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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Duke Hoax: Day #261

Updated - today's items:

Kim F. Curtis - visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and 'Gang of 88 member' Lara Setrakian, Chris Francescani; ABC News:
Lacrosse Player Sues Duke — In the first of a potential series of legal actions against Duke University, a former lacrosse player filed a civil lawsuit today claiming a Duke professor failed him in response to accusations by a hired dancer that she was sexually assaulted at a team party last March.

The university apparently revised the grade upward months after student athlete Kyle Dowd graduated last spring, according to a copy of the court filings obtained by ABC News Law & Justice Unit. Dowd has not been accused of any crimes relating to the alleged lacrosse party assault.

Kyle DowdThe papers were filed a day after indicted students Colin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were invited to return to the school following a semester-long suspension following their indictments last spring on charges they'd attacked and sexually assaulted the woman.

The professor, Kim Curtis, said, "I have nothing to say" [about the suit] when reached at her home in North Carolina. Duke University officials said they had not yet seen the court papers and declined to comment...

related:
ABC11 TV/WTVD: Lax Player Files Lawsuite Against Duke
Elizabeth Dunbar, AP/CBS: Former Duke Lacrosse Player Sues School
Fox News: Former Duke Student Sues University, Says Professor Gave Him Bad Grade for Being on Lacrosse Team

Lawsuit (.pdf, 20 pages): Kyle Dowd, Patricia Dowd, and Benjamin Dowd v. Duke University, a Nonprofit Corporation, and Kim F. Curtis

KC Johnson: The Dowd Suit — The first suit against a Group of 88 member was filed today, from former lacrosse player Kyle Dowd against Political Science professor Kim Curtis. The allegations are deeply troubling--that Curtis abused her classroom authority and engaged in grade retaliation....

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: LAX Player Files Lawsuit Against Duke
LieStoppers forum: Prof. Kim Curtis, Gang of 88
FreeRepublic: Duke Named in Civil Lawsuit Stemming From Lacrosse Case
TalkLeft: An interesting lawsuit against Duke prof.
Court TV: LAX player files suit against Duke
Duke Chronicle: player sues Duke
ABC11 TV/WTVD: Lawsuit against Duke — This isn’t the first time Kim Curtis has been singled-out for her “intolerance and ideological agenda"...

comment: just when you thought it was safe to take a nap another story hits the wire regarding the Duke hoax.
Fox News:
Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser Gives Birth to Baby Girl — A 27-year-old who alleged she was sexually assaulted by three Duke University lacrosse players has given birth to a baby girl, according to local news reports....A judge last month ordered a paternity test for the newborn, which wasn't due until February, although prosecutors and defense attorneys have said the child was not fathered by any of the players.

Numerous family members of the accuser had told FOX News last month that she was pregnant. Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong had confirmed that, saying that because she wasn't due until February, there was no way she was impregnated by any of the lacrosse players she claimed had raped her in March....
comment: Fox News incorrectly reported Crystal Gail Mangum's age. She is now 28-years-old. She was born on July 16, 1978. Duke Rape Accuser: Crystal Gail Mangum
ABC11 TV/W
Alleged Victim in Duke Lacrosse Case Has Baby — Sources close to the case estimate a paternity test on the child could come within the next few weeks. The accuser's father tells Eyewitness News the pregnancy for the accuser was difficult, but the NCCU student and now mother of three children is doing fine after delivering a baby girl at UNC Hospitals.

In a statement released by the hospital, officials will only sat the accuser hopes and expects her privacy will be respected. The baby's birth fuels more speculation as to what it may mean for the future of the Duke Lacrosse case...

WRAL (first news report, now updated):
Duke Lacrosse Accuser Gives Birth — WRAL has confirmed that the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case gave birth at UNC Hospitals on Wednesday. Sources tell WRAL the woman had the baby by Cesarean section. She was not due until February...
discusssion:
LieStoppers forum: Welcome Baby
FreeRepublic: Duke Lacrosse Accuser Gives Birth
TalkLeft: Precious has given birth
Court TV: Baby reported born
LieStoppers:
Our Collective Voice - Note from a Retired DA — Recently, we received the following email from a retired North Carolina District Attorney.

