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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

News on the Duke Lacrosse Case

The defense team is leaking some of the information they got from the material turned over to them last week. If this is all true, it is amazing that the District Attorney proceded with such a terribly weak case.
The woman who has accused three members of the Duke University lacrosse team of raping her at an off-campus party told investigators several different stories about the night of the alleged incident, sources close to the defense team representing the players have told FOX News.

The differing accounts are included in the 1,300 pages of evidence delivered to defense lawyers last week by Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, the sources said
First, she said she wasn't raped, then that she was raped, then that she wasn't.
Regarding the 1,300 pages of evidence, sources told FOX News that the accuser allegedly did not tell the officer who met her at a supermarket after responding to a 911 call that she had been raped. Later, the woman told a doctor at a mental health facility that she had been sexually assaulted. She later denied that claim to a police officer when she arrived at the Duke hospital for care.
She was also purportedly confused whether it was 3 or 20 men who had raped her. She also was confused as to whether or not Kim, the other dancer was in the bathroom while she was supposedly being raped.
When police asked Roberts whether she was in the room at the time, Roberts reportedly told police, "that's a crock."
Can't you picture the cross-examination of Kim? "Ms. Roberts, did you call the alleged victim's first version of events "a crock?"

And, it seems that she waited until after the first DNA test to tell law enforcement that there were three men that could have been responsible for any male DNA found inside her. And two of those men were the ones who had driven her to hotels so she could do her dancing there for customers.
Defense sources also say the accuser admitted to having had sexual intercourse with at least three men around the time of the alleged attack. According to those sources, when investigators questioned her after DNA tests on the semen found inside her body did not match any of the Duke players, the accuser gave police the name of her boyfriend and two men who drove her to her dancing engagements.

The drivers say in police statements that they brought the accuser to at least five separate gigs the weekend before the alleged attack, defense sources said.
According to what has been leaked from the defense, it doesn't sound as if there is any smoking gun in all the information handed over last week. And, there isn't any indication that a toxicology test was performed on the alleged victim in the hospital exam.
Authorities have said a doctor and a specially trained nurse performed a physical exam on the accuser that found her condition to be consistent with having been sexually assaulted. But the nurse who filled out a report on that exam indicated no toxicology tests were performed, according to a defense motion filed Monday.

Several attorneys not connected with the case said Monday they were surprised by the apparent lack of a toxicology report.

If such data showed the exotic dancer was intoxicated on the night in question, it could be highly beneficial to the defense, lawyer Mark Edwards said.

"Either way -- whether it was a date-rape drug or voluntary intoxication -- it would affect the reliability of her identification," Edwards added. "It goes to the question of her credibility."

On the other hand, evidence of a date-rape drug in the dancer's body could have helped the prosecution by showing evil intentions on the part of someone, Edwards said.

"It would help to explain the apparent intoxication when police encountered this woman later," he said. "It also would show that there was likely a sexual assault or at least a plan to commit a sexual assault."

The question of whether a toxicology report was conducted arose in a motion filed Monday by lawyers representing indicted rape suspect Reade Seligmann.
And it doesn't seem that there was all that much really in the nurse's report of the physical examination of the alleged victim.
According to the sources, the papers handed over by Nifong also reveal that the forensic nurse who did a gynecological exam on the accuser did not find abrasions, tears or bleeding in the vaginal area, which is often present in forcible rapes. They say she did find swelling in the vaginal area along with tenderness in the accuser's breasts and lower right quadrant.
Sounds like that there would be a lot more damage from three men forcibly raping her.

Of course, we're just getting the leaks from the defense, but it seems that we're really narrowing down the possibilities of the D.A. having anything other than her story to back up his case. You really have to wonder what he could have been thinking he had that would convince any jury that this woman is telling the truth. He has a responsibility in his job to bring only those cases that he thinks he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. This is not such a case. And those three students have had their lives turned inside out by this woman's accusations. This is pathetic. This case shows how vulnerable we can all be to a runaway district attorney who doesn't have the sense to evaluate the case he's presented with and decide if it's worth bringing charges.

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