Apr 18, 2006

Two Lacrosse Players Arrested in Duke Rape Case

Left: Collin Finnerty leaves court after his arraigment

(Durham, NC) Two Duke University lacrosse players were arrested today on charges of raping and kidnapping a stripper hired to dance at a team party. The Durham DA may also charge a third person in the case.

Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were charged with first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense, and kidnapping. Bond was set for each player at $400,000,

"It had been my hope to charge all three of the assailants at the same time, but the evidence available to me at this moment does not permit that," said District Attorney Mike Nifong. "Investigation into the identity of the third assailant will continue in the hope that he can also be identified with certainty."

Left:Seligman and Finnerty arrive for booking

A father of one of the lacrosse players not charged in the case vehemently denied that any team members were involved in criminal activity.

"I'm not an emotional person, but every day I cry. I have tears in my eyes. I feel like the world's been pulled underneath my feet," said Brian Loftus, of Syosset NY. "My kids, when you hear them sobbing on the phone that their lives are destroyed and you hear other people saying the same thing you wonder what went wrong. And we know nothing went wrong. I cannot stress that any more. Nothing happened that night."

The arrests stem from a party that was held on March 13. The accuser, who is a mother of two, a college student and an escort service dancer, told police March 14 that she was sexually assaulted by three men in a bathroom at a house shared by members of the lacrosse team. The accuser is black, and she said that her attackers were white.


-Sepp said...

Escort service? Hmmmm haven't heard that before. My bet is that they refused to pay her for her "services".

historymike said...

It's a strange tale, sepp.

The defense keeps talking about evidence to prove the defendants were elsewhere.

I guess we have to wait until the trial to find out.

The supposed lack of DNA evidence will definitely be a hurdle, although a former prosecutor on CNN made an interesting argument on why the woman could have been raped and DNA might not be present.

Lisa Renee said...

From CNN:

Sources close to the investigation said Tuesday that the defense will present evidence -- including ATM receipts -- that neither Seligmann, 20, nor Finnerty, 19, were at the team party at the time the alleged rape took place.

A cab driver allegedly carried one of the young men to an ATM, where a security camera captured his picture, the sources said, and the other man was reportedly at a restaurant.

Now that is going to put a crimp in the prosecution, especially with there being no DNA evidence.

historymike said...

Agreed, Lisa. The prosecutors have an uphill battle already with the fact that the purported victim is an "exotic dancer" (I am not questioning her culpability - only pointing out that jurors will form their own conclusions as to the relationship between her work and the crime).

Things look bad for the DA from my seat, unless he has some cards he is not showing.

I would especially hate to see future rape victims lose out if this case has no merit.

I watched about four hours of FOX yesterday while waiting for the antibiotics to kick in; they were really tearing this woman apart with comments like "8% of rape complaints are false" and "this is the worst looking case I have ever seen."

-Sepp said...

No DNA and time stamped photos of the suspects far away from the scene. Not to mention the party photos that are also timestamped showing her already bruised and intoxicated. The case looks flimsy at best. The prosecutor must be under a lot of pressure to "just nail somebody" and is grasping at straws.

They will be tearing up the girls reputation and digging into her past. Being a stripper doesn't always mean prostitute but, being an "escort" most always does.

Anonymous said...

Don't know how this going to turn out but with grand juries, a DA can get an indictment on a goldfish raping a cat.

Concerned Patriot said...

Nice post. Perhaps you'd like to view my post on this same subject. It's a little on the rated "R" side, but I think you might like it.

Hooda Thunkit said...

What evidence that has already been leaked or made public appears to be squarely stacked against the dancer/escort.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that some money will change hands and the problem will go away, or the accuser will develop a very bad memory...

Anonymous said...

Stripper claims: She struggled so hard fighting off these three white men that five of her press on nails fell off.

Facts: nails were recovered and no DNA were found under the nails; no scratches were found anywhere on any of the boys. No scratch marks were found anywhere on any of the boys’ bodies, and pictures show that the nails were missing before the time she lied about the rape happening.

