Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Oil

Prosecutors and their shills around the country must be fuming at the way the Duke lacrosse case is playing out on cable television and online. Defense attorneys in the sexual assault case are handling reporters like looms, spinning the stories they want spun to skew public perceptions about the alleged victim in the case, her story and just about every other part of the saga. So far, it has been a virtuouso performance by the defense and if law-and-order types don't like it, they have no one to blame but themselves.

That's because prosecutors and the police invented prejudicial pre-trial publicity. From the "perp walk" -- where the media are encouraged to get the shot of the suspect in handcuffs that is designed to be played endlessly on television -- to the secret disclosure of incriminating information such as a confession, it's the government that has for years and years and through countless big trials enjoyed all of the advantages in the court of public opinion. Now, for whatever reasons, in this case, the tables are turned.

Don't blame the media. Reporters have proven with this Duke case to be equal opportunity suckers. For years, I have railed against press reports that give too much credence to unidentified prosecution sources and early-in-the-case whispers that inevitably incriminate the defendant (whether they end up being true or not). And now's my chance to do likewise about reports that are clearly designed by the many defense attorneys in the case to ripen the potential jury field for acquittals down the road. In high profile cases, it seems, reporters don't often care which side is spinning, as long as someone is, especially in the absence of any real, official news.

Don't blame defense attorneys. Their continuous dog-and-pony shows, which culminated Monday with the unseemly sight of a rape suspect brash-talking before live television cameras, are precisely what many zealous attorneys would do in the course of their represenation of a high-profile client. The ceaseless "official" announcements by these attorneys, who by definition do not have access to all of the facts of the case, are designed for one reason only. And that is to sell to potential jurors their narrative of the case -- that this is a story of sweet, innocent boys getting their lives ruined by a "nut and a slut", to use the obnoxious phrase made famous during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill fight 15 years ago and then used again during the Clinton impeachment saga. If you read more into what the defense lawyers are saying now, you are fooling yourself. There is no Gospel According to the Defense, just as there is no Gospel According to the Prosecution.

But don't blame the prosecutor, either. After an early case blunder in which he promised more than he could deliver, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong has generally resisted the temptation to ride the whirlwind of media coverage and duel it out with defense attorneys via the media. He must be dying behind his self-imposed cone of silence, unwilling or unable to fight an even fight for the hearts and minds of potential jurors. His only vindication will be at trial, but that must seem these days like a long time coming for him and his star witness.

Whom to blame? This case needs a judge like a hungry wolf needs a pork chop. It needs a judge to quickly issue a gag order that will end until trial the silliness we've seen over the past few weeks. It needs a judge who will restore order to the chaos.

By  |  May 16, 2006; 7:00 AM ET
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thanks for this blog. I've been really bothered by the coverage. Unfortunately, in cases like this it's almost impossible to know what really happened. But I was disturbed by the coverage yesterday. Everyone led with the indictment and then buried at the bottom of the story the fact that the victim said she was 90 percent sure it was one of the rapist and that she'd be 100 percent sure if he had a mustache like he wore that night. defense says he never had a mustache in his life and i think that would be fairly simple to prove. could have been wearing a fake mustache but there would probably be photos. but the 90 percent sans mustache factor should be at the top of the story right under the indictment.

Posted by: catherine | May 16, 2006 01:13 PM

It was interesting to see the third suspect, David Evans, tout his integrity as part of his defense. He should have trotted out the integrity card early on, when he, a team captain, could have nixed the idea of a paid stripper coming to his house. He could have saved himself and the others a lot of heartache, to say nothing of the poor woman who was degraded by the whole affair, rape or no rape.

Posted by: Sandra Arnoult | May 16, 2006 01:17 PM

"...these attorneys, who by definition do not have access to all of the facts of the case..." True enough about the defense.
The prosecution does not, by definition, have access to all the facts either, as the defendents may or may not be withholding information, per their 5th Amendment right.
This case is a tragedy on so many levels, and Mr. Cohen is right at least on one thing, that the media is being played like chumps.

Posted by: Geno | May 16, 2006 01:25 PM

I don't under this column at all. There are obvious reasons other influencing potential jurors for the defense speaking out. First, the defense lawyers all had an interest in preventing their clients from being indicted in the first place. If the charges are true that Nifong refused to hear evidence, then what was the defense supposed to do with the potential exculpatory evidence they have produced? Second, if you were indicted and about be plastered on every cable news show and every newspaper in the country, wouldn't you want to make a statement? Or would you be content with just a mugshot and "accused" in all the news outlets? The uncomfortable truth is that in most cases the defendant is guilty. From what we have seen so far, these players may very well be innocent. Why shouldn't they say so?

Posted by: Joel | May 16, 2006 01:25 PM

Oh yes, the "stripper," the "poor women degraded by the whole affair" - since when is someone who works for an escort service a stripper? I thought strippers worked at strip clubs, no? Wouldn't working for an escort service make her a prostitute? Why is the media coverage willfully blind to this simple fact?

Posted by: Dave Bob | May 16, 2006 01:27 PM

The idea that the defendants, who have been indicted under what appears to be very weak evidence, should be subjected to a "gag order," is really outrageous.

They have been demonized by a prosecutor who used the case as a political wedge issue -- a crude racial appeal -- to win a close Democratic primary election.

In speaking back in their own defense, the defendants are merely vindicating their own rights to free speech and due process.

The prosecutor is a state official subject to the limits the Constitution places on state actors.

The defendants and their attorneys, by contrast, are not. As private citizens, they have a right to free speech.

Moreover, the prosecutor's whirlwind of unsupported allegations to the press during the election campaign about this case clearly violates Rule 3.8 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.

Only a blind ideologue could fail to see problems with Nifong's unethical conduct in this case.

Posted by: Hans Bader | May 16, 2006 01:45 PM

Um, Hans, you're simply wrong. The defense attorneys are bound by the rules of professional conduct just as much as the prosecuters. They're also not just "private citizens," they're officers of the court, and they have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the judicial system. This includes not making disparaging statements about the accuser, and not trying the case in the media. Such tactics may be acceptable for most folks, and most politicians, but attorneys are held to a higher standard.

Posted by: CT | May 16, 2006 01:49 PM

I have to agree that both sides in this legal battle behaved badly. Nifong made the mistake of making too many public statements with too much certainty too early on, quite likely because of the upcoming election, and the defense attorneys have taken over the job of feeding the beast. The result? Lots of people spouting their opinion about the case with the certainty of the clueless. I think we'd be a lot better off if both prosecutors and defense attorneys took one concrete step to protect the integrity and reputation of the judicial system--keep public statements about the case brief and few.

Posted by: Kate | May 16, 2006 02:04 PM

Actually, Defense lawyers and prosecutors are not held to the exact same professional conduct. Prosecutors also have additional ethical and professional responsibilities due to the power of their position. A prosecutor does not represent the accuser of a crime, but rather represents the will of the community and justice. His extra-judicial statements crossed the line, and defense attorneys then had the ethical obligation to answer to the prosecutor's comments. Nifong opened the door to the media, not the defense.