I am a retired NC elected District Attorney. As such, I am irritated by the way Mr. Nifong has sullied ALL DA's reputations as well as his own. Thus, this email.

The bar complaint may take months to resolve. It is the nature of those beasts. However, a removal petition (NCGS 7A-66) is pretty swift. Moreover, it is the nuclear weapon of administrative remedies. The standards are amorphous while the quantum of proof is only that the judge find the allegation(s) true. The DNA fiasco is probably enough (my view) to warrant a hearing. However, such matters as yesterdays contradictions between Nifong and the Sheriff's captain add some fuel to the fire...
related:
LieStoppers forum: Nuclear option for Nifong's removal
KC Johnson:
Duke's Economics Department Takes Its Stand — Today, the letter below, signed by 17 members of the Department of Economics, was submitted today to the Duke Chronicle. It sends an important message from a quarter of the Duke faculty, speaking out to three important issues: (1) that Mike Nifong's misconduct demands investigation; (2) that the Group of 88 does not speak for all Duke faculty; (3) that all Duke students--including student-athletes--are welcome in the signatories' classes...
related: KC Johnson (1/5) - The Importance of Economics
KC Johnson:
The Only "Evidence" Left — Now that Mike Nifong has admitted he has no physical or forensic evidence linking any of the players he has targeted to any crime, he has made clear he is relying solely on the identifications made by the accuser in the April 4 lineup. He doesn’t, however, profess to believe anything that the accuser actually said about the three players ultimately indicted, since her remarks about them on April 4—each in a different way—are wholly inconsistent with the evidence in the case...

Aaron Beard, Fox Sports/AP
Duke suspects say invitation is vindication — For Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, being invited to return to Duke University represents vindication. The university barred the two lacrosse players from class last semester while they faced charges of raping a stripper at a team party. But now, as the case against them takes hit after hit, Duke officials said Wednesday that they have invited them to return for spring semester starting next week. "We feel that this is a very important moment," said Finnerty's lawyer, Wade Smith. "This announcement speaks to Duke's integrity as an institution, to its mission, and to its belief in Collin Finnerty's innocence."

Gretchen Bartelt, News 14 Carolina:
Most Duke alumni support lacrosse players — DURHAM, N.C. -- Whether or not they decide to return to Duke University, the former lacrosse players accused of sexual assault were the hot topic of conversation on campus Thursday. School's not back in session until next week, but that hasn’t stopped those wandering around campus from talking about Duke’s move to allow the lacrosse players to come back to school.

“It's a really good move on the part of the administration. The contours of the case have changed so much in recent months, so it makes sense to extend the invitation to the students,” said Meghan Feldmeyer, a Duke employee.

Michael J. GaynorMichael J. Gaynor:
Duke Univ. Mitigates Damages: Time For New Defendants! - Unfortunately, the mainstream media bears responsibility for the injustice done to Reade. Collin and David, and not even their lawyers will be able to hold the mainstream media to account. If the mainstream media has any shame, however, there will be an effort to mitigate the damage done in the rush to judgment, and the depiction of the Three as racist/sexist/elitist monsters when they are not...

Betsy Newmark, Examiner.com:
Racist stereotypes shaped Duke rape case — If the case is dismissed shortly, what can we expect from all those who were so ready to brand the Duke lacrosse team as a group of racist rapists? Will the 88 professors who published an ad praising the protestors who weren’t waiting for due process and already labeling the lacrosse players rapists apologize for their rush to judgment? Probably not.

I expect we’ll hear instead calls for healing. The players will be urged to get on with their lives and not to focus on suing Durham or the D.A. They’ll be reminded that Durham is not a wealthy county and can’t afford an expensive civil suit.

Those who were quick to say that this story was emblematic of racism at elite colleges will say that the lesson is still true, even though this one specific story was a hoax. Wahneema Lubiano, the Duke professor of African and American Studies who led the group of 88 who published that ad, wrote back in May that, no matter the outcome, the whole story exposed deeper truths about racism on Duke’s campus. Expect that storyline to be repeated if the charges are all dropped. The song of “fake but accurate” will be sung again...
Edititorial, WilmingtonStar.com:
Durham should be ashamed! — After hiding from the public while he took the oath of office, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong explained something: "The problem" isn't him. "The problem" is Durham.

