The Duke Lacrosse case was a rape case that involved false rape charges against three Duke University lacrosse players, began with gang rape allegations by an exotic dancer at a team party in March 2006. Crystal an African American student at North Carolina Central University who worked as a stripper dancer and escort,accused three white Duke University students, members of the Duke Blue Devils men’s lacrosse team, of raping her at a party held at the house of two of the team’s captains in durham, north carolina . But her conflicting stories shattered her credibility. The case of the Duke lacrosse team was spread out over several months and included the lacrosse season being cancelled, three players indicted on rape charges, a crooked prosecutor, turncoat faculty members and administrators, irate neighbors and even dirty cops, all of whom had their own personal agendas. Ms Magnum tells Durham police that three members of the lacrosse team forced her into a bathroom, where they beat her, raped her .
The Judge orders the team members to provide DNA samples and be photographed .Forty-six of the team’s 47 members comply with a judge’s orders. The team’s sole black member is not tested because the victim said her alleged attackers were white. The players provided cheek swabs as a form of DNA and statements to the police . They also offered to take polygraph tests. When the results came back it showed up negative . Additional test were taken from the duke lacrosse players including fingernails , underwear and the results from that also didn’t match any of the players tested . After further review the DNA samples were from Ms Magnums boyfriend , Falsely accusing her alleged attackers of rape .Defense attorneys statned that time-stamped photographs exist that show the dancer was injured upon arrival and very impaired. The Duke defense lawyers or media reports have said that: DNA results revealed that the woman had sex with a man who was not a Duke lacrosse player.
Attorney Joseph Cheshire said the tests indicated DNA from a single male source came from a vaginal swab taken from Mangum. Media outlets reported that this DNA was from her boyfriend. However, it was later revealed that DNA from multiple males who were neither the lacrosse players nor Mangum’s boyfriend had been found, but that these findings had been deliberately withheld from the Court and the defense. She was convicted of stealing a car and sentenced to 3 weekends in detention. She had made a similar claim in the past which she did not pursue. On Aug. 18, 1996, the dancer – then 18 years old – told a police officer in Creedmoor she had been raped by three men in June 1993, according to a police document.
The officer who took the woman’s report at that time asked her to write a detailed timeline of the night’s events and bring the account back to the police, but she never returned. The strip club’s security officer said that Mangum told co-workers four days after the party that she was going to get money from some boys at a Duke party who had not paid her, mentioning that the boys were white. The security guard did not make a big deal of it because he felt that no one took her seriously. Mangum was arrested in 2002 for stealing a cab from a strip club where she had been working. She led police officers on a high-speed chase before she was apprehended, at which point her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit ( source : Wikipedia ).
On April 18, 2006, Seligmann and teammate Collin were arrested on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense and first-degree kidnapping. Later attorney Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. The prosecutor for the case district attorney Mike Nifong resigned due to his credittability and inconsistencty in his story . Here are some examples of Nifong inconsistent alligations : urham police said that Mangum kept changing her story and was not credible, reporting that she initially told them she was raped by 20 white men, later reducing the number to only three. Another police report states that Mangum initially claimed she was only groped, rather than raped, but changed her story before going to the hospital.
The second stripper who performed at the house, Kim Roberts, said that Mangum was not raped. She stated that Mangum was not obviously hurt. Likewise, she refuted other aspects of Mangum’s story including denying that she helped dress Mangum after the party and saying that they were not forcefully separated by players like Mangum had reported. Mangum did not consistently choose the same three defendants in the photo lineups. Media reports have disclosed at least two photo lineups that occurred in March and April in which she was asked to recall who she saw at the party and in what capacity. In the March lineup, she did not choose Dave Evans at all. There was only one individual she identified as being at the party with 100% certainty during both procedures – Brad Ross. After being identified, Ross provided to police investigators indisputable evidence that he was with his girlfriend at North Carolina State University before, during, and after the party through cell phone records as well as a sworn affidavit from a witness. (Wikipedia)
On December 22, 2006, Nifong dropped the rape charges after Mangum stated that she was penetrated from behind but that she did not know with what. In North Carolina, penetration with an object is considered sexual assault, not rape . January 12, 2007, Nifong asked to be taken off the case and Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office took over. On April 12, 2007, the attorney general, in declaring Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann innocent, also called Nifong a “rogue prosecutor”. Nifong was ordered as well as on June 16, 2007 after the bar’s three-member disciplinary panel unanimously found him guilty of fraud, dishonesty, deceit , misrepresentation of making false statements of material fact before a judge; of making false statements of material fact before bar investigators, and of lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence.
On August 31, 2007, Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to a single day in jail. The case attracted widespread media attention almost from the moment it became public. The apparent circumstances . The three white males David Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty from privileged backgrounds at an elite university apparently taking advantage of a student Crystal Gail Mangum from another African American college trying to make ends meet by working as a stripper and escort made the perfect story line for media attention . However, once the case deteriorated, critics saw it as a stinging showcase of bias in the media and the university system.
Nifong held DNA and the forensic science community hostage. He used his power and greed to manipulate a series of calculated moves exposing DNA to the rigors of defense attorneys. He used this to advance his own position and trust in a community he so desperately was there to PROTECT from the greed and evil? Nifong was the devil in their own backyards. Not only did he ruin the lives of everyone involved, he drug DNA testing and the science along with it through the mud bath he created. He hinged the whole case against the Duke Lacross team with DNA. He played with the trust that DNA never lies being fully aware that the results he wanted never came. When it did come he minimized the results. DNA testing was not going to stop the victory train he planned riding through town. Mike Nifong was going to overcome DNA evidence one way or another.