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Monday, April 17th 2006

Awaiting The Grand Jury

Two Duke lacrosse players (not three) indicted under seal by the grand jury.

A grand jury issued sealed indictments Monday against two members of the Duke University lacrosse team in connection with allegations that a stripper was raped last month at a team party, NBC News’ Dan Abrams reported, citing two unnamed defense sources.

The charges against the two players are unclear, Abrams reported.

The Durham DA is relying on the physical exam of the alleged victim, in which signs consistent with rape were found, and her identification of her alleged attackers.

Earlier, the exotic dancer identified two players with 100 percent certainty and a third at 90 percent as having raped her at a party last month, ABC News reported Monday, citing what Durham County prosecutors told the players’ attorneys.

I guess 90% on the third alleged assaulter wasn’t quite good enough.

You can watch an interview with the second exotic dancer who was at the Duke lacrosse party at the MSNBC site, in which she appears to believe the allegations but admits to have no specific knowledge of the attack. This contrasts with what defense attorney investigators who questioned the woman were told,

Defense attorneys, however, have said the women told them she didn’t believe the allegations.

“She did tell us that she didn’t have any reason to believe the woman’s story, and if she’s changing her story yet again, it will be interesting to see what she told the police,” defense attorney Joe Cheshire said Monday.

As well, again from the MSNBC site, investigators for the defense have released an interview with the security guard who called 911 says that the “passed out drunk” victim never mentioned being raped.

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.