Rape Allegation Against Athletes Is Roiling Duke
By VIV BERNSTEIN and JOE DRAPE
Published: March 29, 2006
DURHAM, N.C., March 28 — Duke University suspended the season of its nationally ranked men's lacrosse team Tuesday while the authorities investigated allegations that a woman from a nearby college who had agreed to dance at a private party attended by many team members had been sexually assaulted.
The incident on March 13, which occurred at an off-campus house owned by the university, has brought into sharp relief long-simmering tensions between the private university and the city. The woman is black, most of the team members are white and law-enforcement officials say they are investigating allegations that racial epithets were shouted at the woman.
Residents, students and faculty members have staged at least five protests in the last four days, including one Tuesday night outside the building where Duke's president, Richard H. Brodhead, was holding a news conference. They are upset with the silence of team members and the university's handling of the case.
Mr. Brodhead's announcement that the team's season was being suspended came five days after 46 of 47 members of the Blue Devils lacrosse team provided DNA samples to Durham police investigators. The team's roster includes 26 players from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut high schools.
Mr. Brodhead said that he met with the team's captains Tuesday morning and that they apologized for the embarrassment they had caused themselves, their families, the athletic department and the university. They also denied the allegations made by the woman, who said she had been assaulted in a bathroom by three team members. Mr. Brodhead said he made his decision to suspend competition after meeting with the team captains, who had asked that the season be suspended only until the DNA testing was completed.
Michael B. Nifong, the Durham County district attorney, criticized team members for not coming forward.
"The thing that most of us found so abhorrent, and the reason I decided to take it over myself, was the combination gang-like rape activity accompanied by the racial slurs and general racial hostility," Mr. Nifong said Tuesday in a telephone interview.
Once upon a time, that was just a long weekend for a Southern gentleman. Now, these boys face jail for raping a black woman in North Carolina. And the one thing my father told me about the South which stuck was that they respect the law, and you better too. Rich kids from Jersey acting out.....picked a very bad place to do it.
Ever see these Southern DA's, you know like Nancy Grace? They like putting people in jail, and arrogant rich kids? Even better.
It reminds me of what Robert E Lee said when seeing a young private.
"Don't worry son, you will receive justice here."
"I know sir, that's what I'm afraid of."
Now, these boys can try the OC rape trial defense, but that is even less likely to fly. You've got some real reputations on the line, the school, the DA, the city. Whining about her being a slut isn't going to cut it.
The truth be told, it does not surprise me that surburban kids from Jersey would have backwards racial attitudes. Most of the black people they see are on TV. So while many Southerners have positive relationships with blacks, a lot of suburban Northerners may have little to no contact with any minority.
And they ain't basketball players, so being a jock will not help
"According to court documents, two black women were hired from an escort service to dance for what turned out to be a lacrosse team party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. After only several minutes there, documents report, the men inside the house became excited and aggressive. After fleeing the house amid racial slurs, police and neighbors report, the women were persuaded to go back inside. One of the women reported that she was pulled into a bathroom by three of the men, where she was strangled, beaten, raped and sodomized."Here's a point: NONE are cooperating with the investigation. If your innocent friends were accused of a crime they didn't commit, would you stonewall the cops?
Its really hard to fake evidence that you were "strangled, beaten, raped and sodomized."
The whole community, including the wider Duke student body, the leaders of the neighborhood in which it happened, and the local law enforcement agencies are roaring mad about this. This is the first case that the county prosecutor has taken on personally since he was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. While I wouldn't accuse him of being a Nancy Grace type, he has said repeatedly that he is looking at obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges for the non-rapists on the team.
No one around here doubts that these boys did this, especially given all of the circumstantial accounts from witnesses. The fact that they calimed it was just a batchelor party for 10 clients. Or that they used false names. Or that they woman's broken nails were all over there house. Or that they have already sold the house.
I've not run into one person down here, black, white, or other that thinks these boys deserve anything short of a raw deal.
This shit is no different than the St. Guillen murder. The bar owners shut up. Why? Innocent people don't shut up and don't refuse to cooperate.
posted by Steve @ 12:00:00 AM