Also, the media has been posing a very different question than Nifong has to. The media has been asking, "Did the accused do the crime". When asking that question it's ok to consider 90% of an impermissibly suggestive lineup, or an inconclusive match of DNA. But Nifong should be asking the question "Can I ever prove this beyond a reasonable doubt?" The answer to that is no based on the following things.

Impermissibly suggestive lineup
Alibi Evidence for Seligman (If she was completely wrong about him, then she can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt she was right about the others)
The rape kit shows only some vaginal trauma, it does not tie anyone to it. Remember, the question is did they do it? not, did someone do it?
She was either passed out drunk or given a drug. Either way her ability to identify and remember the night is hampered and not going to be reliable beyond a reasonable doubt.
The DNA will not make a juror convinced beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case should go away. Otherwise, Nifong will be sanctioned by the state bar and the accuser will be sued for defamationa and forced to take the stand and proven a fabricator.

Posted by: Peter | May 16, 2006 02:12 PM

As a former prosecuting attorney, I have been appalled by the conduct on both sides but Nifong's conduct at the very start was not only unprofessional, but he dug himself a needless hole, which he will have to climb out of before he try the case.

To dis the defense attorneys at the start was just plain stupid, unless he needed this case for re-election. His headlong rush to judgment has closed many avenues to the proof that would have served justice, which is what he is supposed to be doing, not just prosecuting every claim that comes in the office.

I made the same mistake when I was a new county assistant prosecutor and I wasted precious county funds and human resources that would have been better utilized elsewhere. I am not proud of that learning period, but nonetheless, I know what I am talking about I would suspect Nifong has had his learninperod years ago, and therefore should have seen this train wreck coming.

Unless he indeed had another reaon to close his mind about this case. Fearless prediction... these guys will be exonerated and Duke will have to dip into their endowment to pay the civil suits that will be surely filed after that.

Posted by: Steve | May 16, 2006 02:12 PM

It's one thing to say defense attorneys may be spinning the case their way, just as prosecutors often do. It's quite another thing to suggest that it is somehow "brash" or "unseemly" for a criminal defendant to tell the media that he is innocent. Only if one is assuming that he is, in fact, definitely guilty can this seem brash or inappropriate. Moreover, given DA Nifong's repeated characterizations of the lacrosse players, early in the case, as completely uncooperative, it seems only reasonable that David Evans might want to correct the record by pointing out his own extensive efforts to cooperate--and as another commenter has already noted, it is well within the rights of potential suspects (and generally a good idea) to remain publicly silent until they see whether they will be indicted.

Posted by: CF | May 16, 2006 02:17 PM

After reading and hearing quite a bit about this case I am starting to believe the prosecutor may be in for a long uphill battle. The Duke lacrosse captain was quite compelling and gave quite a bit of information willingly, if he was really so guilty, I don't believe he would be so willing to do so without his lawyer or his parents sitting by his side. Besides I have seen Police and Prosecutors absolutely destroy people in the last several months. One need look no further than Fairfax County, on the 24th of January, the local news agencies were reporting that Fairfax Police had shot and killed a leader of a major gambling ring, as we now know it's was an optometrist who was unarmed, compliant, had no prior arrests, and was only betting money on football. But if one had only heard or listened to Fairfax Police or their District Attorney you would have thought they had done something good, instead they killed somebody without any justification at all. Hmmm, I thought that would be a crime, I guess not.

Posted by: Bucky | May 16, 2006 02:18 PM

My question is how can anyone expect the justice system to be fair anymore? The rich (and all of these boys are from rich families) get better justice because they can pay for better lawyers. Both sides play the media to get a potential jury on their side before the case ever starts. Are any of us foolish enough to think that this is the way the system was set up to operate?


Posted by: TC | May 16, 2006 02:23 PM

There are cities (the one in which I live) where a teacher accused of rape by a former student. The police never investigated the case yet they got a search warrant and searched his entire home, and released his name as well as the possessions they confiscated.

ONLY after all the local TV stations and daily paper had rather gleefully headlined this sensational news of a former student accusing a teacher, was it all shown to be a blatant lie, to which the accuser confessed! Even at the time, the police knew there was no evidence to charge the accused, nevertheless, preferred a "trial by the media" forever defaming the teacher and his professional reputation. The police have never admitted the total lack of validity to the accusations, and because they were unable to present a charge, the victim in this case, the teacher, has been forever branded a "rapist" by the police and media.

There should be some protection against such malicious and blatant lying and negligence by the law enforcement authorities. However, there seems no recourse.

Posted by: Elaine | May 16, 2006 02:26 PM

While more money often means better lawyers, it's naive and too cynical to say that the justice system won't be fair. You can have the best lawyer in the world, but the truth is the most powerful thing. It would be unfair to characterize all judicial proceedings based on this case, especially because it seems these kids have the expensive lawyers and the truth on their side. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. Take a bigger picture of the legal system, not just a snapshot of what you see on television.

Posted by: Peter | May 16, 2006 02:28 PM

I agree that everyone in the case could benefit by trying it in court instead of the media, but I disagree that prosecutor Nifong has largely resisted the temptation to use the media. Nifong, in fact, got the media ball rolling by stating that he was "certain" that a rape occurred and by staging "perp walks" of the first two defendants, rather than allowing them to surrender. Nifong then abruptly stopped his media frenzy--most likely because the DNA results came back negative, Seligman produced what appears to be a very strong alibi, and Nifong was taking a beating in the press for doing all this when he was up for re-election. Neither side has clean hands in the media wars on this one.

Posted by: SK | May 16, 2006 02:33 PM

The hypocrisy here is unbelievable.

Posted by: candide | May 16, 2006 02:34 PM

Full disclosure - I believe the boys are innocent and the woman is lying. There are simply too many holes that go far beyond the natural inconsistencies that nearly always accompany truthful recollection, which is usually flawed to some extent because we're not robots.

But a mustache? Come on! I could go on.

The real point, however, is this. As my grandfather said, if you don't want trouble, don't go where trouble is. By hiring those strippers, those boys introduced into their lives an element of risk and danger that has led them to this. Is the outcome out of proportion to the seeming foolishness/immaturity of the party at the time? Of course. That's exactly the point of the maxim, though. "If you don't want trouble, don't go where trouble is." We can always count on walking through troublesome areas unscathed. Unpredictable things happen.

Posted by: Brian | May 16, 2006 02:48 PM

Of course, I meant we "can't" always count on walking through troublesome areas unscathed.. .

Posted by: Brian | May 16, 2006 02:49 PM

Now that all the DNA tests that have come back that show no evidence of rape (or intercourse at least) by members of the lacrosse team, when will the effort be made to find out who that DNA really belongs to?

Posted by: RL | May 16, 2006 02:53 PM

I don't get this blog... the DA calls the LX players a bunch of "hooligans" who he is certain raped a stripper, and the defense is just supposed to say nothing? Nifong refuses to actually investigate facts that be be used to clear people? Since when is the police merely looking for evidence to prosecute people. I thought the police were supposed to find the truth.

