawed. During the photo identifications, Mangum was told that she would be viewing Duke University lacrosse players who attended the party, and was asked if she remembered seeing them at the party and in what capacity. Defense attorneys suggest that this was essentially a "multiple-choice test in which there were no wrong answers," [ [http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1107415/ Duke Lacrosse Defense Wants Photo IDs Thrown out] . "WRAL." 14 December 2006. Accessed on September 3, 2007.] while Duke law professor James Coleman posits that " [t] he officer was telling the witness that all are suspects, and say, in effect, 'Pick three.' It's so wrong." ["Duke prof: Rape case needs new prosecutor", "The News & Observer", 13 June 2006. Accessed on September 3, 2007.]
U.S. Department of Justiceguidelines suggest to include three non-suspect filler photos for each suspect included.
At least two photo lineups have been reported by the media. [http://www.newsobserver.com/content/news/crime_safety/duke_lacrosse/story_graphics/20061008_dukelax.pdf Conflicting Identifications] . "The News & Observer." Accessed on 24 December 2006.] In the March identification process, Mangum selected at least five different individuals, one of whom was Reade Seligmann (whom she identified with 70% certainty). During the April identification process, Mangum identified at least 16 lacrosse players. She identified Seligmann and Finnerty with 100% certainty and Dave Evans with 90% certainty during the April identification procedure. In the disclosed report, there were only two individuals that she identified during both the March and April lineups - Brad Ross and Reade Seligmann. Ross (the only player she identified as attending the party with 100% certainty during both procedures) provided to police investigators indisputable evidence that he was with his girlfriend at
North Carolina State Universitybefore, during, and after the party through cell phone records and a sworn affidavit from a witness. Another person she identified in April also provided police with evidence that he did not attend the party at all. In regards to Seligmann's identification, Mangum's confidence increased from 70% in March to 100% in April. Gary Wells, an Iowa State Universityprofessor and expert on police identification procedures replied that memory does not get better with time. [http://www.newsobserver.com/content/news/crime_safety/duke_lacrosse/story_graphics/20061008_dukelax.pdf Conflicting Identifications] . "The News & Observer". Accessed on 24 December 2006.]
According to the transcript of the photo identification released on "
The Abrams Report", Mangum also stated that Dave Evans had a mustache on the night of the attack. Dave Evans' lawyer stated that his client never has had a mustache and that photos as well as eyewitness testimony would reveal that Dave Evans has never had a mustache. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12798569 3rd Duke lacrosse player: all 'fantastic lies'] . " Associated Press". 16 May 2006.]
Accusations of intimidation tactics
Defense lawyers also suggest that police have used intimidation tactics on witnesses. On May 11, Moezeldin Elmostafa, an African American taxi driver who signed a sworn statement about Seligmann's whereabouts that defense lawyers say provides a solid alibi, was arrested on a 2½-year-old shoplifting charge. He was not the accused shoplifter, but had driven them in his cab. [Neff, Joseph. Khanna, Samiha. "Lacrosse defense witness arrested" "
The News & Observer". 11 May 2006.] Mr. Elmostafa was subsequently tried on the shoplifting charge and was found not guilty. ["Cab driver in lacrosse case acquitted", "The News & Observer." 29 August 2006.]
"The News & Observer" has suggested that the supervisor of the lacrosse investigation, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, has unfairly targeted Duke students in the past, putting some of his investigational tactics into question. Gottlieb has made a disproportionate number of arrests of Duke students for misdemeanor violations, such as carrying an open container of alcohol. Normally, these violations earn offenders a pink ticket similar to a traffic ticket. From May 2005 to February 2006, when Sgt. Gottlieb was a patrol officer in District 2, he made 28 total arrests. Twenty of those arrests were Duke students, and at least 15 were handcuffed and taken to jail. This is in stark contrast to the other two officers on duty in the same district during that same 10-month period. They made 64 total arrests, only two of which were Duke students. Similarly, "The News & Observer" charges that Gottlieb treated nonstudents very differently. For example, he wrote up a young man for illegally carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possession of
marijuana(crimes far more severe than the Duke students who were taken to jail committed), but did not take him to jail. Residents complimented Gottlieb for dealing fairly with loud parties and disorderly conduct by students. [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/484329.html Detective got tough with Duke students] . "The News & Observer." 9 Sept 2006.]
