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Thursday, April 13, 2006

So I guess there's more than DNA

Durham County DA Mike Nifong

Lawyers for Lacrosse Players at Duke Say They Expect Indictment in Rape Case

DURHAM, N.C., April 12 — Defense lawyers for several players on Duke University's lacrosse team said Wednesday that they expected at least one player to be indicted, perhaps as early as Monday, in the investigation of a woman's charges that she was raped by three players at a party last month.

Based on statements made by Michael B. Nifong, the Durham County district attorney, the lawyers are bracing for him to bring a case to a grand jury that meets on Monday. That move, they said, would inevitably produce an indictment of a player on sexual-assault charges, and perhaps indictments of other players on charges of aiding and abetting the assault.

An arrest warrant would be issued for any players who are indicted. After Monday, the grand jury here is not scheduled to meet again for two weeks.

"We know this case is going to a trial, a jury trial," said Bill Thomas II, who represents one of the lacrosse team's captains.

"All 46 young men said a crime did not occur, so who she picks, and which men would be involved, is sort of like spinning a roulette wheel," he said, referring to the player or players the woman has identified. "You can imagine that this is a very stressful time for all of those men and their families."


The woman's identification of at least one man who she said was among her attackers came about three weeks after she was hired to dance at a March 13 off-campus party for which the lacrosse team's captains played host.

The lawyers for the players have said that this time gap should cast doubt on the reliability of the woman's account.

The lawyers also said that DNA tests had failed to link the players to the accuser. They said this proved that the rape did not occur. After the DNA results came back Monday, Mr. Nifong said he would pursue the case because he believed a sexual assault had occurred. Additional higher-level DNA tests, done at another lab, were expected back as early as this week, he said.

In another development, the families of some players, Duke athletic department boosters and former Duke lacrosse players have acted together to hire Robert S. Bennett, a prominent Washington lawyer, as their spokesman.

Mr. Bennett, who represented President Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment case, was hired by the group calling itself the Committee for Fairness to Duke Families.

In a statement, Mr. Bennett, a former federal prosecutor, said he did not represent any single player but a group of people who wanted to protect the reputation of Duke University.

"It is unfortunate that members of the Duke community, players and families are being judged before all the facts are in," The Associated Press quoted him as saying in his statement. "A lot of innocent young people and the families are being hurt, and unfortunately this situation is being abused by people with separate agendas. It is grossly unfair, and cool heads must prevail."

Shorter Bob Bennett: "That lyin' negro wench is tarnishing our fine institution"

Uh, Bob, if this woman was gang raped by Duke students, any ruined reputation would be well deserved.

" A lot of innocent families are being hurt"

You mean like the alleged rape victim? I know he doesn't mean Duke students.

Roulette wheel my ass. The DA knows who they think attacked her and the lawyers might want to play down the conspiracy aspects of the team. Someone is going to jump ship. They are not going to go to jail for a teammate. Someome is going to roll over in a big way.

Funny, they were calling for the charges to be dropped the other day. This sounds a lot more subdued.

The AP story had an interesting line:

Bill Thomas, a defense attorney for one of the team captains, urged the accuser to recant, saying he believes she made up the allegations to avoid a charge of public drunkenness.

"It is my sincere hope that she comes forward and tells the truth in this matter and allows these young men to go on with their lives and for this community to heal," Thomas said.

What the fuck? She's gonna go through a rape kit and questions for the DA to avoid a misdemeanor? Is he kidding? We're talking rape, humiliating questions, her life on public display and it's all to avoid a ticket or a night in jail?

Yeah, right.

One thing: Bill Bennett and the defense lawyers can play all the games they want, but the black folks down there and more than a few of the white locals, aren't having it. They keep up with this bullshit, they may not like the reaction. The defense needs to remain quiet unless and until charges are filed. Because they are playing with dynamite.

If this woman was raped, the conduct of Duke was less than sterling and of the team rephrensible. The anger in the local community has been kept under control but if they keep talking, things might get really ugly.

Just wait until the DA makes a decision. And Duke should lean on the people who hired Bennett to make him disappear. It just looks racist and awful to have him chiming in on protecting Duke. If this woman was assaulted, Duke deserves everything it gets,

posted by Steve @ 10:16:00 AM

10:16:00 AM

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