Nifong has used this situation to help himself get relected pure and simple. His conduct is revolting -- he has ruined lives because of it. I can only hope that there is some sort of karmic justice.

Posted by: J | May 16, 2006 03:06 PM

I am sorry, but the prosecution is to blame here. This was a political dog and pony show, all for Mr. Nifong's reelection. Evidence is appearing that there would probably be no investigation at the outset due to the alleged victim's lack of credibility. Mr. Nifong thought otherwise, and used to this as a staple for his reelection campaign: as long as he got an arrest before the election in a high profile case like this, he was assurred victory. Fortunately for him, it worked. Unfortunately, the lives of three young men have been tarnished in a very weak case. If this case goes to court, it looks likely that there will be three acquitals. But that didn't matter to Mr. Nifong, as the trial date will be long after the election. That being said, due to Mr. Nifong's lack of ethics in this case, the defense had no choice but to play the media. Blame the instigator in this case, not the reactor.

Posted by: Jim | May 16, 2006 03:46 PM

Mr. Cohen, I often enjoy your columns. What you say now, though, makes no sense. It increasingly and overwhelmingly appears that the DA is a fool and/or crook, that the guys are innocent, and the accuser is a liar. Those boys' lives have been shaken anyway, beyond reason... ar they supposed to not even defend themselves in front of blatant abuse??

How about the DA's brazen abuse of power in threatening and blackmailing any potential defense witness with old or imaginary indictments that are being "miraculously" remembered now? It shows how desperate he's gotten.

I strongly suggest you revise both your column and your knowledge of the case. Thank you.

Posted by: John | May 16, 2006 03:50 PM

I don't understand what you guys don't "get" about the blog. In a healthy system, you don't have prosecutors or defense attorneys holding press conferences every week with new facts as if the case were an episode of Lost. All the lawyers in this case (defense and prosecution) have long ago given up any professiona dignity. To all the people saying the defendants are innocent - you are missing the entire point. The whole idea is let the trial play out on its own, free of leaks and innuendo and name calling.

Every time I hear or see something about this case on the news I turn the channel. Because no one knows what is really happening or not happening.

(BTW - DNA isn't needed for a criminal conviction in a rape case. Often, the rapist doesn't ejaculate when the rape occurs. Although, it is a good weapon for the defense if she claims that they did. And for anyone who doesn't know how there can be ejaculate on the victim without her saying the suspected perpetrators ejaculated... 7th grade sex ed my friends).

Posted by: DJ | May 16, 2006 03:59 PM

Is a grand jury indicment as meaningless as the defense lawyers suggest? Shouldn't it count for something that these guys WERE INDICTED. The Evans defense attorney said "a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich for the murder of a pig." This comment suggest a complete lack of regard for the grand jury process. What's the point of having a grand jury if its efforts have no value?

Posted by: CC | May 16, 2006 04:09 PM

The grand jury system is used to legitimize the case for the prosecution and provide an early test of some of the evidence. If you can't get a grand jury to indict, it means you have a serious problem with the case.

The grand jury most often does not hear any exculpatory (adverse) evidence, so it is indeed one-sided. But it serves a legitimate purpose in our criminal justice system, alythough I must admit at times it is most unfair and can cause much harm if not used with a professionally competent and ethical hand.

Posted by: Steve | May 16, 2006 04:16 PM

I forgot to add that there are three ways to get a criminal suspect to court is to use the grand jury, charge them directly by the filing of formal charges by a government unit (like the police) or, in some states a petition that can filed by Joe Blow (think Gomre Pyle and the Ciizen's
arrest episode.

I also forgot to add, a little noticed aspect of the older Perry Mason series was most of his victories over Hapless Ham were not in front of a jury, but in the preliminary hearing stage, where the rules of evidence are somewhat loosened.

Posted by: Steve | May 16, 2006 04:23 PM

I have never seen a case more like the film "Rashomon" than this one. Four individuals with four versions and a fifth one that is the truth. Until we hear from the fifth, please put a gag on this. Lives are being destroyed that will never be the same long after the DA and the Defense have moved on with theirs.

Posted by: Debra Jenkins | May 16, 2006 04:26 PM

The media often views the judicial system as a theater for the purpose of entertainment,rather than, a deliberative system for administration of justice based on reasoned fact finding. Isn't that the purpose - to learn the facts?

Posted by: K Patrick | May 16, 2006 04:27 PM

As a former Duke University faculty wife, I know some about the history of the school. I have written my story in fiction form, "In the Shadow of the Tower: Sex, Fear and Politics on a Southern Campus." You might find it interesting. Marjorie Hacker

Posted by: Marjorie Hacker | May 16, 2006 04:31 PM

"I am absolutely innocent." It seems the David Evans defense team is adapting the defense strategy of Ken Lay (one of the Enron defendants). Lay made this same statement on the stand. Also, Lay boldly proclaimed his innocence in pre-trial comments, and employed a brash and defiant approach in dealing with prosecutors. Since we will have the Enron verdict a lot sooner than the Duke rape verdict, we'll know if such an approach works.

Posted by: DC | May 16, 2006 04:40 PM

Nothing like discussing a legal issue in washington. Do all you guys and gals get to bill for your time spent writing on this blog? Get back to work.

Posted by: NP | May 16, 2006 05:27 PM

The only difference between Ken Lay and David Evans is that everybody in the world knew Ken Lay was lying the minute his lips started moving. The Duke University student, did not read from a transcript and provided a lot of information, to include the fact that no physical evidence links him, he took a polygraph, gave statements without Mommy, Daddy, or the lawyer present, sought out the District Attorney. I agree with what I read near the top of this posting, this case seems like nothing more than a District Attorney attempting to get himself re-elected. God knows, District Attorney's do that stuff all the time. Robert Horan the District Attorney in Fairfax County has an outright policy that he refuses to prosecute any members of Fairfax County Police or Law Enforcement that commit crimes while in the line of duty. Any disbelievers simply check his record. It happens, Police Chiefs, Prosecutors, and Judges will often do things to make themselves more popular, even if those things are unethical, immoral, and criminal.

FYI, I should mention I support victims and woman when they come forward with these types of claims and information, however, this case so far seems to leave a lot, a lot of unanswered questions.

Posted by: T. Munson | May 16, 2006 05:42 PM

NP. Well put.

Posted by: To NP | May 16, 2006 05:46 PM

Sorry about that I am putting down my Krispy Kreme now and climbing back into my cruiser. Ooops, I got glaze all over my steering wheel. Hey, there goes somebody doing 37 mph in a 25, hmmmm, looks like ticket time!!!!

Posted by: Gruff | May 16, 2006 05:47 PM

There is simply no one in this saga who, so far, looks good.

1. The lacrosse team had earned a reputation for swagger, bad acting, and one of the accused -- Finnerty -- has a criminal record in DC for gay bashing. None of that makes them rapists, but neither are they pure innocents.