Stripper claims: three men raped her on the bathroom,
• No vaginal or seminal fluid, no skin, blood, or hair were found anywhere in the bathroom, bath towels, bath rug, door handle, bathroom floor, basin, water faucet handle, etc.
• A man cannot take off a condom and not get DNA from himself or the female on his hands and not transfer it to everything he touches?
• Accuser claims she was vaginally penetrated; accuser claims she was panicked and thought she was going to die; Where is her vaginal fluid, urine, or blood anywhere in the bathroom? Does her body defy basic physiology capable of keeping any ejaculate from spilling out?
• Accuser claims she was anally penetrated; Where’s her fecal material or scat smears in the bathroom? Does the accuser have inhuman anal sphinter control that prevented any of the ejaculate from dripping out?
• Accuser claims she was orally sodomized; where is DNA from her saliva and tears? Did she lick up every drop and swallowed any evidence?

DNA evidence not connecting the boys to the "criminal stripper" is significant enough, but absolutely no DNA at all is significant in suggesting the rape never occurred at all!

Stripper claim bruises were result of an attack from three boys:
Fact: Time-stamped photos prove stripper arrived bruised and cut while drunk.

Pictures show the stripper performed without the finger nails, and her knees were bruised before she arived.

Nifong stated that a condom was used, if this is true than where is the spermicidal lubricant evidence? Where are the condoms? Where are the condom wrappers? Where is the empty condom box?

If no DNA material were present on the stripper, than why were DNA samples taken? The District Attorney vigorously claimed that these DNA evidence will clear the innocent.

The second stripper stated that she didn’t notice any rape, and when they got back in the car the “accuser” didn’t mention anything about being rape.

Apparently the “second stripper charged with embezzling $25,000” changed her story to conspire with the “lying stripper under-probation-for-larceny-and-trying-to-kill-a-police-officer-with-a-stolen-car” as part of a deal with Nifong to get released from jail, also contacted a public relations firm to “not let this opportunity pas her by and to spin it to my advantage”.

This in the wake of pictures surfacing showing that the “lying stripper” had those fake finger nails missing before the time she lied that a rape occurred.

With the taste of his own foot still lingering in his mouth, District Attorney Mike Nifong has another piece of evidence blow up in his face, I wonder how's his ulcer is doing?

So would it be his own aura or is it the universe's way of getting back at Nifong for destroying these young boys lives?

It would be funny if Nifong's ulcer leads to a colonoscopy, or would it be “ironic” or “poetic justice” that he screws 47 boys over a false rape claim and have to take a 36 inch colonoscopy tube up his @ss for his part in the fiasco he created.

Lets not forget that not only that there lacks any DNA evidence of the boys, but there’s an absolute absence of DNA from her who claims she was raped vaginally, anally, and orally… why wasn’t any of HER vaginal, urine, blood, sweat, fecal, saliva, or tears not found anywhere in the bathroom? Nifong claims that condoms could have been used, then where are the condoms? The condom wrappers, the condom box, the spermicidal evidence from the rape kit?

Some feminist claim the boys were drunk and where so overwhelmed with excitement that they couldn’t ejaculate- not even one, obviously these women have never had sex with a 19 year old male or any male.

Finally, don’t forget the three boys who lived in the house agreed to be questioned by the police for over six hours, and volunteered to a lie detector test. When the boys were told to surrender DNA samples, none called their parents r tried to block the order, they complied because they new the “stripper” was lying. These are not the actions of guilty boys, but Nifong claimed that they were all covering up for each other and will charge each of them with aiding and abetting because the only information they had is that no rape occurred.

These boys were and continue to be put through hell by these criminal strippers and an unscrupulous DA. Hopefully these three will be held accountable for the racial riots pending the acquittal of these innocent boys.

Below is the text of the e-mail sent by Kim Roberts to 5W Public Relations in New York. Roberts, an exotic dancer, accompanied the woman accusing members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team of raping her the night of March 13.
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:21 PM
To: Ronn Torossian
Subject: duke lacrosse scandal

My name is Kim and I am involved in the Duke Lacrosse scandal. Although I am no celebrity and just an average citizen, I've found myself in the center of one of the biggest stories in the country. I'm worried about letting this opportunity pass me by without making the best of it and was wondering if you had any advice as to how to spin this to my advantage. I am determined not to let any negative publicity about my life overtake me. I'm so confused as to who to talk to for relevant advice and I hope that you can return my e-mail. If you cannot help, do you know of any names and numbers I can call?
Thanks for your time,

Kim Roberts
Stripper, Model, Escort, Witness

Rape shields were created in the 1970s to protect the alleged “victim” from having her reputation ruined by baseless assumptions, unfair judgments, public humiliation, and character assassinations, but any of this could describe what’s happening to every member of the lacrosse team.