Apparently it was Durham that, without examining all the evidence, announced to the world that three Duke lacrosse players were "hooligans" who probably raped a stripper.

Apparently it was Durham that, in violation of the law and Nifong's past practice, conspired with an expert witness to hide evidence that would have weakened the already flimsy case against the players.

Apparently it is Durham that, according to the State Bar, committed ethical violations and Durham that, according to Nifong's fellow district attorneys, should let someone else handle the lacrosse case...
Joseph Mallia, Newsday:
They can rejoin team — Two Duke lacrosse players once accused of rape can return to university, but Garden City student wants all charges resolved first. "Collin's reaction was very mature," Kevin Finnerty said. "He said, 'Dad, I'd love to be there, playing with my friends for Coach Danowski. But I don't think I should be going back until this is successfully resolved. '

"He's not going to go back until we get a successful resolution of these charges, and that means an innocent verdict or dropping of the other charges," Kevin Finnerty said...

Danowski, a former Hofstra lacrosse coach, said yesterday he'll support Finnerty's decision if he does not immediately return to Duke. "There are bigger issues than just playing lacrosse," Danowski said.

Danowski was appointed to the Duke job after the previous coach was forced out in the early weeks of the scandal. "We would be delighted to have Collin back," Danowski added. "I know the students who are at Duke would be delighted. "...

Jane Stancill, News & Observer:
Lacrosse pair in Duke's good graces — In a huge show of support, Duke University offered Wednesday to welcome back former lacrosse players accused of sexual assault...The gesture reflects the university's growing willingness to back the defendants in the divisive case. It came nearly two weeks after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped rape charges against the men accused of assaulting an escort service dancer at a team party in March...
related:
Letter by Dale Hollar (Raleigh, NC) to N&O (1/3): Sorry Performance — ...As I see it, Nifong has engaged in unprofessional, unethical and reprehensible conduct from the outset of the lacrosse case. He has been willing to railroad three young men in the face of overwhelming evidence that they did not commit the crimes with which they have been charged, to withhold exculpatory evidence for months until it was revealed by a persistent defense counsel, and to foment racial animosity -- all, seemingly, for the purpose of winning an election.

The whole sorry episode is a low point in the modern history of the State of North Carolina. Let us hope that Nifong's days of holding any position of authority are numbered.

Duff Wilson, NY Times:
Duke Players Once Accused of Rape Can Return to School — Duke University invited two former lacrosse players to return to school yesterday while they fight charges of sexual offense and kidnapping arising from a stripper’s complaint after a team party last March...

John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Lacrosse players invited back - Duke opened the door Wednesday to the return "in good standing" of student-athletes Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, who were removed from school after being charged in the controversial lacrosse sexual-assault case last spring...The spring semester begins next week.
related: LieStoppers forum — News Roundup
Forum topics of note:
LieStoppers: FOX & FRIENDS 1/4, Greta - She's a Victim - Steve upset
LieStoppers: GRETA: CRYSTAL HAS BEEN ABUSED! — She still believes Jakki and the family!

FreeRupublic: Statement of the Seligmann Family

TalkLeft - Re: Their Day In Court — I think the boys will get their day in court, civil court, and it will be a black day for the bad guys...
Yesterday (1/3):

Rush LimbaughRush Limbaugh:
Resign Now, Mike Nifong — In response to Mike Nifong's decision Friday to drop charges of rape in the Duke lacrosse case, Duke president Richard Brodhead questioned Nifong's conduct and called for the DA to relieve himself of his duties in the case." I thought, well maybe you should step down along with him, Mr. Brodhead! You're the guy that threw your players under the bus the first moment that an accusation. The coach? Nobody talks about the coach! The whole lacrosse program was shut down for a while, and the coach was canned, and now all this is utter BS...

These three kids may as well have been guilty. The lacrosse program had to be shut down; the coach had to be let go. I think maybe Mr. Brodhead is just hoping folks will forget his own despicable actions here by calling for Nifong to step down...

