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Monday, July 17, 2006

Duke Case: Reade Seligmann - "The Truth Will Win"

Reade Seligmann: I believe in the system and the truth will win.Peter Applebome writes about Reade Seligmann for The NY Times: As Accusation at Duke Festers, Disbelief Gnaws at Suspect’s Supporters.

Supporters of Reade Seligmann, one of three Duke lacrosse players accused of raping a woman, say the story began to lose credibility as soon as he was identified as a suspect.

Patricia Crapo has been teaching religion and writing college recommendations for a quarter century, but only once did she allow herself to put so much of her heart on the page.

"If I had a son, I would hope he could be like Reade,” Mrs. Crapo wrote three years ago on behalf of a student applying to Duke . “I have been teaching at the high school level for 24 years, and I have never said or written that about another student."

Robert KC Johnson summarized some other testimonials about Mr. Seligmann:
In high school, Seligmann participated in a community service project in Kentucky’s Appalachia region; he also worked in a program sponsored by his high school that brought food and clothing to the homeless in New York City. (A high school classmate wrote that Seligmann "has stuck out in my mind as the most caring and honorable individual I have ever met.") At Duke, Seligmann made the dean’s list, and had a clean personal record. One fellow student noted, "He's the most amazing person I have ever met, with the biggest heart. He is full of love and considers everyone before himself"; a second commented, "Reade is one of the most amazing guys at Duke, and I would bet my life" on his character; a third described herself as "blessed to call him a friend."

CBS News correspondent Trish Regan spoke with Reade Seligmann and his family last month:
Reade Seligmann is home for the summer. On the night I met him, he was finishing some papers for Duke University. One was a paper he had started before this case broke. It's title: "The Role of the Media Plays in the Justice System."

He will not get credit for any of his spring semester classes unless the charges are dropped or he is declared not guilty. His plan for the fall is to take classes at a nearby university and continue working out because, his parents say, he's hopeful he'll have the opportunity to play lacrosse again soon. He told me he wants to be a lawyer and that this experience has convinced him that law is a field where he can make a difference.

"People keep saying, 'these kids' lives are over, their reputations are ruined,' " his mother said. "I tell Reade, 'There's only one person that can take your reputation from you, and that's you.' "

Reade is optimistic about the future. His mother says he tells her: "You can't change the truth. This didn't happen. I believe in the system and the truth will win."

sources:
As Accusation at Duke Festers, Disbelief Gnaws at Suspect’s Supporters [Peter Applebome | NY Times, July 16, 2006]
Shameless [Robert KC Johnson | hnn.us, July 5, 2006]
Support for Reade Seligmann [ipetitions.com]
Duke Player's Family Speaks Out [cbsnews.com, June 22, 2006]

related:
Duke Case: Reade Seligmann's Alibi in Detail [TJN, July 2, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse [TJN Archive]

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