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Friday, May 19, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Fine tuning the Rape Timeline

updated: 1:00 p.m.

Today The News and Observer, provided more information regarding Crystal Gail Mangum's activities on the day of the Duke lacrosse party:

Where accuser went

On March 24, in her only interview with a reporter, the accuser said she was notified about 8:30 p.m. the night of the party that she was supposed to appear at the Buchanan Boulevard house about 11 p.m.

In an interview earlier this week, her father said he saw his daughter a few times March 13. That afternoon, he said, she picked up her two children from elementary school. About 9:30 p.m., he said, she brought the children to their grandparents' house for the evening.

"She was fine," he said.

After their arrival, he and his daughter took a short car ride about 10 p.m. to a neighborhood convenience store at Cornwallis Road and South Roxboro Street. He bought a pack of cigarettes but said he did not recall what his daughter purchased.

When the two returned to his house, the woman said she had to go out and wouldn't return until 1:30 a.m. He said he does not know whether she left in her own car or someone picked her up. He said she did call him to say she safely reached her destination -- about 11:30 p.m., about the start of a late-night talk show he was watching.

The man said he did not know his daughter was working as an escort that night. She didn't return until late the morning of March 14, the father said.

An earlier Newsweek story said that Ms. Mangum arrived at the Duke party house about 11:45 p.m. So it seems the exact time for Ms. Mangum's arrival falls sometime between 11:30 and 11:45 p.m.

The Johnsville News, Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline, was updated to reflect this new information.

This story also shows how important Ms. Mangum's phone records are to nailing down the exact timeline of events for the incident. At yesterday's hearing for Reade Seligmann, DA Mike Nifong, said:
prosecutors are not interested in the contents of the phone, such as the last 10 numbers called

How foolish is that statement? Is this just false bravado on his part? Mike Nifong has said he doesn't care about the defense's timeline. They don't know his timeline.

In fact, Mr. Nifong, has tipped his hand slightly regarding the prosecution timeline. The indictments of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans all list the "Date of Offense" as March 14th. So Mr. Nifong is going to have to show that the rape took place after midnight.

Show us the timeline?

Mr. Nifong is going to have to perform some magic to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

Specifically, with regard to Reade Seligmann, who has provided the most detailed account of his activities, where is the time window for a rape?

Between 12:03:57 a.m., when Ms. Mangum and Ms. Roberts stopped dancing and 12:19 when the taxi driver, Ahmad Elmostafa (Mr. Mostafa), picked up Reade Seligmann and Robert Wellington, Seligmann made eight phone calls.

Ms. Mangum's statement says she was raped after she returned to the house. The neighbor, Jason Bissey, says a dancer (Ms. Mangum) returned to the house around 12:15 to 12:18 a.m. Reade Seligmann and Wellington were picked up a block away from the lacrosse house at the corner of Watts and Urban streets at 12:19 a.m. A time confirmed by Mr. Wellington and Mr. Mostafa.

Forget that Ms. Mangum said the gang rape took place for "30 minutes."

How is Mr. Nifong going to prove Mr. Seligmann participated in a gang rape? The window of opportunity looks like it's only from about 12:15 to 12:17, Seligmann and Wellington then have to run and catch a taxi. Wellington said:
"I was with Reade the entire time from when we left the house on 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. until we exited the taxi van at the end of the fire lane a few minutes before 12:46 a.m. to enter our dorms."

It looks like there will be some forty other lacrosse players and the persons he called on his cell phone verifying and filling in Mr. Seligmann's timeline between midnight and 12:19 p.m.

What time will Nifong say the rape occurred on March 14th?

Test: Boyfriend likely sperm source [NewsObserver, May 19, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Documentation [TJN, May 14, 20006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline [TJN, April 21, 20006]

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