Duke's student newspaper, "The Chronicle," depicted other examples of violence and dishonesty from Sgt. Gottlieb. It published that one student threw a party at his rental home off-East Campus before the
Rolling Stonesconcert in October 2005. The morning after the concert, at 3 A.M., Sgt. Gottlieb led a raid on the home with nine other officers while the students were half asleep. It reported that one student was dragged out of bed and then dragged down the stairs. It reported that all seven housemates were put in handcuffs, arrested, and taken into custody for violating a noise ordinance and open container of alcohol violations. Sgt. Gottlieb reportedly told one student who was a U.S. citizen of Serbian heritage, that he could be deported. Other stories include the throwing a 130 pound male against his car for an open container of alcohol violation, refusing the ID of a student since he was international, searching through a purse without a warrant, refusing to tell a student her rights, and accusations of perjury.Mueller, Jared. [http://www.dukechronicle.com/news/2006/09/11/News/Students.Criticize.Lax.Cops.Behavior-2265465.shtml Students criticize lax cop's behavior] . "The Chronicle." 11 September 2006.]
Nifong after transferring the case
On January 12, 2007, Nifong asked to be taken off the case and on January 13, 2007, Attorney General Roy Cooper's office took over.On
April 12, 2007, the attorney general, in declaring Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann innocent, also called Nifong a "rogue prosecutor." [ [http://www.raleighchronicle.com/2007041206.html Nifong Criticizes AG Cooper In Statement] Thursday, April 12, 2007] [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/24/MNGDTN5CEO1.DTL As Duke rape case unravels, D.A.'s judgment questioned: Defense describes him as willing to skirt law for conviction] . " San Francisco Chronicle."] [ [http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1459913/ Embattled Nifong Says He will Resign] . WRAL.com] Nifong was ordered disbarred on June 16, 2007after the bar's three-member disciplinary panel unanimously found him guilty of fraud, dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation; of making false statements of material fact before a judge; of making false statements of material fact before bar investigators, and of lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence. [cite web|url=http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3285862&page=1|title=Duke DA Ordered Disbarred Over Ethical Lapses|accessdate=2007-07-25] [ [http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1509633/ Judge Suspends Resigned Nifong From DA's Office] Jun. 18, 2007]
On August 31, 2007, Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to a single day in jail.
Reactions to the scandal
The case continues to result with coverage in the media along with widespread reactions and responses across the nation as the case and its aftermaths continue to unfold.
Effects on Duke faculty
Mike Pressler, the coach of the lacrosse team, received threatening e-mails and hate calls, had castigating signs placed on his property, and was the frequent victim of vandalism in the aftermath of the accusations. [Price, S.L, and Evans, Farrell. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/06/22/duke0626/index.html The Damage Done] . "The Augusta Chronicle." 26 June 2006.] On April 5, 2006, he resigned shortly after the McFadyen e-mail became public. Through his lawyer, he stated that his resignation was not an admission of wrongdoing on his part. [cite web
title=Attorney: Pressler 'has done nothing wrong'
accessdate=2007-12-14] [Price, S.L, and Evans, Farrell. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/06/22/duke0626/index.html The Damage Done] . "The Augusta Chronicle." 26 June 2006.] On the same day,
Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, suspended the remainder of the lacrosse season. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2398409 Duke lacrosse coach resigns, rest of season canceled] ". Associated Press". 6 April 2006.] Other Duke faculty members (sometimes referred to as the Group of 88[cite web
title=An Open Letter to the Duke Community
publisher=Concerned Duke Faculty
accessdate=2007-09-14] ) have also been targeted for their "Social Disaster" letter as well as indivual comments and reactions which continue to create a perception of prejudgment. [cite web |url=http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/ |title=Durham-in-Wonderland blog on Blogspot |accessdate=2007-09-14]
Effect on Duke students
Shortly after the party, the President of the University warned in a school-wide e-mail of threats of gang violence against Duke students. [ [http://www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/03/31/News/Police.Warn.Students.About.Suspicious.Gang.Activity.Off.East.Campus-1776022.shtml?norewrite200604280112&sourcedomain=www.dukechronicle.com Police Warn Students About Suspicious Gang Activity Off East Campus] . "The Chronicle". 31 March 2006.] Other Duke students claimed they were threatened. [ [http://www.dukechronicle.com/news/2006/03/31/News/Police.Warn.Students.About.Suspicious.Gang.Activity.Off.East.Campus-1776022.shtml Students threatened, assaulted off campus] . "The Chronicle". 3 April 2006.]
