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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Duke Case: Pick a Number - 3, 5, or 20 Rapists?

updated/edited: 9:40 a.m. June 24, 2006

Simply amazing - The Durham D.A. Mike Nifong and his investigators never seem to have all the evidence or understand the big picture.

ABC TV 11 reported:

A bitter exchange that started outside of the courtroom when Linwood Wilson, an investigator for the District Attorney's Office, interrupted a press conference by defense attorney, Joseph Cheshire.

The interruption came as Cheshire was referencing the discovery documents that indicate the accuser gave conflicting accounts of the alleged rape.

In affidavits filed by police, authorities said the accuser told police she was raped by three men at the March 13 team party where she was hired to perform as an exotic dancer with a second woman. District Attorney Mike Nifong won indictments against three players and has said they were the only ones implicated by the evidence.

After the exchange, Wilson told Eyewitness News that he personally read all 1814 pages of discovery documents and has not read that the alleged victim changed her version of the story.

Friday morning, Cheshire, who represents charged player David Evans, provided proof...

Cheshire, Parker, Schneider, Bryan & Vitale Attorneys at Law
133 Fayetteville Street Mall
Raleigh, NC 27601

Linwood Wilson
Investigator, Durham County District Attorney's Office
201 East Main Street
Durham, North Carolina 27701

Dear Mr. Wilson:

Yesterday in front of the press you questioned my statement that the false accuser in the Duke case had stated she had been sexually assaulted by five people, as shown in newly released discovery. Since you are the District Attorney's Investigator, the press have assumed - falsely, as it turns out - that you had actually read your file. You also asked to be directed to the page about which I commented. As a result I enclose page 1304 of your office's discovery for your edification.

I can only assume your motivation in questioning my assertion was simply ignorance. A simple reading of your file might solve that problem in the future.

Since you raised your accusatory question in front of the media, I am sending them a copy of this letter and its enclosure. I am sure they would be glad to question you as to this matter.

Cheshire, Parker, Schneider
Bryan & Vitale

Joseph B. Cheshire V


Durham Police Department
Reporting Officer Narrative - Durham Police officer G.D. Sutton
Victim: Crystal Gail Mangum
Offense: Rape -- Forcecible
Date/Time Reported: Tue 03/14/2006 01:22

Original Narrative
On March 14, 2006 at approximately 0122 hours I responded to Duke Emergency Room in Reference to a rape. Upon arrival I spoke with Ms. Crystal Gail Mangum who stated that she and three girls, Nikki, Angel, and Tammy, had performed at at Bachelor Party on 610 North Buchanan at around 2300 hours on March 13, 2006. While I talked with Ms. Mangum she was crying and seemed very nervous, she said that her vagina was sore and she was bleeding. Ms. Mangum said that there were about 20 guys there. Nikki wanted to have sex with one of the guys and tried to talk her into it. She did not want to. Nikki wanted here to come into the bathroom with her and the guys. She ended up in the bathroom with five guys who forced her to have intercourse and perform sexual acts. Ms. Mangum stated that one of the guys Brett, penetrated her vagina with his hands and penis. She later stated that she was penetrated by all five of the guys. Ms Mangum said that about 20 minutes after that she rode to the Kroger Shopping Center at 3457 Hillsborough Road with Nikki. This is when Nikki called the police because Ms. Mangum would not get out of the car. When the responding officers arrived Ms Mangum was passed out and had to be awakened with smelling salts. Because of of her mental state she was transported to the Durham Access Center. It was here that Ms. Mangum first told the doctors that she had been raped. While being interviewed at Duke, her story changed several times. At one point she said that she had not been raped. She also said that Nikki had stolen her money and cell phone. Ms Mangum also said that she might have deposited the money. Ms. Mangum was treated at Duke ER. Investigator Jones responded to Duke to attempt to interview Ms. Mangum.


Investigator Wilson tried to explain his statements, but he's still wrong. The Herald-Sun reported:
Wilson said in an interview Friday, however, that Cheshire was "trying to twist what I asked him." He said he was questioning the lawyer's reference to 20 alleged rapists, not the reference to five.

"I was upset about the 20," Wilson acknowledged. "There ain't nothing about 20 in anything I've read. I wanted him to show it to me. One of the police officers did say there were 20 people present, but he didn't say 20 people raped this woman.

"We all know she said three," Wilson added. "We all know that because three people are charged. I wasn't questioning the three or the five. I was only questioning the 20."

However, a reference to 20 assailants was made in a Duke police report on March 14. It said that "a female was brought into the Emergency Department by Durham Police in reference to possible rape. The female was picked up at the Kroger on Hillsborough Rd., and she was claiming that she was raped by approximately 20 white males."

Wilson has not been paying attention. This important story was out in early May - Police Report: Accuser Said 20 Raped Her:
Duke police officials released a report Tuesday night indicating that the accuser in the lacrosse rape investigation changed her story.

A Duke committee released a report Monday saying that Durham police sent mixed messages in the early hours of the lacrosse investigation. It said that police initially told administrators that the accuser was not credible and initially said 20 men had raped her. She later said three had raped her.

Durham City Manager Patrick Baker told Eyewitness News earlier Tuesday that he had never heard that she claimed 20 men had raped her.

But Duke police released a copy late Tuesday of its report from the morning after the March 14 party.

"The female was picked up at the Kroger on Hillsborough Rd., and she was claiming that she was raped by approximately 20 white males at 610 N. Buchanan Street," the report says.

"The victim changed her story several times, and eventually Durham Police stated that charged would not exceed misdemeanor simple assault against the occupants of 610 N. Buchanan," the report later states.

Yes, the reference to 20 assailants is from a Duke police report and not a Durham police report. But, an investigator can't get in a debate with a lawyer outside the courtroom over the accuracy of evidence from non-Durham police sources. Durham is sounding more and more like a banana republic.

Attorneys Dispute Report in Duke Rape Case [abc11tv.com, June 23, 2006]
Lawyer cites more rape story variations [herald-sun.com, June 23, 2006]
Joe Cheshire letter to Investigator Linwood Wilson (.pdf) [abc11tv.com, June 23, 2006]
Police Report: Accuser Said 20 Raped Her [abc11tv.com, May 9, 2006]