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Monday, July 17th 2006

And You Thought It Had Gone Away…

The Duke case since I last commented.

A woman who accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape initially told police she was attacked by five men at a team party and at one point denied she had been raped, according to a police report released Friday by a defense attorney.

If you don’t remember, this is a “hole”-y case against three Duke lacrosse players accused of raping an exotic dancer who came to a lacrosse team party. We have a victim with a history of accusing men of rape and then dropping the charges, alibis (including time stamped ATM receipts and testimony of a cab driven) for two of the accused, a complete lack of DNA evidence, the accuser being discovered passed out drunk in a car in a grocery store parking lot hours after the alleged rape and then repeatedly changing her story, and the other exotic dancer who was there that night calling the victim’s story “crock.”

Still, the fact the case is going forward with nothing but what appears to be a he said/she said case, might not bode well for the defense.

“You kind of find it hard to believe that this case in this condition can find its way to trial unless the prosecution has something going for it that we just don’t know,” said Stan Goldman, a Loyola Law School professor and former Los Angeles County public defender. “That’s the 64-dollar question. What does he have?”

In anycase, Mr. Nifong has taken another turn into a sticky situation. He wants access to records of every lacrosse player’s school ID card, which are used to access buildings on campus. Even the ones who claim to have not been at the party. His reasoning is that he needs to know if they’re telling the truth about that night (where they where, etc.) Their reasoning is, it is a violation of their privacy. A broad sweeping net intended to track the movements of everyone even tangentially involved in this case without respect for probable cause or actual necessity.

He seriously can’t nail down the player’s who are actually important to his case before he files for access to their ID card records? Seriously are the Durham police or DA investigators even working? He needs access to all their records because I’m sure they’ll all be on his witness list…?

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