Nifong is trying to take the third person. He's trying to assume the role of spectator here. "Well, I know you're not here for a swearing in, you're here because of what happened in the past year, and I gotta help with the healing process." Well, then resign! You are the wart! Nifong is the pus that is oozing from the wart! He wants to cause the healing?

Michael Gaynor:
Susan Estrich, NOT a Hoax Heroine — ...the record shows that Susan Estrich was very late in calling false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum "a liar." Did she do so because she saw the light? Or because she had to do so, in order to be credible and to promote, with some credibility, her feminist views that Ms. Mangum is a victim and the rape law reform she championed that excludes certain truths from consideration in rape cases should remain intact?.

Ms. Estrich's New Year's Day article on the Duke case is titled "Duke Prosecutor's Fourth Victim." Liestoppers retitled it "The woman is a liar" in its link, and Professor Johnson titled his commentary on the article "Estrich Pulls No Punches."

But Ms. Estrich spent months trying to hit the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team and their parents and lawyers with haymakers, figuratively speaking, and there was nothing apologetic about the article with which she rang in the New Year...

WRAL: Duke Invites Lacrosse Defendants to Return

Chris Cuomo, Lara Setrakian, Chris Francescani; ABC News:
Duke Reinstates Embattled Lacrosse Players — It was unclear whether the pair would return to Duke University. Sources close to the families of the accused indicated that neither man would return to the North Carolina campus while Nifong was still in office...

Nifong declined to elaborate on what role he intended to play in the healing of the community...

Cary Clack, MySanAntonio.com/Express-News:
Prosecutor looks guilty in 'case' at Duke — Early Tuesday morning, Mike Nifong was sworn in for a four-year term as district attorney of Durham, N.C. If he's going to salvage any of his fading credibility, Nifong should, this week, drop the remaining charges against three Duke University lacrosse players...

John in Carolina;
Can you believe this N&O news columnist — If you fell -- hard -- for what Sheehan told readers, you're no doubt saying to yourself: "Gee, poor Ruthie, she was fooled by Nifong just like me. I must send her a 'Cheer up; it's not your fault' card."

Ah, but if you've keep reasonable track of things, you know Sheehan viciously attacked the Duke students for following the advice of their parents and attorneys in a column that ran in the N&O on Mar. 27, before Mike Nifong spoke publicly about the case.

Mike Nifong is an early riser, so he had plenty of time to read Sheehan's Mar. 27 column before later in the day speaking publicly for the first time about a case that Sheehan had already said involved a team's silence that was sickening. But now she's blaming Nifong for "his oringinal depiction of the case."...

John in Carolina:
Nifong can heal? — It looks like the NC State Bar, his fellow NC DAs and possibly other legal agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice will put Nifong & Enablers out of the frame-up and conspiracy business...

Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education/chronicle.com (subscription required):
Duke U. President in Hot Seat as Prosecutor Drops Key Charges Against Athletes — Assailed by critics who thought he had been too lenient toward the Duke University men's lacrosse team and by those who felt he had been too quick to assume the players' guilt, Duke's president, Richard H. Brodhead, said last month that the prosecutor's decision to drop rape charges against three players threw the whole case against them into doubt.

"I am greatly relieved for the students and their families that the most serious of the charges has been dropped," Mr. Brodhead said in a written statement. "Given the certainty with which the district attorney made his many public statements regarding the rape allegation, his decision today to drop that charge must call into question the validity of the remaining charges"...

Jim KouriJim Kouri, LincolnTribune.com (NC):
Opinion : Duke Rape Case Premise Based on Myth (1/1/07) - At one point, the Duke University rape case received more media attention than the war on Iraq, the Iran nuclear threat and even the baseball steroid scandal. It even got as much media attention as Rose O'Donnell-Donald Trump brouhaha...

This is a case that's ripe for the race demagogues who never miss an opportunity to exaggerate, spin and divide for political reasons. This latest case of white-on-black violence is providing black activists, feminists and liberals the ammunition they need to push their agenda forward: more legislated protections for blacks and for women, two major "victim groups" in American society...
related: TalkLeft - black activists, feminists and liberals

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