Lacrosse team members had their photographs posted prominently around Durham and on the Duke University campus with accompanying captions falsely stating that they are covering up for rapists and have information about the incident that they are not revealing. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/09/AR2006060902029.html Lacrosse Players' Case a Trial for Parents ] ]
Questioning media policies regarding identity revelation of accusers & accused
Fox Newswas the lone national televisionnews outlet to reveal Mangum's photo following the dismissal of the case, although some other organizations such as MSNBCand " 60 Minutes" revealed her name. The case placed a larger spotlight on the mainstream media's convention of keeping secret the identity of accusers in sexual assault cases, while at the same time exposing the identity of the yet-to-be-convicted defendants.Fact|date=February 2008 Several major broadcasters did not publish Mangum's name at any point, including ABC, PBS, CNN, and NBC.
Publication of Mangum's identity
Partly obscured photos of Mangum at the party were broadcast by "
The Abrams Report" on cable news channel MSNBCand by local television affiliate NBC17 WNCNin North Carolina.
April 21, 2006, outspoken talk-radio host Tom Leykisdisclosed Mangum's name during his nationally syndicated talk-radio program. Leykis has disclosed identities of accusers of sexual assaultin the past. On May 15, 2006, MSNBC host Tucker Carlsondisclosed Mangum's first name only on his show, "Tucker". [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12817650 Tucker] , " MSNBC". 15 May 2006.] Court records presented by the defense reveal Mangum's name.
April 11, 2007, several mainstream media sources revealed or used Mangum's name and/or picture after the attorney general dropped all the charges and declared the players innocent. These sources include: CBS, [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/11/60minutes/main2673456_page2.shtml The Duke Case: Innocent] . "60 Minutes." 15 April 2007.] " The News & Observer", [ [http://blogs.newsobserver.com/editor/index.php?title=why_we_re_naming_the_accuser&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 Why We're Naming the Accuser] . "The News & Observer." 11 April 2007.] WRAL, [ [http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1269195/ Faith in Justice System, Praise for Players Follow Dismissal] . WRAL-TV. 11 April 2007.] all The McClatchy Company's newspapers (which includes 24 newspapers across the country), " Fox News", " Charlotte Observer", " New York Post," [ [http://www.nypost.com/seven/04122007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/let_the_liar_be_named__shamed_opedcolumnists_john_podhoretz.htm Let the liar be named and shamed] . " New York Post." 12 April 2007.] Comedy Central, [ The Daily Show. Aired 12 April 2007.] and " MSNBC". [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18110003/site/newsweek/page/4/ Dismissing the Duke Case: Video (via Newsweek)] . "MSNBC." 15 April 2007.]
Effect on community relations
The allegations have inflamed already strained relations between Duke University and its host city of Durham, with members of the Duke lacrosse team being vilified in the press and defamed on and off campus. On
May 1, 2006, the New Black Panthersheld a protest outside Duke University. [ [http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/433875.html "Duke: 'We will not let the safety ... be jeopardized"] . " The News & Observer". 29 April 2006]
The case drew national attention and highlighted racial tensions within the Durham area. [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,260426,00.html "Report: All Charges Against Duke Lacrosse Players to Be Dropped Soon"] . 23 March 2007. Retrieved on 18 May 2007.]
