The other shoe has finally dropped from the foot of Durham County, N.C., District Attorney Mike Nifong with the early-morning arrests today of white Duke University sophomores and lacrosse players Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty for the rape, kidnaping, and assault of an African-American stripper hired to entertain the team the night of March 14.
It’s already strange, for as La Shawn Barber notes, according to a search warrant issued in the case, the woman claimed that she had been raped by three white Duke lacrosse players, whom she named as Adam, Bret, and Matt. Furthermore, as we all know, no DNA matches were found to implicate any of the 46 white players on the Duke lacrosse team, even though there should have been plenty of DNA left behind, for the alleged victim claimed that she had scratched and fought the rapists so hard that she had torn off several false nails, nails that were recovered from the party house by police.
As we know, the entire team has already been tried and convicted in the minds of Nifong (who’s running for reelection in racially tense Durham) as well as the usual gang of feminist and black agitators. Mary Katherine Ham writes:
“They shouldn’t be presumed guilty because there are racial tensions in Durham; they are not guilty because they are white and privileged and their alleged victim was black; they are not guilty because there is a ‘culture of sexual entitlement’ in collegiate athletics; they are not guilty because they had a stripper at their party; they are not guilty because making an example of them might ‘raise awareness’ of all these important social issues and might, just might, prevent the rape of one woman.”
La Shawn posts this comment from a lawyer-reader:
” The DA had no obligation to present any exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. He could have presented only the following: (1) the alleged victim’s testimony that she was raped and her identification of her attackers and (2) the hospital nurse’s testimony that the alleged victim’s injuries were consistent with rape. These facts would be sufficient for an indictment, which is all the Nifong needs for his re-election campaign.
“At trial, however, the jury will have the following exculpatory and impeachment evidence to consider: (1) the absence of any DNA match, (2) photographs of the alleged victim showing bruises before the alleged attack, (3) various inconsistencies in her story, and (4) evidence of the alleged victim’s bad character for honesty and truthfulness (i.e., her prior criminal record). It is highly unlikely in my opinion as a lawyer for the past 25 years that based on this evidence a jury would find guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The only way that Nifong can get a conviction here is if one or more of the boys in the house testifies in support of the alleged victim’s story. Will that happen? Who knows.”
And Mary Katherine Ham posts this link to Bulldog Pundit of Ankle-Biting Pundits:
“The first thing is that I think arrested these defendants in the middle of the night rather than allowing them to turn themselves in was an arrogant and calculated move by the prosecutor. In cases where someone is under investigation (even in rape and murder cases) and you have no reason to believe there’s a flight risk or that they will resist arrest, and when they are represented by counsel, a good prosecutor lets the defendant turn themselves in – unless of course you want the cameras there to record every step.
“Additionally, from a strategic standpoint it just gives the defense attorneys another example of why the trial needs a change of venue – which is probably one of the first things defense attorneys will do if the case survives preliminary legal challenges.
“Now to the legal part of the case. There are stories that the person who made the 911 call complaining of racial harassment outside the house was the second stripper at the party. The problem is that on the 911 call she identified herself as a ‘passer-by’.
“That’s a huge, huge, hurdle for the prosecution to overcome. If this second stripper is the main witness against the defendants then the defense attorney’s will have a field day with her because the first thing she did was lie. Further, if you’ve heard the 911 call you know that it’s very unusual and odd to say the least. For one thing she changes between speaking calmly and matter-of-factly to crying at the drop of a hat. And the crying/upset part is when she talks about the racial epithets. Given the racially charged nature of the situation, that becomes a major factor both in terms of credibility, and moving the trial out of county.”
Then there’s this, from the Charlotte, N.C. News-Observer concerning that second stripper:
“The woman told MSNBC that she did not witness a rape and does not know whether one occurred.”
And there’s this, from ABC, courtesy of Ankle-Biting Pundits:
“ABC News also obtained an audio recording in which a female security guard, who possibly was the first person to see the alleged victim, said she did not mention anything about a rape and that there were no signs that a sexual assault occurred.
“‘There ain’t no way she was raped – ain’t no way, no way that happened,’ the guard purportedly tells a private investigator in the recording, ABC News reported. The guard had called 911, after which police found the alleged victim at a grocery store parking lot, where the guard was working.”
Curiouser and curiouser.