2. The team had no business hiring a stripper for a party.

3. The woman, who is also a mother, might have found a better way of earning some part-time $$$. She has a history of making similar allegations, and there is considerable evidence -- the mustache business, the ATM records -- that this one may be a fabrication at least as regards two of the defendants.

4. The "witness" changed her story after, we have learned, e-mailing a friend that she wants to figure out how to make the most out of this episode.

5. The DA went way out on a limb way too early, and starts trying the case in the media, with obvious ulterior motives. His DNA evidence, limited to material under one fingernail, is incredibly weak, and there is DNA evidence that the woman had sex with a man not on the lacrosse team.

There is still much we don't know, and so far, lots of reasonable doubt. But the blog's main point is correct: this case needs a strong judge, and soon.

Posted by: Meridian | May 16, 2006 05:54 PM

This case will never go to trial. The accuser and/or prosecutor will wake up one day and decide not to proceed with the case. If a crime was committed, the evidence appears to be so weak that it would be unlikely that the accuser will go through a public trial. If a crime was not committed, the accuser certainly is not going to put herself through a public trial. My prediction is that the case gets dropped and four people's lives will never be the same. (The accuser and the three defendants.)


Posted by: JL | May 16, 2006 06:01 PM

This is a sad situation. If one honestly just looks at the facts, it is painfully obvious (at least from the evidence publicly released to date) that the boys are innocent of the alleged crime of rape. They are guilty, at worst, of a frat party out of control. The evidence is far more exonerating than incriminating re rape. The proper rule, of course, is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and here, there is barely a scintilla of evidence to support a guilty verdict. Race/class is also a factor, most unfortunately. Honestly, if these boys were African-American and the escort girl white, there would be such an outcry of "lynching" that they never ever would have been indicted on such poor evidence. But these boys are under indictment precisely because they are white & rich. There is clearly reverse race/class discrimination powerfully at work here. Ignorance knows no boundaries, and it is interesting (and sad) to watch liberal-minded folks leap to a guilty until proven innocence mindset, and from a well of political and race/gender conviction having nothing to do with the actual facts, try and convict these boys based on nothing. Truly, again at least from the evidence known to date, this case is about as weak a case as has ever been assembled. Maybe the prosecutor is holding a surprise back, but I doubt it. If he is not holding something back, he should be indicted for prosecutorial misconduct, and the County sued.

Posted by: AB | May 16, 2006 06:15 PM

The accuser has said a lot about supposedly being raped by the lacrosse team, compared to spouting off about who else she had sex with that night -- that is, whose sample of DNA came from the vaginal swab, because it wasn't the athletes. I think they should ask her who else she had sex with that night; if she's already said or implied it was only the lacrosse team, her memory or ability to tell these things from her state at the time might well be proven entirely faulty. This is from a Duke alum; aside from defending either the team members or the woman, I would really prefer getting to the bottom of all this, as I am sure most would...

Posted by: RL | May 16, 2006 06:43 PM

I may be mistaken but it's my understanding that in the UK once a person has been charged with a crime the media is restricted from commenting on the case until the trial is over.
I believe such a policy would go a long way to insuring a more fair justice system in the U.S. But I also believe that such a system could never be adopted because the media would scream "first Amendment."
They're not interested in justice; they want to increase circulation and viewership in order to make more profit.

Posted by: robert | May 16, 2006 06:58 PM

Thanks Mr. Cohen. I too wish that both sides would retreat to their corners and shut up until trial! A transit bus got hit by a train today in Durham, NC. I didn't realize how STARVED I am for new news!

Posted by: Miss Venita | May 16, 2006 07:03 PM

Robert: thanks for the update about the media's motives . . . I'll finally be able to sleep better with that new tidbit of information

Posted by: Jim | May 16, 2006 07:26 PM

The boys are morally suspect and somehow culpable because they hired the strippers (i.e. "By hiring those strippers, those boys introduced into their lives an element of risk and danger that has led them to this."), and yet the stripper/escort/accuser is often referred to a single mom or a hard working college student (i.e. "the poor woman who was degraded by the whole affair"). If the boys are bad for hiring strippers, why are the strippers not equally morally suspect for providing such services? Why is the provider of the tasteless "entertainment" not held to the same moral standard as the consumer of such services? People choose to act--both the boys and the stripper made choices that created this imborglio and neither side can claim any moral superiority.

Posted by: Bill | May 16, 2006 07:27 PM

"it is painfully obvious (at least from the evidence publicly released to date) that the boys are innocent of the alleged crime of rape."

what is equally obvious the spin employed by the defenders of 'the boys' since the age range is 19-24.

Posted by: linda | May 16, 2006 07:28 PM

Totally agree. I wish our system was
more similiar to the Brits. Nothing can
be released until after the trial.
Nice job.

Posted by: Alicia Guadarrama | May 16, 2006 07:54 PM

Thank you Linda. Well educated men should behave better. But clearly their lifetimes of entitlement indicate that they do not have to.

Posted by: Amanda | May 16, 2006 07:55 PM

To the guy who said the woman works for an "escort service" and is therefore a prostitute, you must concede the boys are then guilty of hiring a prostitute, which is a crime in North Carolina.
Also, one hires an escort/prostitute with the expectation of sex.
For those who say "from the evidence presented so far," well, no evidence has been presented so far. Evidence is what's left after cross examination- no cross examination has happened yet.
Forty men invite two "escorts" into a "frat" house to dance naked for them while they drink alcohol. One dancer may have been druged. "Unchristian" comments were made about performing with objects. A charged e-mail was sent. Of those forty men, and possibly other friends at the house, whom they won't identify, did each and every young male just say, 'Oh well, let's just have a Bible study," when the women took their money and stopped the show. Especially if she got dizzy from her tainted drink.
Let's wait to weigh the evidence.

Posted by: Roger | May 16, 2006 08:03 PM

Clergymen, high school coaches and headmasters should refrain from making comments about the integrity and upstanding character of these guys. For goodness sake, they lied about their names, ages, attendees, etc. for the sole purpose of getting women to come to their party and take off their clothes. In light of these FACTS, these so called "character references " look pretty stupid making comments about the righteous and moral upbringing of these fellas. Of course, most individuals walk the straight and narrow path when mom, dad, the family clergy, and coach are in the same building, or somewhere nearby. What they do when the authority figures aren't around is the real test of character and moral upbringing. These are educated adult men, from "fine homes, and privileged upbringing." Seems they should have passed the character test easily, but they didn't.

Collectively, these guys have a history of bad behavior, making stupid choices, and doing dumb things. Sadly, this time there are some serious repercussions to deal with, even if there was no rape. The dismissal of the coach, the damage to the university, the cancellation of the season, and the serious legal battle ahead are just a few of the repercussions. It is not helpful to their situation to have all the authority figures in their lives try to gloss over their bad behavior and character flaws with silly praise about what fine fellas these are. What would have been helpful is for someone to realize that over time given all the irresponsible drinking and the resulting rowdiness, something horrible was bound to happen, and eventually the bill would come due, the chickens would come home to roost, and the piper would have to be paid. Someone in the group with morals, upstanding character, and a bit of intelligence would have figured this out easily, and taken steps to prevent it.

