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Monday, May 15, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: 3rd Player Indicted

updated: May 16, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal - David Evans indictedA grand jury led by Durham District Attorney, Mike Nifong, indicted a third member of Duke University's lacrosse team Monday on charges stemming from allegations by stripper, Crystal Gail Mangum that she was raped, beaten, and robbed at a team party on March 14th.

David F. Evans, a 23-year-old senior and lacrosse team co-captain from Bethesda, Md., was indicted on charges of rape, sexual offense and kidnapping.

David Evans graduated from Duke University on Sunday, but did not attend the ceremony. Monday he held a news conference on the courthouse steps before turning himself in. He vehemently proclaimed his and his teammates' innocence. He is the first indicted player to speak publicly. Some of his remarks:

"These allegations are lies, fabricated, and they will be proven wrong," he said. "Every member of the Duke University lacrosse team is innocent."

"It did not happen," he said. "I will be acquitted of all these charges because I have done nothing wrong and I have told the truth. I have told the truth from day one.

"I am innocent. Reade Seligmann is innocent. Collin Finnerty is innocent. Every member of the Duke lacrosse team is innocent," Evans said. "You have all been told some fantastic lies."

NY Times reported:

Mr. Evans said that he and his roommates had voluntarily helped the police when officers executed a search warrant at their house, and that he willingly provided DNA, spoke to investigators without a lawyer present and offered to take a polygraph test, which officials declined.

He said that he and his lawyer, Joseph B. Cheshire V, had tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to contact the district attorney, Michael B. Nifong, before Monday's indictment...

Mr. Evans was accompanied by his parents, Rae F. and David C. Evans, and by the seven other seniors on the lacrosse team, who stood behind him with solemn, almost military bearing, uniformly dressed in khaki pants and oxford shirts. Neither Mr. Evans nor his teammates took questions.

Mrs. Evans, chairwoman of the Ladies Professional Golf Association board of directors and founder of the Evans Capitol Group, a Washington lobbying firm, wore on her suit lapel a large button with her son's photograph and jersey number. Her husband is a Washington lawyer. Their son graduated in 2002 from the Landon School, a private boys preparatory school in Bethesda.

Mr. Evans was released Monday afternoon after posting $400,000 bail.

Mustache mystery

Crystal Gail Mangum identified Evans with "90 percent certainty" during a photo identification lineup that defense attorneys have criticized as improper. Ms. Mangum told police she would be 100 percent sure of the identification if Evans had a mustache. Mr. Evans' attorneys say they have photographs and witnesses that prove he never had a mustache. Joe Cheshire, attorney for David Evans said:
Mr. Nifong knows that David Evans has never had a moustache. We have pictures of David Evans from the day before, the day after, and almost every other day along with scores and scores of people's testimony to indicate that he never had a moustache.

--------transcript of lineup where Ms. Mangum identifies Mr. Evans-------

IMAGE 5 (David Evans mugshot) is shown

Victim:
He looks like one of the guys who assaulted me sort.

Sgt:
Ok. How um, how sure of it are you on this image?

Victim:
He looks just like him without the mustache.

Sgt:
Ok, so the person had a mustache?

Victim:
Yes.

Sgt:
Percentage wise, what is the likelihood this is one of the gentleman who assaulted you?

Victim:
About 90%

----------------Full transcript of David Evans Statement------------------

DAVID EVANS, DUKE PLAYER CHARGED WITH RAPE: I want to thank you all for letting me speak to you today. My name is Dave Evans and I‘m the captain of the Duke University men‘s lacrosse team. I have to say that I am very relieved to be the person who can come out and speak on behalf of my family and my team and let you know how we feel.

First I want to say that I am absolutely innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me today, that Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty are innocent of all the charges that were brought against them. These allegations are lies. Fabricated and they will be proven wrong.

If I can go back to two months ago when the police first came to my home, I fully cooperated and have continued to try to cooperate with them. When they entered in and started to read the search warrant, my roommates and I helped them find evidence for almost an hour and told them that if they had any questions, we would gladly answer them to show that nothing happened that night.

After that, I went down to the police station and gave an un-counseled statement because I knew that I had done nothing wrong and did not feel that I needed an attorney. After going through photos of my teammates and identifying who was there, I then submitted perfectly willingly DNA samples to the police. I then turned over my e-mail account, my AIM account, any kind of information that they could have to show that I had not communicated any way that anything happened because it did not happen.

