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  • Duke Rape Case Updates

    Updated: 5:37 p.m. ET April 13, 2006

    DURHAM, N.C. - A woman who claims she was raped by members of Duke University’s lacrosse team was described as “just passed-out drunk” by one of the first police officers to see her, according to a recording of radio traffic obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

    The conversation between the officer and a police dispatcher took place about 1:30 a.m. March 14, about five minutes after a grocery store security guard called 911 to report a woman in the parking lot who would not get out of someone else’s car.

    The officer gave the dispatcher the police code for an intoxicated person and said the woman was unconscious. When asked whether she needed medical help, the officer said: “She’s breathing and appears to be fine. She’s not in distress. She’s just passed-out drunk.”

    The black woman, a 27-year-old stripper and college student, told police she was raped and beaten by three white men around midnight at an off-campus party thrown by Duke’s lacrosse team. The racially charged allegations have led Duke to cancel the highly ranked team’s season and accept the resignation of its coach.

    No charges have been filed, but District Attorney Mike Nifong has said he believes a crime was committed. Attorneys for the players have said DNA tests failed to connect any players to the alleged attack, and they have urged Nifong to drop his investigation.

    The radio recordings, obtained by the AP through a records request, are the first instance in which police or anyone connected with the investigation has said the woman appeared to be intoxicated.

    Defense lawyers, however, have said time-stamped photographs taken by the players show that the accuser was drunk and already had suffered some injuries when she arrived at the house for the party.

    The recording is consistent with “what I have seen of the photo evidence before,” attorney Kerry Sutton said. Those photos, she said, showed that she was “way beyond where you would put somebody behind the wheel of a car.”

    The description of the woman’s medical exam — which Nifong has said is his basis for believing a rape occurred — does not mention her being drunk. It states only that the woman’s injuries and behavior were consistent with having been raped, sexually assaulted and having suffered a traumatic experience.

    The woman has told police she and another stripper hired to dance at the party arrived at 11:30 p.m. March 13. The pair reportedly left the house a short time later, fearing for their safety. The accuser told police the two were coaxed back into the house with an apology, at which point they were separated. That’s when she said she was dragged into a bathroom and raped, beaten and choked for a half hour.

    At 12:53 a.m., police received a 911 call from a woman complaining that she had been called racial slurs by white men gathered outside the home where the party took place.

    The defense has said it believes the second dancer at the party made that call. The 911 call from the grocery store security guard was placed at 1:22 a.m.

    In it, the caller says, “Um, the problem is ... it’s a lady in somebody else’s car and she will not get out of their car. She’s like, she’s like intoxicated, drunk or something. She’s, I mean, she won’t get out of the car, period. “

    A police spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the radio traffic.

    The case has focused intense national scrutiny on Duke and the lacrosse players and has sparked protests on the elite private university’s campus and elsewhere in Durham. The school last week canceled the highly ranked team’s season and coach Mike Pressler resigned after the release of a vulgar and graphic e-mail sent by a team member shortly after the alleged assault.

    Several of the defense attorneys say they expect the district attorney to ask a grand jury on Monday to issue charges in connection with allegations.

    “Rest up on Sunday,” Sutton said.

    There has been no official word, however, on whether Nifong intends to present the allegations Monday. His next opportunity would come two weeks later.
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  • #2
    Attorneys: No DNA match in Duke lacrosse case

    ESPN.com news services


    DURHAM, N.C. -- DNA testing failed to connect any members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team to the alleged sexual assault of an exotic dancer, attorneys for some of the players said Monday.

    Citing DNA test results delivered by the state crime lab to police and prosecutors a few hours earlier, the attorneys said the test results prove their clients did not sexually assault and beat a dancer hired to perform at a March 13 team party.

    No charges have been filed in the case.

    "There is no DNA evidence that shows she was touched by any of these boys," said Joe Cheshire, an attorney who represents one of the team's captains.

    The allegations have led to the resignation of coach Mike Pressler, the cancellation of the season and the suspension of one player from school.

    The case also led to days of protests on and off the Duke campus, and some of the players have moved for safety reasons.

    According to court documents, only lacrosse team members were at the party. Authorities ordered 46 of the 47 players to submit DNA samples to investigators, who compared them with evidence collected from the woman.

    Because the woman said her attackers were white, the team's sole black player was not tested. It was not known whether investigators tested for DNA other than the players'.

    Cheshire said the report indicated authorities took DNA samples from all over the alleged victim's body, including under her fingernails, and from her possessions, such as her cell phone and her clothes.