Posted by: DC | May 16, 2006 08:17 PM

What Sandra Arnoult said.

Posted by: Phil S. | May 16, 2006 08:49 PM

This case if being tried in the media before trial. Black Panthers strut, Jesse Jackson offers a scholarhip and the news channels run a crawl keeping the world up to date with the 'scandal'. Boys, OK, men, hired strippers. Though not praiseworthy, definitely not a crime. She has sex with someone, though definitely not the players, cries rape and the DA sees a racial and socio-economic tinderbox that he can craft to help his re-election campaign. Why has he said the case won't be tried until 2007? Where is the speedy trial? This case will be dismissed late this summer as the accused changes her story for the umpteenth time and the prosecution can't make charges stick. Lifetime or BET will do a docu-drama and the players lives will be forever changed by a handful of lies.

Posted by: Teacher | May 16, 2006 08:59 PM

Does this case deserve a gag order once discovery starts? Probably. Would it be good for everyone involved (and everyone observing the case) if that the trial process got going sooner rather than later? Definitely. But do either of those points make the conduct of the defense lawyers inappropriate? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I've heard a lot of media mouthpieces discussing the questionable propriety of the defense lawyers and defendants speaking out. But those same media sources have also been relentlessly covering this story every single day for 6 weeks and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. There is a certain level of hypocrisy in a group of people who would fight to the death to preserve their 1st amendment right to cover this story blaming the defense lawyers, their clients, and the familes of the players for having concern about what the media has heard when their reports hit the air/goes to print. Its not like these defendants and their lawyers are paying for advertising time/space. The media is the one showing up to their press conferences and running with what is said. If the media didnt feel compelled to report on this case every day and would just allow the process to work itself out, there would be no purpose for news conferences and information leaks. But since they do feel compelled, and since the defendants are combating a DA who apparently hadn't read Rule 3.8 of NC Code of Ethics, getting out and fighting to preserve the good name of the accused and combatting the damage done by the comments of Nifong seems entirely fair and appropriate.

Finally, on a basic human level, the notion that someone getting up and declaring their innocence is somehow "unseemly" just doesn't wash with me at all. I wonder if Mr. Cohen would feel the same way if it was his kid who had been charged on what he fully believed was bogus evidence by what he believed was a rogue DA on a witch hunt.

Posted by: JGP | May 16, 2006 10:09 PM

I know Dave Evans well. He is an amazing kid and I am completely sure he is innocent of all the crap he is being accused of. This accuser is a lier. She has accused three innocent people. I heard from people at the party that she showed up tripping on acid. When she arrived at the party she was unable to communicate. These three men did nothing wrong and are innocent of everything. They are victims of political correctness and this fool Nifong. I wish they could press charges on this stripper for slander. She has ruined their lives. Dave is a very smart kid. He had a job as an investment banker. He lost his job when the scandal broke. He was captain of a nationally ranked Lacrosse team. He is an exceptional human being. This scandal has already ruined his life. How much is enough. He is completely innocent. These allegations are lies...utter lies. The accuser is a poor drug addict. She is totally in this for the money. She has fooled all of us and ruined the lives of completely innocent people. Free Dave Evans!!!

Posted by: The Stripper Lies | May 16, 2006 10:20 PM

If Dave Evans is such an honorable man, I would like to see him call a press conference at which he advocates for his teammates to break the wall of silence. Ask them to tell the honest brutal truth about everyone that was present, and everything that happened. So far, the only truth we have heard is what Evans and the defense lawyers are spinning as truth.

Posted by: DC | May 16, 2006 10:34 PM

I also know Dave very well. He is one of the smartest kids I know and will b eone of the most successfull people I have ever met. There is not a doubt in my mind that he is 100% innocent. He parties hard. That does not make him a criminal. He is an upstanding individual and completely innocent. Let's compare him tot his accuser. He is a hard-working, successful kid. His accuser is a dirt-poor drug addict who takes her clothes off for money. Let's not forget that she has cried rape numerous times. This entire scandal is ridiculous.

Posted by: | May 16, 2006 10:37 PM

I don't know Mr. Evans, as others have claimed. It seems that Mr. Evans displayed poor judgment in hosting this "party" at his house, which hardly makes him the upstanding individual that a previous poster has claimed. He engaged in something that was sleazy and tawdry, rape or no rape. Saying that the victim (or "the accuser" as the defense would depict her) has told "fantastic lies" does not cut it. That could mean literally anything. Mr. Evans would have had more credibility if he had said yesterday, "I never touched her." However, he didn't say that, relying instead on the classic Watergate-style "non-denial denial." This suggests that Mr. Evans has a lot more dirt on him than he has admitted.

Posted by: Mark | May 16, 2006 11:27 PM

I couldn't help but notice that both of the defenders of David Evans said that the alleged victim shouldn't be believed because she is "poor". You have got to be kidding me. What does her wealth (or his) have to do with it? And, to all of you that have noted that she was a stripper and thus shouldn't be believed (or the "nice" man (that is sarcasm) who assumes she is really a prostitute with absolutely no evidence of that) -- historically women in jobs like strippers are at greater risk of rape and less likely to be believed.

Look, I don't know if a rape took place or not. But to all of you who insist that these are "nice, upstanding boys" what we have learned about these men (and they are men) is that they had a history of raging parties and disorderly conduct (including Mr. Evans), urged the strippers to have sex with foreign objects and became abusive when they refused, at least one sent a horrifically sexist, racist and violent email as a joke and Mr. Seligman was involved in a gay-bashing incident here in DC. These are not nice upstanding men.

Finally, I agree with the original article that it is hard to see how justice will be done in this case with the press coverage that it has received.

Posted by: sl | May 16, 2006 11:38 PM

"If Dave Evans is such an honorable man, I would like to see him call a press conference at which he advocates for his teammates to break the wall of silence."

Was that not the entire point of his press conference? To refute the bogus notion thrown into the media by Nifong about the team not being cooperative by explaining how he identified everyone at the party, willingly submitted DNA samples (as did the rest of the team), and tried to answer any questions? What would you have them do other than that?

"Ask them to tell the honest brutal truth about everyone that was present, and everything that happened. So far, the only truth we have heard is what Evans and the defense lawyers are spinning as truth."

Is there any indication whatsoever that they havent done so other than what Nifong has said over a month ago--something that has since been directly contradicted by Evans and hasnt been repeated by Nifong? Or are you asking them to tell the public what happened?

Either way, seems like you have bought into the exact kind of hardcore spinning that you accuse the defense of, only this spinning was done by the DA.

Posted by: | May 17, 2006 12:19 AM

It's amazing, how great minds think alike! I thought to myself early this morning that this case is definitely ready for a judge to rein in the unfettered spin! I wholeheartedly believe that the media can, and should, discuss this case in every way that it knows how to, and can attract an audience doing. But, that's not the same as thinking that the parties to the case should spout off endlessly without being held to standards of accuracy & accountability.