After that, I had to take a polygraph, which was refused by the Durham Police Department. Over the past several weeks, I‘ve repeatedly through my lawyer tried to attempt—tried to contact the district attorney, all of my attempts have been denied. I tried to provide him with exculpatory evidence showing that this could not have happened, those attempts have been denied and as a result of his apparent lack of interest in my story, the true story, and any evidence proving that my story is correct, I asked my lawyer to give me a polygraph.

I took that polygraph and it was administered by a former FBI top polygrapher with over 28 years of experience, he‘s done several hundreds of sexual cases and I passed it absolutely. And I passed that polygraph for the same reason that I will be acquitted of all these charges, because I have done nothing wrong and I am telling the truth, and I told the truth from day one. I‘d like to say thank you to my friends and family, my coach and members of the community who have stood by us through everything from the initial weeks to now.

Their support has given me the strength to come through this, but the thing that gives me the most strength is knowing that I have the truth behind me and it will not faze me. If I can close, I‘ve always taken pride in my name. I take pride in my name today and I‘ll gladly stand up to anything that comes against me. I‘ve never had my character questioned before. Anyone who has met me knows that this didn‘t happen and I appreciate your support.

As for my teammates, I love you all, I‘ve never—the honor of being voted captain of all of you, the 46 best guys you could ever meet, it‘s been the greatest honor of my life. If I can clear things up and say this one more time, I am innocent, Reade Seligmann is innocent, Collin Finnerty is innocent. Every member of the Duke University lacrosse team is innocent.

You have all been told some fantastic lies. And I look forward to watching them unravel in the weeks to come as they already have in weeks past and the truth will come out. Thank you for your time.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Nifong released a written statement:
Today, the Durham County Grand Jury indicted David Forker Evans on charges of first degree rape, firs degree sex offense, and first degree kidnapping. I do not anticipate that there will be any further indictments in this case.

At the outset of this investigation, I said that it was just as important to remove the cloud of suspicion from the members of the Duke University lacrosse team who were not involved in this assault as it was to identify the actual perpetrators. For that reason, I believe it is important to state publicly today that none of the evidence that we have developed implicates any member of that team other than those three against whom indictments have been returned.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

VIDEO: David Evans speaks out
AUDIO: Evans' lawyer Joseph Chesire

links:
'You have been told some fantastic lies' [CNN, May 15, 2006]
3rd Member of Duke Lacrosse Team Indicted [ABC News, May 15, 2006]
Third Indicted Lacrosse Player: 'I Am Absolutely Innocent' [wral.com, May 15, 2006]
'The Abrams Report' for May 15 [MSNBC, May 15, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Rape Case: Identifying the Accuser Debate [TJN, May 15, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Documentation [TJN, May 14, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: Possible DNA Link - Round 2 [TJN, May 13, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: Possible DNA Link? [TJN, May 11, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: Credibility of Crystal Gail Mangum [TJN, May 9, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: The Faulty Lineup [TJN, May 5, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Player Speaks Out [TJN, May 3, 2006]
Duke Rape Case: Prosecutor Mike Nifong Shares Evidence with Black Panthers [TJN, May 2, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape Case: More Evidence for Defense [TJN, May 2, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: Defense wants DA Nifong thrown off case [TJN, May 2, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: Were Digital Photos tampered with? [TJN, May 1, 2006]
Open Letter to Crystal Gail Mangum [TJN, April 30, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape - Accuser Crystal Gail Mangum says she was raped by three men in 1993 [TJN, April 28, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: Money at Center of Dispute [TJN, April 27, 2006]
Who Robbed Crystal Gail Mangum? [TJN, Apr. 25, 2006]
Duke Lawyer seeks Mangum's Records [TJN, Apr. 24, 2006]
Duke Rape Accuser: Crystal Gail Mangum [TJN, Apr. 21, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline [TJN, Apr. 21, 2006]
Duke Rape Case: Emotional & Legal Fire Storm [TJN, Apr. 20, 2006]
Duke Rape Case: The Squirm Factor [TJN, Apr. 19, 2006]
Two Duke Lacrosse Players Are Arrested and Charged [TJN, Apr. 18, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Athletes tested in gang rape inquiry [TJN, Mar. 18, 2006]

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