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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Duke Case: Where is Tawana Brawley?

Tawana Brawley with Al SharptonWhile the Duke rape hoax is being debunked day after day after day, the question arises, what happened to that last great rape hoax perpetrator - Tawana Brawley?

Tawana Brawley was a 15-year-old girl when she claimed she was raped by six white men, some of them police officers, on November 28, 1987 in the village of Wappingers Falls, New York. A brief summary according to Wikipedia:

Public response to Brawley's story was at first mostly sympathetic. Bill Cosby, among others, pledged support for her. Articles about Brawley captured headlines across the US. Public rallies were held denouncing the incident. However, racial tensions also climbed, and when up-and-coming civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, with attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason, began handling Brawley's publicity, the case quickly took on an explosive edge...

They named New York prosecutor Steven Pagones specifically, calling him a racist and a rapist, among other accusations.

By the time of the grand jury hearings, six men had been accused of rape. After seven months of examining police and medical records, the jury determined there was not enough evidence to charge the suspects for a crime.

In the decision, the grand jury noted many inconsistencies in Brawley's story...

A total of 180 witnesses were called during the hearings. Brawley herself never testified.

Brawley and her mother had both been subpoenaed to testify in front of the grand jury, and refused to do so. This may have prompted Brawley and her family to move hastily to Virginia, taking with them a "defense fund" of $300,000, which had been contributed by well-wishers. There is still an outstanding warrant against the two for ignoring the subpoena, and they are subject to arrest in New York state should they ever decide to return.
However, this last part about an outstanding arrest warrant seems to have been forgotten. Because on December 2nd, 1997, Brawley returned to Brooklyn, NY to give a speech before the civil trial in the defamation lawsuit against Brawley’s three advisors: Rev. Al Sharpton and attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason.

In 1998 Steven Pagones won and was awarded $345,000 (he sought $150 million) in the defamation lawsuit against Sharpton, Maddox, and Mason. At the pep rally before the civil trial, Brawly said:
"It happened to me, and I’m not a liar," she told a jam- packed church. "I’m not crazy. "I was ashamed of what happened to me." For 15 minutes, she told hundreds of people over and over that her story is true...

"What happened to me happens to hundreds of thousands of women every day," she said.

Brawley’s appearance, the night before the civil trial in the defamation lawsuit against Brawley’s three advisers, resembled a pep rally.

Brawley said she stepped back into the limelight to support her advisers, especially disbarred lawyer Alton Maddox, who introduced her last night. After years of motions and legal maneuvers, the civil trial against them is scheduled to begin this morning in Poughkeepsie.

"The hour has come for the return of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth," Maddox said, introducing Brawley...

Brawley claimed that law enforcement paid off phony witnesses to paint her as a liar in 1988.

"For 10 years, they’ve been lying to you," she said. "You should feel that hoax was pulled on you."
Life is irony. Here is the hoax perpetrator herself, Tawana Brawley, in reportedly her last public appearance, claiming she was the victim of a hoax. Perfect.

Another irony is that in the Tawana Brawley case it was the local Dutchess County assistant district attorny Steven Pagones who was accused of being an attaker and of covering up the rape.

It is also ironic that Ms. Brawley never made an official statement regarding her allegations. Her initial stories were sketchy and at times contradictory. (It took the Duke investigators over three weeks to get a statement from Ms. Mangum.) Ms. Brawley only answered questions during conversations and initial interviews with authorities. She then hid from the grand jury.

Has Tawana Brawley granted any interviews in the almost nineteen years since she made her false allegations? Has she been outspoken about her "injustice" and the hoax perpetrated against her? Would Al Sharpton, Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason now advise her to speakup about the hoax? Will Tawana Brawley and Crystal Gail Mangum hold a joint press conference before the start of the Duke trial?

A NY Grand Jury stopped the Tawana Brawley Hoax-
WE THE GRAND JURY OF THE SUPREME COURT, STATE OF NEW YORK, COUNTY OF DUTCHESS IMPANELLED ON FEBRUARY 29, 1988, HAVING CONDUCTED AN INVESTIGATION, AND BASED UPON THE PREPONDERANCE OF THE CREDIBLE AND LEGALLY ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE, CONCLUDE THAT THE UNSWORN PUBLIC ALLEGATIONS AGAINST DUTCHESS COUNTY ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY STEVEN PAGONES ARE FALSE, HAVE NO BASIS IN FACT AND THAT HE COMMITTED NO MISCONDUCT, NON-FEASANCE OR NEGLECT IN OFFICE.

Foreman of the Grand Jury
It is shocking to go back and read how the Tawana Brawley case was based on the most extraordinary lies and no evidence. The same as the Duke hoax. Fortunately, back in 1988, New York's grand jury system had the ability to fully investigate, detect, and destroy the hoax. This didn't happen in North Carolina, where a grand jury system was used and abused by Mike Nifong.

Tawana Brawley would be about thirty-four years old now. In 1997 the AP reported that Brawley was living in Washington, D.C., and was using the Muslim name Maryam Muhammad.

It is absolutely amazing given the huge controversy that this case generated in the 80's and into the 90's, regarding the lawsuits against Sharpton, etc., that no one in the main stream media has tried to track Tawana Brawley down and do an interview with her. Where is the main steam media? Where is Nancy Grace, Greta Van Susteren, or Larry King? If she won't sit for an interview, can we get some video of her running and hiding from the camera? Tawana Brawley is a liar who deserves an ambush interview if anyone does. What happened to this story and why hasn't this liar been confronted?

And whatever happened to those two outstanding arrest warrants for Brawley and her mother in New York State? Is there a bounty hunter out there who would do some pro bono work?

update:
Brawley's family lives in Claremont, Va.
see TJN: Hoax vampires smell blood money...

sources:
Tawana Brawley [wikipedia.org]
Pagones v. Maddux, Mason and Sharpton - Tawana Brawley Grand Jury Report [courttv.com]
"I’m not a liar"
[Times Herald Record (AP), December 3, 1997]
Tawana Brawley speaks out [Workers World, Dec. 19, 1997]
Enabling the Hoax [LieStoppers, Sept. 19, 2006]

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