Note to M. Hacker - (May 16, 2006 04:31 PM)
Given that you're a "former Duke University faculty wife", I appreciate your restraint by not jumping in with opinions here! I'm very fond of, and fairly close to, an acquaintance and big fan of yours! I read your book and enjoyed it.

Note to K Patrick (May 16, 2006 04:27 PM)
I think that a lot of really serious debate by serious people has been held about "the purpose" of the process. I'm not convinced that findings of truth are necessarily the best or primary goal (and certainly not always the outcome!) of high-profile trials. I strongly suspect that all the truth that can ever be "found" is already presented before the verdict is reached.

Note to robert (May 16, 2006 06:58 PM) &
Alicia Guadarrama May 16, 2006 07:54 PM)
Wow! You are astoundingly incorrect! The British press has at least as much fun as does Ameri-press discussing these things. Gag orders can (under unusual circumstances) be enforced on the media, but generally they apply only outlets with close ties to the principals in the case, just like the US. The primary difference in the UK is that the libel & slander laws allow for somewhat easier victories by plaintiffs, so there's a bit (only a bit, I've noticed) more self-restraint on the part of various media organisations . I can only assume that you intend to refer to the limitations on public statements by parties involved in the case. I'm also a little creeped out by your (robert, specifically) hint that having a media blackout would somehow lead to fairer justice. I know that this will sound confrontational, which isn't my intention, but: Where have you seen evidence that less public information equals more fairness?

Posted by: Bob S. | May 17, 2006 12:35 AM

A minor correction here (but I pay attention to these things):

The media are, of course, plural, so, "... the media can, and should, discuss this case in every way that THEY KNOW how to..."

Posted by: Bob S. | May 17, 2006 12:41 AM

To suggest that the accuser is lying to get money implies that she knew a bunch of wealthy guys would be in attendance - which she couldn't have known because the defendants lied about the details of the party when they hired the strippers from the escort service. Or she concocted the plan when she arrived and sized up the guys. But if she was intoxicated upon arrival as the accused claim, then it is not logical to conclude that she was in a mental state that would allow such a diabolical plan to be concocted on-site. So to conclude that this was some scheme hatched to get money from the beginning is a bit unreasonable. (Though it may end with a large sum being paid.)

Given the police descriptions of her behavior at the hospital, and the conclusions from the medical staff, it is logical to consider that something inappropriate happened - DNA or no DNA. Why would the police and medical staff lie?

Consider the biblical story of Jonah. In this story, Jonah tries to escape from God by securing passage on boat going opposite the direction God had instructed him to go. God is very angry, and sends a storm that tosses the boat about the water. The crew is terrified by the ferocity of the storm. They even toss their cargo overboard trying to lighten the boat, and ease their passage on the stormy water. Eventually, the crew realizes that they are endangered and caught up in a horrible storm caused by the presence of Jonah on their boat. After this realization, the crew has enough compassion for Jonah to try to row back to the shore to let Jonah off the boat, but the storm grows more fierce preventing them from doing so. All (including Jonah) soon conclude that in order to calm the storm and to secure the safe passage of the crew, they must toss Jonah overboard.

Given the ongoing racial and economic animosity, the tarnishing of city and university officials, the damage to Duke's image, the firing of the coach (deserved or not), the damage done to players' reputations and lacrosse careers, the mud slinging, as well as the lives on both sides being ruined, one can conclude that some pretty fierce storms are raging. The worst is probably yet to come. Consequently, it is time to toss overboard those who engaged in inappropriate behavior with the accuser. Someone needs to be upstanding enough to break the silence, and tell the unabridged truth about what happened in order to begin quelling all the brewing storms. The silence of the un-indicted players speaks volumes about misplaced loyalty, and the failure to value what is truly important

Posted by: CC | May 17, 2006 12:47 AM

Aaaah, but unfortunately, the critical point of the Jonah story is so often left untold! God was actually trying to prove the point that you need to support your shipmate when times get tough, no matter how much you don't like the idea.

All involved came to bad ends, which is the way good moral tales SHOULD finish!

(Please read the wry grin on my face)

Posted by: Bob S. | May 17, 2006 12:54 AM

By the way, CC, I was enjoying being silly, but actually had a broader point.

Just as you don't know the eventual fate of Jonah's crewmates, who may have been punished for displaying such disloyalty, you also don't know the motivations and actions of the folks involved in this case.

I wholeheartedly support your right to theorise, but I'm not buying that the logic that you just supplied is airtight. I have absolutely no reason to have an opinion about anyone's veracity in this case one way or another, and I really mean that! I wish that everyone was telling the truth, but someone isn't, and I only hope that things somehow settle out with as little additional damage as possible to all the souls involved.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 17, 2006 01:11 AM

What is sad to me is not that these "boys" have been accused of a crime, but that in every rape case in this country, it is automatically the accountability of the victim, not the defendant, that is called into question. Every sex partner, bad decision, or drunken night the woman has ever had in her life will now be called into question. If you report a rape, people look for fault with you first.

What it ultimately comes down to is that stripper or not, drunk or sober, rich or poor, regardless of one's profession or decisions, NO ONE deserves to be held down and violently raped by three men. Several of you seem to lean toward the innocence of the lacrosse players. I'm sure many of you could not fathom that these young, white athletes could hurt a fly. But I ask you to consider that perhaps reactions such as yours are the very reason that the vast majority of rape cases go unreported, and these incidents continue.

What is the likelihood that a woman who has children and is attending a university at an unconventional age in hopes of gaining a valid career, who KNOWS that she is a stripper with a "sketchy" past, would subject her character to an inevitable dragging through the mud, all in hopes of snagging cash from three rich white men who can afford the best attorneys in the nation?? It doesn't seem likely.

Let us wait until trial day before we decide these GROWN MEN are such upstanding citizens who couldn't have possibly done such a thing. If the woman truly went through the arduous task of fabricating a story of violent gang rape and randomly framing three men she had never before met in hopes that they were rich enough to give her a large payoff, this will all come to light...

Posted by: Not Convinced | May 17, 2006 02:06 AM

"Given the police descriptions of her behavior at the hospital, and the conclusions from the medical staff, it is logical to consider that something inappropriate happened - DNA or no DNA. Why would the police and medical staff lie?"

Do you mean the police description where they said she first claimed she was raped by 20 men and then changed it to 3? Or do you mean the police description where they said she was so drunk they could barely wake her up? Whatevery you mean, the police descriptions of the whole affair are going to cut against her story, not help it.

And as far as the medical staff, nobody is saying they lied. But hospitals don't have a magical "sexual assault test". They merely observe the condition of the victim and state whether it is CONSISTENT with someone who has been raped. But let us consider two facts (or, at least alleged facts):

1) She had sex that day--with her boyfriend, so says her own mother. So, clearly there was going to be some sign that she had engaged in recent sexual penatrative contact. There was no reason for the nurse on staff at the hospital to assume that she had had sex prior to the alleged incident. Had the nurse known, it may well have affected her conclusions.

