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Friday, June 9, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: "A Crock"

All hell has broken loose on the Duke lacrosse scandal. Hopefully, the next sound we will be hearing is the death rattle of Nifong's case.

Reporters should dog Mr. Nifong until he drops this case or shows some smoking gun evidence.

The 32-page defense motion filed Wednesday by Kirk Osborn, attorney for Reade Seligmann, became public on Thursday. There have been hints of some of this before, but the information in this latest motion wraps a pretty ribbon and ties a bow around the defense case.

WRAL.com reported:

New court filings in the Duke lacrosse rape case suggest that a second exotic dancer initially told Durham police that the alleged victim's rape claim could not be true and that it was "a crock."

According to the 32-page motion filed on Wednesday by defense attorney Kirk Osborn, the second dancer, Kim Roberts, told police that she was with the alleged victim the entire time at the March 13 party except for a period of less than five minutes.

But in Durham police search warrants made public earlier this year, the alleged victim told police she had been raped, beaten and sodomized for a 30-minute period by three Duke lacrosse players in a bathroom.

Roberts also initially told police, according to the motion, that the alleged victim never went back in to the house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., even though authorities have said in court documents that the two left the party and later returned at the urging of some of the partygoers.

Instead, the motion says, Roberts -- also identified as Kim Pittman -- locked the alleged victim in Roberts' Honda Accord while she proceeded to the back of the house to look for some of the accuser's personal belongings.
Regarding the defense motion abc11tv.com reported:
The motion also says the alleged victim told Durham police that she had performed for a couple at a Raleigh hotel hours before the Duke lacrosse party. She told police that she used a vibrator. Osborn suggests that could be the source of the vaginal injuries mentioned in the rape kit report.

The defense attorney also takes issue with the rape examination itself, pointing out that the nurse who assisted in the exam was in training. Osborn says the only evidence of physical trauma the nurse could find was a scratch on the accuser's knee and a small cut on her heel, which was not bleeding.

Osborn says the accuser gave conflicting accounts of what happened. The motion says medical records indicate she told a doctor that she used no alcohol or drugs. The accuser told the sexual assault nurse that she had consumed one drink of alcohol and was taking Flexeril, a prescription drug used to treat muscle spasms.

The alleged victim told a doctor the next day at UNC Hospitals that "she was drunk and had had a lot of alcohol that night," the motion said.

She later told police that she had consumed a 24-ounce bottle of beer and then told police she had two 22-ounce bottles of beer, according to the motion.

The accuser told the nurse that Roberts assisted players in the alleged sexual assault and that the second dancer stole her money and property, the motion said.

Osborn says a man named Jarriel Johnson drove the accuser to the Durham Police Department to pick up her belongings March 21. The motion points to a statement from Johnson saying the accuser engaged in sexual activity with at least four different men from March 10 to March 12.

Why couldn't Buzz, the Pulitzer Prize winner, get Ms. Roberts/Ms. Pittman to talk about these important details regarding her statement in his recent Vanity Fair article? Did he even get her correct name?

On the Record with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News had the best coverage of these new revelations on Thursday. Points made on the show (via courttv.com msg board):

Greta -
  • diffuse edema (i.e. mild swelling) in her vaginal area was the alleged victim's (Crystal Gail Mangum) only injury

  • She had performed for a couple at a Raleigh hotel hours before the Duke lacrosse party. She told police that she used a vibrator. Using a vibrator could cause edema.

  • I'd like to hear from the prosecutor. When Nifong was on the show a few weeks ago, he seemed like a nice enough guy, a decent prosecutor, and not a nut.

  • if he has nothing, and he indicted these boys, it is reprehensible due to it's being so serious an allegation, he needs to cut these guys loose

  • making them wait a year for the trial is immoral and wrong, but that's a North Carolina problem, not Nifong's
Jim Hammer, guest -
  • nurse describes diffuse edema - that's a 1 or a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10 as far as sexual assaults go. it means no tearing OR EVEN BRUISING

  • if he really believes in the case, and really believe this woman was raped, he has the obligation to respond in pleadings to protect the reputation of this woman. the facts that he hasn't said a word speaks volumes

  • if he didn't tell the grand jury about her implicating Kim Roberts in the actual rape, it's wrong, unethical, and the indictment needs to be tossed out

Without a case DA Mike Nifong is going on a "fishing expedition." The News & Observer reported on Thursday:
District Attorney Mike Nifong is on "a fishing expedition" in his quest for records of students not charged in the Duke lacrosse case, attorneys for one player said in court papers filed this week.

Nifong issued two subpoenas May 31. The first asked Duke University for home addresses for 47 lacrosse players and two other students; the second asked for identity card data that could track where the 49 students were in the hours before and after the alleged rape.

Thomas C. Manning of Raleigh and Robert Ekstrand of Durham, who represent Frederick Krom Jr., a lacrosse player from Summit, N.J., filed a motion in Durham Superior Court on Tuesday asking that Nifong's subpoena be quashed.

The New York Times said:
The woman's father said in an interview Thursday that she was seeing a psychiatrist and was in no condition to testify. "I don't know how long it'll be before she gets back in her right frame of mind," he said. "It could be years."

Motion: Second Dancer Initially Called Lacrosse Rape Allegations 'A Crock' [wral.com, June 8, 2006]
Police: Dancer Called Rape Allegation a 'Crock' [abctv11.com, June 8, 2006]
Filing: Second dancer called allegations a 'crock' [newsobserver.com, June 8, 2006]
Motion protests DA's bid for data [newsobserver.com, June 8, 2006]
New Filing in Duke Case Aims to Refute Allegations [NY Times, June 9, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline [TJN]

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