I'm not a lawyer. But for the hell of it, let's say I am. My name is Michael Nifong and I am a District Attorney. A stripper tells police she was raped at a party and I am assigned the case. Now should I just arbitrarily believe everyone who walks in the door and pleads their case? Does she sound creditable? Should I run a background check? If I decide to run one and it comes back like the one below wouldn't at least a flicker of doubt pop into my mind.
(Some of this occurred after the case was filed).
(Some of this occurred after the case was filed).
Credibility of the accuser:
Lawyers for the Duke lacrosse players have said that Mangum was intoxicated and possibly on drugs. It has since been confirmed by the Attorney General's office that Mangum has taken Ambien, methadone, Paxil and amitriptyline, although when she began taking these medications in uncertain. She has a long history of mental problems and has been diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder. She also has taken anti-psychotic medications such as Depakote and Seroquel.
Defense attorney Bill Thomas urged her to retract her statement, saying that the rape allegations were concocted to avoid a charge of public drunkenness. The Duke defense lawyers or media reports have said that:
DNA results revealed that the woman had sex with a man who was not a Duke lacrosse player. Attorney Joseph Cheshire said the tests indicated DNA from a "single male source" came from a vaginal swab taken from the accuser. Media outlets reported that this DNA was from her boyfriend.
A DNA report released in December 2006 revealed that sperm from several males was found in the accuser's body and on her underwear; none of which was from any of the Duke players. Mangum has denied engaging in any sexual activity in the days before the assault, saying that she last had sex a week earlier. She also said that her attackers did not use condoms and ejaculated.
In 2000, she was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, but not convicted. Court records indicate that her driver's license was revoked but do not indicate why.
She was convicted of stealing a car and sentenced to 3 weekends in detention. (In 2002, she stole a taxi from a man to whom she was giving a lap dance. A high speed chase then ensued, and when the deputy chasing her approached the stolen taxi on foot, she tried to run over him. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of larceny, speeding to elude arrest, assault on a government official and driving while impaired.)
She had made a similar claim in the past which she did not pursue. "On Aug. 18, 1996, the dancer - then 18 years old - told a police officer in Creedmoor she had been raped by three men in June 1993, according to a police document. She did not pursue the allegations. The officer who took the woman's report 10 years ago asked her to write a detailed timeline of the night's events and bring the account back to the police. "Apparently she never returned," Granville County DA Sam Currin said."
The accuser told authorities that in 1998, her husband threatened to kill her. However, she did not appear at the court hearing and thus the charges were dropped.
The accuser frequently passed out while performing as an exotic dancer at the Platinum Club in Hillsborough, according to the former club manager. The former manager also stated that Mangum had to be dragged out of the establishment onto gravel either one or two nights prior to the March 13 party: "She was heavy. It took four or five of us to carry her outside. She was dead weight. That's how passed out she was. She never woke up. We could have put the scratches on her. That could be how she got them." The former manager went on to describe the accuser as "a club employee whose problems with other dancers and customers sometimes made it hard for her to make money," citing an event in which she started to pull a female customer's hair.
According to the Platinum Club owner, the accuser danced at the club on March 23, 24, and 25. Those were the same dates she told doctors she was "in excruciating pain from the [...] beating." The owner said the accuser did not say anything about being raped 10 days earlier. Similarly, 60 Minutes released a video of her dancing at the club less than two weeks after the alleged incident, again leading to the media doubting how in pain she actually was.
The strip club's security officer said that the accuser told co-workers four days after the alleged incident that she "was going to get money from some boys at a Duke party who hadn't paid her," adding that she essentially said, "I'm going to get paid by the white boys." The security guard did not make a big deal of it "because no one takes her seriously."
So let me see if I got this straight:
1. Three guys are falsely accused of rape, their lives are forever changed, pay millions in legal fees, and possibly could have received life in prison. They could sue Nifong but I doubt he's got that kind of money. Good luck on trying to collect from Mangum.
2. Mike Nifong is disbarred. He should be nailed to the cross (I would gladly supply the hammer and nails). He threw the disciplinary committee a bone by supporting it's decision in the hope it will result in no jail time. Personally, I think he should get up to two years in jail. F. Lane Williamson the chairman of the three-member disciplinary committee said this. "This matter has been a fiasco. There's no doubt about." He is absolutely right but he failed to look at the entire "fiasco" and that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, brings us to number 3.
3. Crystal Gail Mangum gets a free pass.
Someone tell me... where in the hell the justice is in this!