Effect on Duke University merchandise
Sales of Duke University apparel, especially lacrosse
t-shirts, led the Campus Store's sales to triple from March to April 2006. [Duke lacrosse T-shirts hot item. "ScienceDaily." 21 April 2006.]
December 15, 2006, it was reported that Mangum was pregnant and the judge in the case ordered a paternity test. [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/11/60minutes/main2082140.shtml CBS 60 Minutes' segment "Duke Rape Suspects Speak Out"] October 15, 2006] [ [http://www.rightsideoftheroad.com/?p=401 Who is the real victim in the Duke lacrosse case?] Jan 8 2007]
In January 2007, lacrosse team member Kyle Dowd filed a lawsuit against Duke University and visiting associate professor and member of the
Group of 88, Kim Curtis, claiming that he and another teammate were given failing grades on their final paper as a form of retaliation after the scandal broke. [cite web | title = Duke Civil Lawsuit | format = PDF | url = http://abclocal.go.com/images/wtvd/pdf/dukecivillawsuit.pdf | publisher = ABC News | date = 2007-04-11| accessdate = 2007-04-11 ] cite web
title=LAX Player Files Lawsuit Against Duke University
accessdate=2007-01-14] The case has been settled with the terms undisclosed except that Dowd's grade was altered to a P.cite web |url=http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/573369.html|title=Faculty revisits case, Nifong |date=2007-05-12 |publisher=The News&Observer |accessdate=2007-05-12]
Dowd's mother emailed another member of the 88,
Houston Baker, who continued to accuse her son and the others of being, "hooligans, rapists," and called her "the mother of a farm animal." [ Peter Applebome, " [http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/nyregion/15towns.html After Duke Prosecution Began to Collapse, Demonizing Continued] ", " New York Times", April 15, 2007.]
The lacrosse team, reinstated for the 2007 season, reached the NCAA Finals as the #1 seed. The Blue Devils lost to the
Johns Hopkins UniversityBlue Jays in the championship, 12-11. [cite web |url=http://www.ncaasports.com/lacrosse/mens/recaps/d1_0528_id550296/2007|title=Johns Hopkins 12, Duke 11 |accessdate=2007-05-27|work=NCAA Sports.com]
In May 2007, Duke requested that the
NCAArestore a year's eligibility to the players on the 2006 men's team, much of whose season was canceled. The NCAA granted the team's request for another year of eligibility, which applies to the 33 members of the 2006 team who were underclassmen in 2006 and who remained at Duke in 2007.cite web |url=http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2887146|title=NCAA to allow Duke players to reclaim lost season|accessdate=2007-05-31|work=ESPN.com] Four of the seniors are attending graduate school at Duke and playing for the team.cite web
title=4 return to Duke lacrosse for 5th year
Matt Danowskireturned to Duke in 2007.Seligmann enrolled as a student at Brown Universityin the fall of 2007, while Finnerty enrolled at Loyola College in Maryland.
June 7, 2007, it was announced that lacrosse coach Mike Pressler and Duke had reached an amicable and fair financial settlement. Pressler was later hired as coach by Division II (now Division I) Bryant University in Rhode Island. In October 2007, Pressler filed suit seeking to undo the settlement and hold a trial on his wrongful termination claim on the grounds that Duke spokesman John Burness had made disparaging comments about him.
June 18, 2007, the families of the three players announced that they reached an agreement with Duke University. [cite web|url=http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2007/06/settlement.html|title=Duke University, Three Lacrosse Players Announce Settlement] No details of the settlement were disclosed.
August 25, 2007, it was reported from multiple sources that the players will file a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city of Durham.cite news|title=Lawsuit against Durham|publisher=Herald-Sun|date=2007-08-25]
August 31, 2007, Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to a single day in jail, which he subsequently served.