    "They swabbed about every place they could possibly swab from her, in which there could be any DNA," he said.

    District Attorney Mike Nifong has said he would have other evidence to make his case should the DNA analysis prove inconclusive or fail to match a member of the team.

    Nifong's assistant told The Associated Press on Monday the prosecutor would not comment on the findings, but Nifong told The News & Observer of Raleigh he thinks a sexual assault took place.

    "I'm not saying it's over," he told the newspaper. "If that's what they expect, they will be sadly disappointed."

    John Burness, Duke's senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, responded in a statement posted on the school's Web site:

    "As both President [Richard] Brodhead and I have said repeatedly over the past few weeks, we have to have confidence that the police investigation will ultimately reveal the truth. While the criminal allegations in this case are extremely serious, it is important to remember that no one has been charged and that in our system of law people are presumed innocent until proven guilty."

    North Carolina Central University, where the alleged victim is a student, said after the results were released that the prosecutor would appear at a campus forum on Tuesday to discuss the case.

    "The truth is if you speak to crime lab directors, they will tell you that in only a relatively small number of cases is there any DNA evidence," said Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project.

    Cheshire said even if the alleged attackers used a condom, it's likely there would have been some DNA evidence found suggesting an assault took place. He said in this case, the report states there was no DNA on her to indicate that she had sex of any type recently.

    "The experts will tell you that if there was a condom used they would still be able to pick up DNA, latex, lubricant and all other types of things to show that -- and that's not here," he said.

    Stan Goldman, who teaches criminal law, evidence and criminal procedure at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the DNA results don't mean that Nifong can't go forward with the case -- but the test results make a successful prosecution much harder.

    "Isn't the absence of DNA evidence, given the way the victim has described the crime, in and of itself almost enough to raise a reasonable doubt?" he said. "That's all the defense has to do."

    Robert Archer, whose son, Breck, is a member of the lacrosse team, said the test results only confirmed for parents what they already knew.

    "I know the kids on the team and I know they're innocent," said Archer, of East Quogue, N.Y.
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    • #3
      Duke players ineligible for ACC postseason awards

      None of Duke's men's lacrosse players will be considered for the Atlantic Coast Conference's postseason awards.
      The ACC announced its decision in a news release Monday and also said it has revised the seeding procedure and bracket for the conference's lacrosse tournament.

      Because Duke decided to call off the remainder of its men's lacrosse season last week, its loss to Maryland on March 4 and victory over North Carolina on March 18 have been ruled no-contests for seeding purposes only, the ACC said.

      Second-seeded Maryland will play third-seeded North Carolina in the first game of the tournament, with the winner advancing to play top-seeded Virginia in the championship game.

      The ACC lacrosse tournament is April 28 and 30 in Baltimore.
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      • #4
        Please note that I am not saying either way whether anyone is guilty, or lying, or anything, I'm just giving updates.

        As a woman, I know that rape is a difficult issue to deal with. Too often woman are persecuted for coming forward, but also too often false claims are made.

        In the end someone always suffers.
        President of the GPA, Head of Mainland Europe Chapter




        formerly Officially Adopted by saltybuggah
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        • #5
          I personally think that this is a way for the lady to make some quick money.

          The DNA tests, which are basically what the whole prosecution lied on is invalid now.

          There is evidence which actually support the defense and shows evidence against the woman.

          You also have to look at her past and it is kind of "mucky" you can say.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Snk16
            I personally think that this is a way for the lady to make some quick money.

            The DNA tests, which are basically what the whole prosecution lied on is invalid now.

            There is evidence which actually support the defense and shows evidence against the woman.

            You also have to look at her past and it is kind of "mucky" you can say.
            I'm not one for delving into the past of alleged rape victims, but stealing a taxi after giving a lap dance, driving it drunk and ramming a police car is not a good thing to have come out.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kapaibro
              I'm not one for delving into the past of alleged rape victims, but stealing a taxi after giving a lap dance, driving it drunk and ramming a police car is not a good thing to have come out.
              That alone makes me suspicious of her allegations.

              Seems to be a person going after a big name thing.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Snk16
                That alone makes me suspicious of her allegations.

                Seems to be a person going after a big name thing.
                Also the time frame seems off.

                At the hospital she gave no information regarding her attackers.