Irresponsible “special interest groups” have held protests everyday holding the name and pictures of anyone on the lacrosse team, to having their pictures and hate slogans pasted all over school. The actions of these groups against these men are nothing short of harassment and unfair character assassination.

Media hungry District Attorney Mike Nifong stated he is positive a rape has occurred, but he isn’t sure if it’s by the members of the lacrosse team, yet he obtained an order to get DNA samples from only the members of the team, then he stated on a national news program that the lacrosse team has a “rowdy” reputation on campus – obviously playing up to sexist stereotyping of jocks to further play his case for the media. As Nifong continues to publicly massacre the characters out his case for public consumption, he claims that the team is “stonewalling the investigation” because they claim not to have any knowledge of what transpired, but is Nifong now believing the men to be telling the truth as he recently changed his tune stating that even if the DNA evidence clears these boys that he’ll have other evidence.

Opportunistic political groups have descended on Duke’s campus using unscrupulous methods to get media attention at the expense of innocent young men who happen to be on the lacrosse team. Young men who were too recently, only boys not yet ready to handle this ugly side of the world. In today’s climate, we need the rape shield laws extended to protect all the innocent, including those who just happen to get in the way of media hungry district attorneys and opportunistic political groups.

District Attorney Mike Nifong’s should be held accountable for the irresponsible actions he’s taken in this rape investigation.

The boys are being tried in the national media before there is any charge are made. Nifong stated that someone else could have assaulted the 27 year old stripper, yet he publicly damned the men’s lacrosse team and only the men’s lacrosse team as gang rapist, and still not knowing whether or not the “alleged victim” was telling the truth, or if the three men sought are on the team, Nifong claims the team is stonewalling to protect its own.

In response, daily protest are held with hate comments made directly to the lacrosse teammates, pictures of the teammates with rape slogans are plastered all over Duke’s campus, and now gang members are driving by the east campus threatening students.

Nifong’s circus-like antics to perform for the national media has put the whole campus in danger.

Nifong proclaimed in the national media that the DNA sweep of 46 boys would find the guilty and clear the innocent. DNA tests prove that the boys of the lacrosse team were telling the truth, but Nifong wants to go ahead with the case only weeks before his election against a woman and a black man. There should be laws in place to prevent unscrupulous politician like District Attorney Mike Nifong from bulldozing over 47 innocent boys just to bask in the international media spot-light.

Betty Friedan said...

With the taste of his own foot still lingering in his mouth, District Attorney Mike Nifong has another piece of evidence blow up in his face, I wonder how's his ulcer is doing?

So would it be his own aura or is it the universe's way of getting back at Nifong for destroying these young boys lives?

It would be funny if Nifong's ulcer leads to a colonoscopy, or would it be “ironic” or “poetic justice” that he screws 47 boys over a false rape claim and have to take a 36 inch colonoscopy tube up his @ss for his part in the fiasco he created.

They are innocent! The drunken black stripper with the long criminal record and history of making false accusations...lied.

• Stripper made a false claim of rape by three boys in 1996.
• Stripper made a false claim of kidnapping in 1998
• Stripper charged with larceny, auto theft, and trying to kill a police officer in 2002
• 1st round of DNA shows no link to the lacrosse team.
• 2nd round of DNA shows no link to the lacrosse team
• DNA proves stripper had sex with boyfriend/pimp which accounts for the “rape kit” evidence of recent sexual activity.
• Innocent boy who picked up finger nail and threw it in the trash left his DNA on the fake press-on nail and will be charged for rape.

