Sunday, August 06, 2006

Larry, Moe, Curly and maybe Shemp

*PLEASE NOTE: The N&O has issued a correction of Neff's article. The conversation between Nifong and Soucie occurred on 4/4, and not 4/17 as originally reported. We will revisit our conclusions in light of this corrrection, and amend them if needed.

It appears the N&O has finally decided to take District Attorney Mike Nifong to task. After months of relentless pounding by Joan Foster and other concerned citizens, has Melanie Sill finally conceded to turning the tables on Nifong and his cronies? While we cannot say definitively what impact Ms. Foster’s and other’s efforts have had, we are pleased to note today’s front page N&O entry in the war on Nifong’s lies:

Lacrosse files show gaps in DA's case
"A review of prosecution documents in the rape investigation reveals that the district attorney's public statements promised more than the evidence released so far indicates"
Well done, Ms. Foster and perhaps others will follow suit. It appears the News and Observer is anxious to hear from you:

The N& O asks for: Questions about the case?
"Do you have a question about evidence in the Duke lacrosse case? E-mail your question to jneff@newsobserver.com. Include your name and hometown. Our reporters will address your questions and post their answers later this week on newsobserver.com. "
We welcome this article and Mr. Neff's polite request for additional questions. We list below suggestions for questions to Mr. Neff in the hope that you might add your voice to ours in complying with his request.

Random thoughts and questions for Mr. Neff:

The article reveals that on April 4* DPD Officer Soucie documents that:
"Mike Nifong stated that: Also need documentation on escort service and how they do business…Need to nail down what victim did on the day before arriving at 610 N. Buchanan so we can show that she did not receive trauma prior to the incident -- with witnesses."
Was Nifong really looking for witnesses to testify that they saw no diffuse edema in the false accuser's nether region?

Considering that the conversation regarding the second lab seems to indicate that these comments are in response to the discovery, via the first round of testing, that the DNA found within the false one belonged to someone other than the already indicted players, does the desire to "show that she did not receive trauma prior to the incident" rather than a desire to find out whether the trauma could have been the result of other industrious activities demonstrate further that Nifong was intent on framing the accused young men?

Why, after making these comments to Officer Soucie, did Nifong wait until May 3rd, the day after the primary election, to submit DNA from the false accuser’s boyfriend, Mathew Murchison, and two other men?

Wouldn’t he have been a good witness to talk to about the false accuser’s nether region? We find it telling that the submissions of these samples occurs the day after the primary election, don’t you?

Nifong’s comments to Officer Soucie are also puzzling in light of the information we know he possessed at the time the comment was made. The false accuser told police on March 21st that she had performed for a couple in a hotel room using a “small vibrator.”

Was this couple considered as potential witnesses to the lack of trauma to the false accuser‘s nether region?

Does Nifong really need “documentation” on how an escort service does business? Perhaps, instead of looking for "documentation" on how an escort service does business, Nifong's time could be better spend reading "To kill a mockingbird"?

Additional questions:

1. Your article stated, “On April 6, two days after the final lineup, the accuser gave a handwritten statement to police on what she said happened at the lacrosse party. In this version, she portrayed a more violent attack, and painted Roberts, or "Nikki," as a fellow victim rather than a thief and enabler of a rape.”Was that her only handwritten statement? Did the police ask her to write out her statement earlier? If not, how can her statement be granted credibility as it was given after the police began collecting evidence and after the police had talked to other witnesses?

2. Has the News & Observer been asked by either the defense attorneys or the prosecutor for its notes from the interview with the alleged victim on March 25th? That interview was run in the paper and edited to be consistent with the police documents, which at that time included the March 16th search warrant and the March 23rd affidavit to obtain the DNA testing. Will the News & Observer publish the rest of that interview? Does it contain further inconsistencies?

3. In your article you describe the results of the first identification procedure on March 16th as follows: “She did not identify any assailants. She did not recognize any of the players named Adam, Matt or Brett. She picked out four men with 100 percent certainty as being at the party, and one player, Seligmann, with 70 percent certainty as being at the party. She could not remember exactly where she saw each person at the party.” Did the other four men include Finnerty and Evans? Is there legal precedent regarding the admissibility of second and third lineups to identify assailants when previous lineups were negative? How can “70 percent certainty as being at the party” change to 100 percent certainty he was an attacker?