September 29, 2007, Duke President Brodhead, speaking at a two-day conference at Duke Law School on the practice and ethics of trying cases in the media, apologized for "causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support." [ [http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2007/09/rhb_lawconf.html Duke President Shares Lessons Learned, Regrets About Lacrosse Case] ]
Crystal Mangum graduated from North Carolina Central University in May 2008, with a degree in police psychology. [ [http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2008/05/15/Columns/Summa.Cum.Loony-3371900.shtml Summa cum loony - Columns ] ] . On August 22, 2008, a press release announced the planned publication in October 2008 of a memoir by Mangum titled "The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story". [http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=6343080] The press release says the book "can't and doesn't deal with the complex legal aspects of the case" but nevertheless asserts that "the muddling of facts about Crystal’s life, along with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s desire to settle the dispute over open file discovery, swallowed the case whole." Attorney Cheshire responded to the news by saying that if the book was truthful "I think it would be fabulous, and I don't think anybody would think badly about her in any way, shape or form," but that if the memoir did not acknowledge the falsity of her allegations against the players, that he would advise them to initiate civil action against her. [" [http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/3421612/ Duke lacrosse attorney hopes accuser admits she lied] " Retrieved
Lawsuits filed by accused players
September 7, 2007, it was reported that the ex-players planned to file a lawsuit for violations of their civil rights against the city of Durham, and several city employees, unless the city agreed to a settlement including payment of $30 million over five years and the passage of new criminal justice reform laws.cite news|title=Ex-players seek $30 million settlement|publisher=News & Observer|date=2007-09-08|url=http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/696594.html|accessdate=2007-09-08] The city's liability insurance covers up to $5 million.cite news|title=Ex-players seek $30 million settlement|publisher=News & Observer|date=2007-09-08|url=http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/696594.html|accessdate=2007-09-08] Lawyers have cited three main areas of vulnerability for the city:
* The suspect-only photo identification procedure given to Mangum.
* Vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan during his March interview with Mangum and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb's notes in July
* The release of a CrimeStoppers poster by the police shortly after the allegations that a woman "was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community."cite news|title=Ex-players seek $30 million settlement|publisher=News & Observer|date=2007-09-08|url=http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/696594.html|accessdate=2007-09-08]
Durham declined the settlement offer and on
October 5, 2007, Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann filed a federal lawsuit alleging a broad conspiracy to frame the players. Named in the suit were Nifong, the lab that handled the DNA work, the city of Durham, the city's former police chief, the deputy police chief, the two police detectives who handled the case and five other police department employees. The players are seeking unspecified damages, and also want to place the Durham Police Department under court supervision for 10 years, claiming the actions of the police department pose "a substantial risk of irreparable injury to other persons in the City of Durham." According to the suit, Nifong engineered the conspiracy to help him win support for his election bid. Nifong reportedly told his campaign manager that the case would provide "'millions of dollars' in free advertising." [ [http://www.newsobserver.com/content/media/2007/10/5/20071005_laxlawsuit.pdf Copy of lawsuit] ]
January 15, 2008, the city of Durham filed a motion to remove itself as a defendant, arguing that it has no responsibility for Nifong's actions. For instance, it claims that its hands were tied because of Nifong's decision to send the case to a grand jury—a decision that was made independently of any city officials. Any violations of the players' civil rights, the city contended, were solely because of Nifong's actions. Along the same lines, the city employees named in the suit filed separate motions to remove themselves as defendants. On the same day, Nifong filed for bankruptcy—a decision thought by many experts to be a tacit admission that he lacked the resources to defend himself. [ [http://www.newsobserver.com/news/crime_safety/duke_lacrosse/nifong/story/882992.html newsobserver.com | Nifong files for bankruptcy; city replies to suit ] ] On May 27, 2008, Judge William L. Stocks lifted the stay from Nifong's Bankruptcy file and ruled that the plaintiffs lawsuit could go forward. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008May28/0,4670,DukeLacrosse,00.html FOXNews.com - Judge: Duke lacrosse players can pursue lawsuit - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News ] ]