The stripper’s account of the night has serious integrity issues:
1) First she claimed 20 boys raped her, then she narrowed it down to 3 in a bathroom

a. The bathroom is absolutely and completely devoid of any evidence of a rape. Where is her DNA? Urine, blood, vaginal fluid, saliva, or tears?
b. Many people’s DNA were found under her nails but none from the innocent lacrosse boys.
c. She lied about losing her fake finger nails in a desperate struggle in the small enclosed bathroom, but pictures show that she removed her nails before inadequately performing her routine. No scratches were found on any of the innocent lacrosse boys’ bodies.
d. The 2 innocent boys she “eeny meeny miney moed” to be her rapists weren’t even at the party the time she claimed the rape occurred. She claims that she’s 100% sure, but she told her father that she’s not sure.
e. She took drugs before coming to the house, something illegal.

The stripper obviously lied, and she’s putting these innocent boys and families through hell. She deserves to be in prison for the rest of her pathetic life. She is worthless as a person and human being. Her one lie destroyed innocent boys. I hope her and Nifong’s aura catches up to them and they both get what they deserve. I hope everyone wishing this rape claim to be true, in spite of all the evidence that it never occurred, gets what’s coming to them.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I was a stripper(male) for a couple of years after college, and it's not that we lie, it's just we sell an image. If you want a starving college boy, you got a starving college boy, it you want a depraved exhibitionist, you got a depraved exhibitionist. I've showed up at "private parties" dressed in anything from hot pants, surf shorts, to baseball uniform at the client's request. Being male, if you wanted to have lots of sex, you strip for women, if you want lots of money you strip for men, and you learn to be whatever they want you to be for the time you give them.

Women strippers are a different animal. They're not innocent. The money top female strippers can make will blow your mind. Feminist have successfully made all women to be innocent victims who are forced to have sex and show their bodies for money. Such bull! These women know how to work money out of guys. All you need is a little liquor and guys would empty their wallets!

Many of these women are ‘dealers”, but that’s just being prepared to please your client.

I suspect this black stripper, Crystal Gail Mangum, lied about being raped in fear of being arrested for drug possession. She was already on probation for larceny, auto theft, and trying to mow over a police officer in 2002, and didn’t want to have her probation revoked. I’m wondering what kind of lap dance she gave Mr. Nifong to get his devotion. This black girl must be talented.

Stay away from old strippers because the longer you’re a stripper, the more likely you’ve gotten into drugs, and once drugs claim hold of you, you’re life blows, and it wouldn’t be unusual to blow thousands of dollars a night to get that “buzz”. Luckily I had a problem with a certain liquor commissioner. He caught me working this guy for $20.00 for each 3 second feel and next thing I know I was in the liquor storeroom with my legs up. Thank god what they say about all black men being hung isn’t true. Was I upset, sure, was I coerced, sure, but that’s the deal you make when you cross a government official with the power of fining the nightclub, getting you fired and arrested. Pretty boys dragged to jail wearing nothing but a metallic animal print thong don’t do well in police holding over a long weekend. This is where you learn that it’s screw them before they screw you, and client don’t seem anything more than game.

There is a whole underworld out there that lives under the cover of night. These people who seem like victims won’t hold back taking victims of their own. That’s the world they live in. It’s the drugs and the experience of feeling you won’t be accepted by your looks and will be taken advantage of for your looks. It’s hard to explain, but if you’re going to hire a stripper, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into. Many of these people are hardened criminals, angry, or just plain crazy… Oh! BTW… never get into a fight with a “tranny”. They may look like pretty girls, but they’re strong like guys, hopped up on hormones, and usually carrying a weapon.

Anonymous said...

Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser Mentioned No Condoms Were Used
It seems the defense keeps finding more to support their side of things, with each new piece of information they get. Now from that stack of 1,300 papers, they have discovered that the stripper accuser mentioned no condoms were used. No condoms and…
The stripper’s body was completely void of any sign of a sexual assault (except for signs of recent vaginal and anal from her boyfriend). The alleged crime scene was completely devoid of DNA.

It is impossible that a crime scene with three drunk men in a small enclosed room with a fighting and clawing woman being orally, virginally, and anally penetrated not leave any DNA evidence of urine, blood, vaginal fluid, sweat, fecal matter, scat smears, saliva, tears, or semen... especially if condoms were used. How would they take off the condoms during all this chaos without spilling, smearing, or touching the content inside or outside of the condom?

When investigators questioned the stripper after DNA tests on the semen found inside her vagina and rectum didn’t match any of the Duke players, the stripper admitted to having had sex with at least three men around the time of the alleged rape. The stripper named her boyfriend and two men who drove her to Duke.