2) The defense claims the photos they have from the party show her to have a bunch of bruises on her legs. Surely, these physical injuries were strongly considered when the hospital nurse determined that her overall condition was "consistent" with someone who had been sexually assaulted, because it looked like she had taken a beating.

Given these two alleged facts--and the defense will be sure to highlight them--the conclusions of the nurse lose almost all of their weight. And they do so without having to imply that the nurse "lied" or commit a mistake of some sort.

Posted by: | May 17, 2006 02:35 AM

According to the other "escort" the accuser arrived at the party sober and was handed a drink by one of the "gentlemen." Then she became drunk or drugged.
It is suggested she was given a date rape drug. If so, why would anyone give a woman a date rape drug? You got it.
Predators often prey on people they believe are weaker then they- not the other way around. Forty, rich, smart, "successful," clothed, drunk, privlidged, college men in a room jeering and insulting two, poor, dumb, naked, females.
The atmosphere, which the Duke players completely planned and engineered, was set for trouble. That many men in that atmosphere, it would only take one bad apple and a split second to cross the line and get everybody in trouble. Even though the players are sticking together, no one person can possibly account for the actions of that many people in that charged situation. The second stripper claims she was the only sober person in the house.
If Evans was a team captain and helped plan the party, I would have fired from his job also. He failed to protect himself, his team, his school's reputation, the firm he would represent and his good name.

Posted by: Isaiah | May 17, 2006 05:16 AM

what your column describes as the "unseemly sight of a rape suspects brash talking" I decsribe as a "falsely accused man proclaiming his innocemce" That sentence of yours offended me. Alisa Smith

Posted by: | May 17, 2006 09:04 AM

Just a few observations for those of you not blessed by having this b.s. in your face all day long:
• Nifong's opponents in the recent primary were going to lose anyway, he was the most experienced and least-compromised in the field--even with Duke LAX around his neck.
• Allow me to repeat that the campus culture at Duke, perhaps elsewhere, condones underage drinking. That can affect one's judgement?
• Can't these boys on the LAX team get DATES? How much commercial sex is there on campus, anyway? Many of us find it hard to believe this kind of behavior could be hidden from their coach.
• These are the slickest lawyers in North Carolina, bar none. And this state has some really slick lawyers, btw. Between them and insurance agents, that's how this state is run.
• Back to Duke/Durham relations aka "town & gown" -- frat and party houses have only recently been reigned in by Duke administration. Until recently townies were treated to a lot of drunk and disorderly conduct. Would you like drunk freshmen peeing on your lawn?

Posted by: Lives In Durham 24/7/365 | May 17, 2006 10:27 AM

I am a minority female with three college degrees. I have over 30 years of global work experience in public and private industries. In many instances, I have been the only female, the only minority, or both in a section, in a division, on a project, in management, etc. Early in my work experiences, I saw this phenomenon time and time again. My professional white male co-workers who were otherwise, decent, God-fearing men, whose wives & girlfriends I counted among my friends, whose children came to my house, got drunk and then said and did things they would never say or do while sober. I have been called vulgar names, made the object of vulgar jokes, and been approached for unspeakable acts by my white male co-workers while they were drunk. Over the years, I learned to avoid these situations by avoiding work related functions at which alcohol was served, or by leaving early before any craziness began. I would socialize, be friendly, even be politically correct, but then I left the scene. As my co-workers and I have gotten older, it's not very common to hear about or see this phenomenon now, but to this date I do not consume alcohol in the company of my co-workers.

I have friends in other places that had similar experiences early in their careers. We have no idea what it's called or even if there is a name for it, but there is something about mixing large groups of young white guys and alcohol that just does not bode well for minority females in the vicinity.

Posted by: MJT | May 17, 2006 10:35 AM

Nifong is nothing more than a bottom feeder looking for his 15 mins of fame.

He is being aided by Nancy (I want to be famous) Disgrace.

The accused is a cheap hooker trying to make some $$$ and most likely being pushed by her pimp boyfriend. Jesse jackson should also arrange for the boy (pimp)friend to get a free edcucation.

Rape is terrible but so is being accused as Nancy Disgrace is doing night after night. I hope when all of this is over these young men will file suit on her and CNN for allowing her to trash these young men.

Posted by: Allen | May 17, 2006 11:37 AM

"According to the other "escort" the accuser arrived at the party sober and was handed a drink by one of the "gentlemen." Then she became drunk or drugged.
It is suggested she was given a date rape drug. If so, why would anyone give a woman a date rape drug? You got it."

That statement is rife with factual mistakes/twisting.

First, she has backtracked from the statement that she was sober. She now says "she didnt seem that drunk". But the two strippers had never met eachother until they showed up at that party. The 2nd stripper doesn't know what the alleged victim acts like when sober vs. when drunk. She also didnt have the knowledge about what the alleged victim had done that night.

Second, we have absolutely no idea if she was drugged. And neither does the DA. How do we know that? Because they never bothered to get a tox screen done. They talked with the alleged victim, talked with the other stripper the day after the incident and opted not to pursue an investigation into whether she had been drugged. What should we make of that fact?

You got it.

Posted by: JGP | May 17, 2006 03:24 PM

I am stunned at the persons who claim that this is pro-defense spin. This is an absolutely outrageous abuse of power, virtually everyone agrees that Nifong initial statements violated ethical rules, were done in connection with re-election events, and resulted in a virtually unprecedented barrage of negative publicity. When the players set out the facts, most of which came from the prosecutors version of events, they were accused of either 1) spinning or 2) not breaking the "wall of silence." In order to believe that any crime ocurred, you would have to believe (again only looking at the states evidence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) that not one of the three students left any dna during a thirty minute orgy of violence, that the various pictures are all tampered with, and that over forty duke students are lying to cover up a violent felony. This is not a two sided issue, it is a one sided issue and if you don't believe me, ask one of the "let the process work" types propose even one sequence of events that fits with the prosecutors evidence, what time they showed up etc. Nobody could do it.

This is America. The very people who love it when the CIA leaks secrets to protect abuses of power want to stop college students from proclaiming their innocence in the face of a savage unprecedented media barrage and an out of control unethical prosecutor. No thank you.

Posted by: streeeetwise | May 17, 2006 09:33 PM

Suppporters of the Duke players seem personally touched by this case.
I say the players made bed by their own stupid actions- let them lay in it.
On one talk show, some woman reporter got irate that these "boys'" faces were being dragged through the mud while she was a member of the very same media that makes every detail of this case a national headline.
Personally, I can't tell what was done or not done by reading these boards or following the spin through defense teams in the media. I guess I'll just have to wait for the trial. The case will be resolved by the judicial system not by the news media or chat lines. As it should be. As every case should be.
However, I do believe there would not even be a case if the Duke LAX players held a "poker night" instead of a "pervert night." Like I said, they made their bed.