Lawsuit filed by non-accused players and their families
On February 21, 2008, the families of 38 of the lacrosse team's 47 members who were not accused filed a 225-page lawsuit [ [http://www.dukelawsuit.com Blog on Player/Parent Lawsuit] ] [ [http://www.bork.com/downloads/02-21-08%20Complaint%20FINAL%20(pt%201%20of%206).pdf Complaint, Part 1] ] [ [http://www.bork.com/downloads/02-21-08%20Complaint%20FINAL%20(pt%202%20of%206).pdf Complaint, Part 2] ] [ [http://www.bork.com/downloads/02-21-08%20Complaint%20FINAL%20(pt%203%20of%206).pdf Complaint, Part 3] ] [ [http://www.bork.com/downloads/02-21-08%20Complaint%20FINAL%20(pt%204%20of%206).pdf Complaint, Part 4] ] [ [http://www.bork.com/downloads/02-21-08%20Complaint%20FINAL%20(pt%205%20of%206).pdf Complaint, Part 5] ] [ [http://www.bork.com/downloads/02-21-08%20Complaint%20FINAL%20(pt%206%20of%206).pdf Complaint, Part 6] ] against
Duke University, the Duke University Hospital, the city of Durham, and various officials of each organization for multiple claims of harassment, deprivation of civil rights, breach of contract and other claims. [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331568,00.html FOXNews.com - Duke Lacrosse Players File Federal Lawsuit Against University, City of Durham] ] The complaint sets out a detailed view of the events leading up to the case, the university's response, and the subsequent unraveling of the case; it alleges corruption and collusion between Duke, the hospital, and Nifong. It accuses the university of refusing to enforce its own anti-discrimination policies as to faculty and student harassment of the lacrosse players, and of violating federal law when it issued team key-card access data to the Police without a warrant, and subsequently attempted to cover up the disclosure. The allegations also include the university's instructions to the team members to not seek legal advice or contact their parents, to speak to a university-approved lawyer (who represented the university, not the team), and to waive their civil rights. Allegations against the hospital are directed at the examining nurse who allegedly fabricated statements concerning the initial medical examination, her supervisor who adopted those statements even though they were contrary to the examination, and the failure of the Hospital to supervise these employees. Allegations against the city and its police department are directed at the investigating officers and their attempts to fabricate a case and their attempt to hide DNA test results, along with failure to supervise these officers. The plaintiffs allege emotional suffering, loss of job opportunities and damages based on the various statutes. They seek undisclosed damages as well as attorneys fees.
A Duke University spokesperson responded that " [w] e have now seen the lawsuit and as we said before, if these plaintiffs have a complaint, it is with Mr. Nifong. Their legal strategy—attacking Duke—is misdirected and without merit. To help these families move on, Duke offered to cover the cost of any attorneys' fees or other out-of-pocket expenses, but they rejected this offer. We will vigorously defend the university against these claims." Dead link|date=May 2008 The city has not released an official response to the suit.
Presumption of innocence
*"Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case" by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson (2007) ISBN 0312369123
*"It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case and the Lives It Shattered" by Don Yaeger & Mike Pressler (2007) ISBN 1416551468
*"Party Like a Lacrosse Star" by Paul Montgomery (2007) ISBN 0615171508
* [http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/ Durham-in-Wonderland: Comments and analysis about the Duke/Nifong case]
* [http://www.newsobserver.com/news/crime_safety/duke_lacrosse Collected stories from The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer]
* [http://www.thepacificanonline.com/content/view/843/ Comments and analysis, "The Durham Witch Trials," By Benjamin Dunphy, The Pacifican]
* [http://www.courttv.com/news/duke-rape/photo_gallery/index.html Duke Rape Scandal Photo Gallery] via
* [http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2852793 Video: Duke Jurors Speak]
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