When questioned, the “drivers” said they would drop her off at several places, including hotel rooms.

It appears that the stripper has sex with men for rides to her strip shows…Nasty!

Betty Friedan said...

Blind to evidence
On Monday, May 15, a Durham County grand jury handed up a third indictment in the nothing-short-of-notorious Duke rape case. This latest indictment charges the lacrosse team's captain, David Evans, with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual assault, and first-degree kidnapping.
The charges against Evans are identical to those handed up last month against fellow players Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. Still, this final indictment does come as a bit of surprise. As I detailed in a prior column, the cases against Seligmann and Finnerty appear quite weak. As I'll discuss in this column, the case against Evans may be even shakier. It's true that the grand jury did return indictments against Evans, and previously against the other two. It's also true that the District Attorney, Mike Nifong, is forging ahead -- seemingly undeterred.
But Nifong's judgment has been poor all along- and the old adage that a D.A. can get a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich" shouldn't be forgotten. Without defense attorneys there to test the prosecutor's evidence via the invaluable process of cross-examination, weak evidence can be made to look pretty convincing. It's not the grand jury's fault; it's just the reality that if you only hear one side, you tend to believe it.
At least a ham sandwich has some weight to it. As I'll explain in this column, the Evans indictment - like the two that preceded it - does not. The very evidence that may have convinced the grand jury - accuser identification and new DNA evidence - is just the kind that will ultimately fall apart when defense attorneys finally do get to cross-examine the witnesses presenting it.

Betty Friedan said...

The Mounting Evidence in Favor of Defendants' Innocence
All three defendants in the Duke lacrosse case have unfailingly and repeatedly proclaimed their innocence - Evans doing so most eloquently, on behalf of all three men, in a brief public comment following his being formally charged.
In fact, in a highly unusual move, newly indicted defendant Evans went to so far as to volunteer to take a lie detector test at the direction of law enforcement. When the D.A. refused, Evans enlisted a top polygrapher to administer the test anyway. He passed.
Thus far, the defense camp has come forward with a host of seemingly reliable, exculpatory evidence -evidence that will be admissible in court, and that is likely to sway a jury. I'm not talking about, maybe, kinda, sorta, or could be, exculpatory evidence either. I'm talking about weighty evidence - receipts, photos, phone records, alibi witnesses, an absence of DNA, and now actual DNA - that directly supports the defendants' claims of innocence.
A plethora of proof supporting a defendant's claim of innocence - not just the government's failure to carry its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt -- is a rare pearl in the practice of criminal defense. It should cause the D.A. to reassess his case.

Betty Friedan said...

The Problems with the Accuser's "Identification" of Evans
In my prior columns, I discussed the problems with evidence against Seligmann - who has strong evidence supporting an alibi - and, to a lesser extent, against Finnerty. The evidence against Evans is also weak, maybe even more so.
Evans reportedly was not initially indicted, with the other two, because the accuser couldn't identify him with certainty (only with "90 percent certainty," in her words) from a photo lineup. Ten percent doubt sounds like a lot like reasonable doubt to me - and perhaps, at least initially, it sounded that way to D.A. Nifong too. And if the accuser herself has reasonable doubt, how can a prosecution go forward?
The accuser's lack of certainty is even more worrisome in light of the fact that the photo lineup was grossly biased. It included only Duke lacrosse players - meaning that the accuser had no choice but to select a Duke lacrosse player if she were to select anyone at all. And this photo lineup was apparently the sole means of identification for all three defendants.
Finally, and perhaps most disturbingly, the accuser is reported to have said that Evans's photo "looks just like [one of my assailants] without the mustache." According to Evans's defense lawyer, Evans has never worn a mustache. And party photos support this contention.
For all these reasons, the accuser's identification testimony is likely to be destroyed upon cross-examination.

Betty Friedan said...