                Then she said white guys, and it wasn't until the address was checked that it was said to be Duke Lacrosse players, and now a month later she can identify someone specific.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kapaibro
                  I'm not one for delving into the past of alleged rape victims, but stealing a taxi after giving a lap dance, driving it drunk and ramming a police car is not a good thing to have come out.
                  nor am i. i hadn't heard that last part though - certainly provides a motive to make the story up.
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                  • #10
                    Police try to interview Duke lacrosse players about party

                    Duke president says investigators again sought access to dormitories Thursday night

                    By Tim Whitmire
                    Associated Press Writer
                    Originally published April 14, 2006, 6:53 PM EDT

                    DURHAM, N.C. // Police tried to interview Duke University lacrosse players at their dorm rooms about the team party where a woman reported being raped, but the athletes refused to speak with investigators, an attorney for several players said Friday.

                    The school confirmed that a pair of Durham detectives were on campus Thursday night for an hour and 15 minutes, but said they did not execute any search warrants. The school's statement corrected comments made earlier Friday by Duke President Richard Brodhead, who told reporters police attempted to enter the rooms, but then said he had few details.

                    Attorney Kerry Sutton said when police approached the players, they immediately contacted their lawyers, who advised them not to speak.

                    Sutton, who represents one of the men who lived in the off-campus house where the attack was reported, said he was shocked that police "would run an end play around defense counsel in an attempt to talk to them."

                    Police declined to release any information about the case Friday. The offices of District Attorney Mike Nifong were closed for the Good Friday holiday.

                    Samantha Ekstrand, the wife and law partner of Robert Ekstrand, who is representing dozens of the players, said police were trying to confirm who attended the party. According to court records, the players have told police that only team members were at the March 13 party.

                    The 27-year-old black woman, a student at North Carolina Central University, told police she was raped and beaten by three white lacrosse team members.

                    No charges have been filed, but Nifong has said he believes a crime was committed at the party, citing a medical exam that found the woman's injuries and behavior were consistent with being raped.

                    Attorneys for the players have said DNA tests failed to connect any players to the attack, and they have urged Nifong to drop his investigation. But several defense attorneys say they expect the district attorney to ask a grand jury Monday to indict one or more of the players.

                    In a police recording obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, one of the first officers to see the woman after she left the party described her as "just passed-out drunk." Police had been called to a grocery store parking lot where a security guard said the woman had gotten into someone else's car and would not get out.





                    Personally, if I was accused of such a heinous crime, I would also decline to admit police, or speak without a warrant. I'm not sure how I feel about the police doing this without advising the students legal representatives.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kapaibro



                      Personally, if I was accused of such a heinous crime, I would also decline to admit police, or speak without a warrant. I'm not sure how I feel about the police doing this without advising the students legal representatives.
                      I think the opposite.

                      If I were innocent, I would be more than willing to talk the police, with counsel present, and would answer any questions they wanted for as long as they wanted.

                      I would have my lawyer contact them.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jared
                        I think the opposite.

                        If I were innocent, I would be more than willing to talk the police, with counsel present, and would answer any questions they wanted for as long as they wanted.

                        I would have my lawyer contact them.
                        I'm all for speaking to police WITH counsel present, but in this case, the police knew that the students all have representation, and went to the dorms without advising anyone but campus security. If the police turn up with no warrant, and no forewarning, and my counsel isn't there, I say nothing.

                        The police made no attempt to advise counsel, or the students that they wanted to visit and speak with them, just turned up.
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                        • #13
                          I agree, This visit was an attempt to intimidate a player into saying something he didn't mean or twisting his words without a lawyer present. I really believe the police and state are under such presure to get a conviction now they are doing whatever it takes despite the lack of evidence. After the media campaign against these players the DA's campaign against these players, the publics campaign against these players, their lives and futures have been damaged almost irrepairably. The coach has lost his job for what appears no reason. I am not a big fan of lawsuits over nothing, but if I were the players and coach I would be collecting all the evidence needed to take everyone involved in this to court.
                          "On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high."
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                          • #14
                            I don't know why the police would endanger the case by blatantly attempting to speak to students who have counsel, without warrants or the lawyers present. Surely that would void any information they got?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kapaibro
                              I don't know why the police would endanger the case by blatantly attempting to speak to students who have counsel, without warrants or the lawyers present. Surely that would void any information they got?
                              Because like the rest of this case its been a joke. These players were guilty from the start according to the police, so much for fair justice. Because of that the police are so desperate for a result they are not doing things right which is hurting their case even more.
                              "On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high."
                              Ayrton Senna..

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