Posted by: james | May 18, 2006 03:34 AM

" I say the players made their bed by their own stupid actions- let them lay in it."

With all due respect, that is utterly absurd, and I don't believe you actually believe this. The notion that guys hiring a stripper somehow means they deserve to be dragged into this case even if they're innocent is ridiculous. In fact, its this same kind of bankrupt thinking that has been applied to rape victims for decades--this notion that they "made their bed" by wearing skimpy clothes or acting flirty or allowing themselves to be alone with a guy they didnt know well. Its bogus logic in that circumstance and its bogus logic here.

If they raped this woman, they deserve everything they're getting. If they are being caught up in the dillusions of a woman who has gone over the edge, than they have suffered an incredible injustice already. Period.

Posted by: | May 18, 2006 03:44 AM

The did make their bed by stupid actions.
The last post simplified the facts. The didn't just "hire a few strippers."
They lied to the escort service about the number of people at the event. The owner of the escort said he would not have sent two girls there if he knew there would be 40 men because those situations usually end poorly- as this one did.
Once the girls got there, it being their profession, they saw potential trouble and said if insulted they would leave. Three minutes into the show, someone suggested sodomy and the girls stopped the show. They left.
There was also underaged drinking at the event which is against the law. The organizers should have avoided that problem as well by respecting the law and understanding why there is an age limit for drinking.
Organizers of the event lied because they knew the event as they planned it was inappropriate. The escort service would have recommended they hire more girls and perhaps pay for two security people to keep the event safe for the girls and the boys.
That $800 dollar event could have gone as high as $5000 or no show.
The boys cut corners, broke the law, lied and did make their own bed. There's nothing in their situation that equates any other, different situation. They asked for trouble- and here they are.

Posted by: Joe | May 19, 2006 10:50 AM

"the unseemly sight of a rape suspect brash-talking before live television cameras"

Yeah, the nerve of that guy! Proclaiming his innocence even though he was indicted -- has he no respect for authority?!

Posted by: | May 24, 2006 06:39 PM

Why can't we accuse you of being a Prosecution hack, seeings how you are spouting the prosecution line?

The only people who have carefully looked at the evidence and come down against the Duke lax boys are either (a) internet trolls, or (b) individuals with agendas. Which are you? Or, is it that you have failed to look at the evidence carefully.

In this case, we know the following based upon police reports or witness statements from the AV, Kim, the driver, etc.:

1. She waited to cry rape until she was about to be held involuntarily in a mental ward.
2. There is no dna under her nails or fake nails, yet she claimed she scratched them for 30 minutes.
A. No dna found to match Collin anywhere.
B. No dna found to match Reade anywhere.
C. Dna found on top of fingernail, consistent w/contamination or transference.
D. Dna found on top of fingernail not a "match."
E. Dna picked up and put into bathroom trash can by resident of home
3. She claimed she was raped for 30 minutes but time-stamped photos show that is not possible.
4. She didn't follow-up with rape charges made in 1996.
5. She didn't follow-up on attempted murder charges.
6. She was an escort and had a boyfriend, and she had sex prior to the alleged rape.
A. SWMNBN admitted to three one-on-ones per week.
B. Only dna found in, on or around her belonged to the "boyfriend."
C. Her "driver" took her to the Motel 4 of 5 times over the weekend.
7. Her claim that she was 100% certain of Reade's identity as a rapist.
A. Identification came 3 weeks after the party.
B. She was said to be "passed out drunk" shortly after the party.
C. Reade has an air-tight alibi.
D. There were at least 3 photo identification sessions, 1st two with no ID's.
8. She apparently has identified 4 people as her three attackers.
9. She identified a person with a mustache as an attacker.
A. Evans was only identified at 90% certainty
B. Evans did not have a mustache that day.
10. Her 100% id of Reade creates reasonable doubt about her id of Collin & Dave.
11. The nail polish on the stairway is evidence she polished her nails in the bathroom.
12. The coincidences involved with the 1996 rape accusation.
A. 3 attackers.
B. Had threats to her life.
C. She claims rape occurred for a long time ("continual period").
D. Even her father claims the 1996 charges were false.
13. Duke hospital and police station were much closer than Krogers.
14. Kim Roberts initially stated that a rape probably did not occur, calling it a "crock."
15. The "broom claim" changes her story, and, at best, makes her account look fishy.
16. She went back into the house.
A. Could have called her father or "boyfriend" to retrieve her items.
B. Reade was long gone.
17. Reports of her vacillating about continuing with the case.
18. Seligmann's alibi.
A. Telephone calls to girlfriend.
B. Other telephone calls.
C. Telephone call to cab company.
D. Affidavit of cab driver.
E. ATM receipt.
F. ATM photos.
G. Fast food receipt.
H. Dorm card swipe record.
I. Affidavit of other cab passenger.
J. Testimony of 40+ other guys that he did not rape her.
19. The photo identification procedures were beyond suggestive.
A. Only Duke lax players included.
B. She was told that only people at the party were in lineup.
C. Lineup occurred 3 weeks after alleged rape.
D. She starts identifying people only after the proctor changes his procedures.
E. She identifies 3 of first 7 of 46 photos.
20. The family is in talks with a civil attorney, suggesting a financial motive.
21. SWMNBN appears to be smiling in picture taken after alleged rape.
22. She initially identified "Adam," "Bret," and "Matt."
A. She claims they were fictitious names.
B. It comes out later that there are people on the team with those names.
C. Who would use "fictitious" names of real people
D. She also identified one of the above as "Dan" as others referred to him as Dan.
E. She did not pick out a Dan, Adam, Bret or Matt in the photo lineup.
23. Supposed rapists left her fingernails, makeup bag and cell phone in the house for 2 days.
24. Kim Roberts called 911 and said no one was hurt, SWMNBN didn't correct her.
25. SWMNBN' prior criminal record.
A. Theft conviction should be admissible for impeachment purposes.
B. Pattern of "hiding" or loss of reality when confronted by LE.
26. Accused have no criminal convictions, nothing admissible.
27. Three big guys and SWMNBN were supposed to fit into a tiny bathroom for 30 minutes.
28. None of the other players have stepped up to claim a rape could have occurred.
29. The presumption of innocence.
30. The burden on the prosecution to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
31. No usable DNA after supposed 30 minute violent rape.
32. Natural belief that at least one player would step forward if anything happened.
33. Claim that SWMNBN was raped by 20 lax players, then 3.
34. Must have denied other sex, as boyfriend wasn't "swabbed" until May 3, 2006.
35. Didn't admit "boyfriend" sex to SANE/LE/Nifong.
36. Time-stamped pictures show bruising and cuts occurred before "rape."
37. Kim Roberts said she was with Precious for all but 5 minutes of evening.
38. Precious is bi-polar and manic depressive.
39. Precious was on Flexiral (muscle relaxant) when drinking.
40. She admits to being extremely drunk that night.
41. She admits to using vibrator for couple at motel before going to lax party.

Posted by: Gregory | June 27, 2006 02:06 PM

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