The Problems with the New DNA Evidence
Besides the accuser's testimony, prosecutors also presented to the grand jury the results of a second round of DNA testing.
Readers may recall that the first round of DNA testing was, if anything, exculpatory: There was no DNA match whatsoever linking any of the forty-six lacrosse players whose DNA was taken, to the accuser.
Following those results, D.A. Nifong reportedly hired a private lab to re-test certain samples. In so doing, the new lab found a possible connection between defendant Evans and the accuser's discarded fake fingernail, found in the trash bin inside the bathroom.
To begin, it's awfully odd that the fake fingernail found its way into the trash bin in the first place, if a rape really occurred, and if the fake fingernail broke off during the victim's struggle, as she claims. No victim would clean up after her accusers; she would flee the scene. And if a culprit had the presence of mind to clean up -- realizing that the fake fingernail might be evidence against him -- surely he wouldn't just drop it in the trash can in the very room where the rape occurred, for police to easily find.
Significantly, too, defense attorneys claim the DNA material was found on the front of the nail -- not on the underside, where it would logically have lodged had the accuser scratched and clawed at her attackers as she claims.
But even putting these points aside, the DNA connection to Evans is weak. To begin, this isn't remotely close to the kind of "match" you may be familiar with from CSI - the kind where the odds of a false positive are infinitesimally small. Indeed, "match" here is a misnomer. All that can be said is that the DNA is "consistent" with DNA voluntarily supplied early on by Evans.
Shocking? Hardly. Evans lived in the house, and therefore may have, from time to time, blown his nose, swabbed an ear, or otherwise disposed of DNA-laden waste into that very trashcan.
Moreover, it was reportedly Evans himself who fished the fake nail from the garbage, voluntarily handing it over to police and maybe, just maybe, shedding some skin cells in the process.
As for direct evidence of sex, there is none; none from any of the forty lacrosse players, that is.
While the second round of DNA testing proved that semen was found inside the accusers vaginal cavity, spokespersons close to the defense are confident the source of the semen is the accuser's own boyfriend.
In sum, after cross-examination, there is little, if any, chance that a jury will give weight to this DNA evidence. It clashes with the accuser's own story, and it's as fully consistent with Evans's innocence as it is with his guilt.

Betty Friedan said...

The D.A.'s Unusual Hostility to Even Viewing Defense Evidence
Defense lawyers have repeatedly implored District Attorney Nifong to meet with them and to examine the evidence that favors the defendants. But Nifong has said no - with an attitude that boils down to, "Talk to the hand."
That's unusual. More often than not, prosecutors are quite open to exchanging - or at least being entertained by - the defense's evidence. After all, it provides them with a valuable preview of what the defense's case may ultimately look like in court. Prosecutors are legally required to turn over certain evidence to the defense, but no obligation runs the other way. And since the defense goes second, prosecutors may not be able to effectively counter defense "surprises."
For prosecutors, meeting with the defense is thus typically a win-win situation: If they are convinced to drop the case, then that's embarrassing - but far less than as a loss at trial would have been. If they aren't convinced to drop the case, they've gotten a precious new edge at trial. And either way, both the reality and appearance of fairness to the defendants are enhanced.
Giving a defendant a lie detector test, in contrast, isn't a win-win situation: It may hurt prosecutors' case if the results are released to the public. (Lie detector results are rarely - if ever - admissible in court.) But at the same time, a lie detector test - while risky, and far from perfect - is likely to get prosecutors closer to the truth, which is supposed to be what they are after.
As noted above, in this case, Evans claims Nifong refused to give Evans a lie detector test. (He ultimately took one himself, and passed.) In my professional experience, a prosecutor's refusing to administer a lie detector test to a defendant is nearly unheard-of. The defendant's answers - and the lie detector's response to them - may provide the prosecutor with a road map to what his vulnerabilities on the stand may be.
Just as meeting with the defense previews the defense case for prosecutors, administering a lie detector can preview the defendant's testimony, as well as his on-the-stand demeanor, showing prosecutors what kind of a witness he will be. (Confident? Nervous? Shifty? Solid?)
I can't help but believe that, were any of these defendants to assert that they had proof that a crime was indeed committed, this district attorney would be all ears. Suppose, for instance, that Seligmann or Evans were to turn on Finnerty, to try to save themselves - surely Nifong would happily hear them out. So how can the prosecutor justify, then, turning a blind eye to evidence of any of the accused's innocence?

Betty Friedan said...

If There's A Card Up the D.A.'s Sleeve, the Law Requires Him to Play It Soon
Some pundits have suggested that the only explanation for the District Attorney's pressing on in the light of strong evidence that the defendants are innocent, is that he has a card up his sleeve. If so, then he needs to show that card, pronto.
The discovery statutes in North Carolina - as in most states - do not allow prosecutors to play "hide the ball." This is a judicial proceeding, not a magic show. So D.A. Nifong will have to reveal this evidence sometime before trial.
He ought to opt to reveal it right now - to give the defense a chance to counter it. When evidence suggesting innocence is as strong as it is in this case, it's wrong to just let the case go to trial and "see what the jury says." These three young men's live will be forever affected, even if they are acquitted. Even an arrest leaves a scar; the scar of trial is far deeper.
D.A. Nifong should listen to the defense, and should drop the case unless he has strong evidence supporting the accuser. Moreover, if he does have such evidence, he should show it to us now. The defendants have been forthcoming - especially Evans, who volunteered to, and then did, take a lie detector test. The prosecution should follow their example.

Anonymous said...

I am a lawyer in a rural county in a rural state, and although most of my work these days is taken up practicing civil law, for the first 5 - 7 years I did a lot of criminal defense work.
Anyway, as a result of the demographics of my practice area, I have had the opportunity to defend clients charged with rather heinous and violent criminal acts, including rape, murder, etc.
Two observations:

1. whether this woman was raped or not, these young men are going to found not guilty if they go to trial — barring some unforeseen discovery by the police, the facts for the PA flat-out stink and most competent criminal defense attorneys will run him out of the courtroom on these — drunk, verge of being passed-out stripper with criminal record for car theft and tried to run over police officer who is smiling in photos taken as she is leaving the place — if the accusations are true, it’s tragic, but as a lawyer you work for the guy paying the bill, so she will be destroyed when she testifies. I had a similar case once where the alleged victim admitted during cross-examination at the preliminary hearing that prior to the "rape," by a college athlete — football player at a party, that she had stopped to pick up a six-pack to drink on the way to the party, she had drunk six -eight 16 ounce plastic cups half full of wine and had smoked a joint with one other person. She was a recent graduate (graduated two months after the alleged incident and had to fly in from Texas to testify) in Nursing and after leaving the "rape scene" in the early morning hours, instead of driving to the emergency room at the local hospital one mile from her former college dorm room, she drove for 3 hours to a hospital near her parent’s house. There was testimony from other partygoers — acquaintences of hers and who did not know my client — that she "fell asleep" for a little while after she smoked the pot. This poor girl even brought a squeeze ball to use while testifying to relieve stress (her psychologist had receommended it). Unfortunately for this young woman, the facts left me, as the young man’s lawyer, but to dig and berate, and ridicule and demean everything she had done and flat-out state that everything was inconsistent with her allegations — by the time we got to trial, she backed out on the first day and told the PA she would never testify about the rape again. My guy walked. He always told me he was innocent. You never really know, though.

2. I suppose the PA is running with this b/c he is facing an election in 2008, and this is a great time to start appealing to his voter base. The Duke students don’t vote there.

Written By: Kevin Duffy

Anonymous said...

The stripper originally claimed that the second stripper helped with the rape!

Just when you think this case hit rock bottom, you find a sub-basement.

If Mike Nifong doesn't get disbarred after this, then there really is a corrupt system in Durham that protects rich white guys.


3 (b) The probable cause affidavit implies there is no question that [deleted] was sexually assaulted on March 14, 2006, at 610 N. Buchanan by three men. But three days before Investigator Himan signed his affidavit, March 20, 2006, at 10:10am., Investigator Himan interviewed Kim Pittman, the only eyewitness to the events of March 14, 2006, at 610 N. Buchanan. Before Ms. Pittman was granted extremely favorable bond consideration by District Attorney Nifon personally on april 17, 2006, she told investigator Himan [ deleted ] allegation that she was sexually assaulted was a “crock.” Instead Investigator Himan alleged that [ deleted ] “reported that she was sexually assaulted for an approximate 30 minute period.”

3 (e), (8) She told Investigator Himan first that she had consumed a 24 ounce bottle of beer and thereafter that she had consumed two twenty-two ounce Ice House beers. Finally, She told the S.A.N.E nurse in training that Kim Pittman assisted the players in her alleged sexual assault and that Kim Pittman stole all her “money and everything.”