4. In your article you state, “To get warrants, police made statements that weren't supported by information in their files.” What is the likelihood that evidence obtained through use of those warrants will be suppressed? What is the purpose of a warrant if the police can obtain one with false information?

5. Have you seen all 1800 pages of discovery evidence?

6. The alleged victim gave a statement at some point that Kim Roberts robbed her. Was Kim Roberts questioned about this accusation? Only $160 was recovered from 610 N. Buchanan. Where did the rest of the money go? Why were the police so quick to believe Kim Roberts about the money but so dismissive of her statements about the likelihood a rape occurred?

7. Do you have a sense for why Sgt. Gottlieb and Nifong were so quick to discount the likelihood that the 4th person identified, who apparently sort of looked like “Bret,” was an attacker? Why was there no follow up there?

8. The “broom” comment did not appear in the original search warrant but appeared for the first time in the March 23rd affidavit to obtain the DNA tests. Was this inclusion based solely on Kim Roberts’ statement on March 22nd? Did the alleged victim make any reference to a specific broom comment before then? Was the alleged victim informed of Kim Roberts’ statement when she identified the player who made this comment during the April 4th line-up?

9. You identify the fingernail with the partial DNA match as a “false fingernail.” It has also been described as a “plastic” fingernail and an “acrylic” fingernail. Do you have a sense for what type of fingernail we are talking about?

10. You noted in your article that “The nurse's report noted diffuse swelling of the vaginal walls. It made no mention of bruises, tears or abrasion to either the vagina or the anus.” What do medical experts say about the likelihood that someone was raped anally by two difference people with no resulting injuries? Why would there be swelling of the vaginal walls and no anal trauma? What did the police believe was in the interviews and medical reports “obtained by a subpoena” that was consistent with an anal rape?

11. In your article you state the alleged victim “wrote that she had two 22-ounce Icehouse beers before arriving at the party at 11:20 p.m.” Isn’t it true that the alleged victims cell phone records establish that she did not arrive until about 11:40 p.m? Considering that there is indisputable proof that Reade Seligmann left by 12:20 a.m. in a taxi, isn’t this 20 minute discrepancy important because it represents 33% of the time Seligmann and the alleged victim were even at the same location?

12. Do you believe the police officers involved in the investigation believe in this case as strongly as the District Attorney?

13. What are possible consequences for misconduct by the police officers involved in this case?

14. What are the possible consequences for misconduct by the district attorney in this case?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first thing this article shows is that Mr. Nifong really did personally take over not just the prosecution but the investigation of this case. He has waived absolute immunity for his misdeeds, and limited immunity won't cut it. I look forward to the lawsuits that will be filed against him.

Anonymous said...

It is incredible to learn that the accuser's written statement was not taken until April 6. What other contradictions to her verbal statements appear in that written statement? Since this statement was taken well after the affidavits were made by Saacks and Himan, what was the basis for the statements they attribute to her?

Anonymous said...

The article states "Durham Access, the mental health facility, where she was checked out by the supervisor, a staff nurse and a security guard.

"During the check-in process, the victim was asked if something had happened to her and she said yes," Officer Joseph Stewart wrote in his report. "She was then asked if she had been raped and she stated yes."

A registered nurse at Durham Access said the woman was incoherent and her responses appeared "as if she were psychologically hurt," Stewart wrote. The nurse said the accuser's answers to the questions were "more of a traumatic response rather than a drunk response, because her thoughts were broken, but logical due to her trying to hold on to reality."


These notes make it seem odd that no records would exist of her visit there. It appears that she was checked out by three people from Durham Access, yet nothing but a log entry existed according to Nifong at the last hearing. How can that be possible? Is this normal procedure?

The comments attributed to the nurse at Durham Access sound far more similar to Nifong's claims of what the Duke SANE nurse stated than anything that has been reported of the SANE nurse's statements and examination of the accuser. Did Nifong lie when he attributed the comments to the Duke nurse rather than the Durham Access nurse?

Tony Soprano said...

Why haven't any of the media touched on the prostitution angle in regard to the AV?

In driver Jarriel Johnson's official police statement, it appears he is describing illegal prostitution in the days and hours prior to the alleged assault. Johnson specifically describes getting the AV a hotel room the night before - having sex with her, and then leaving her to work and perform jobs. He gets a call from her the next morning to come pick her up at the hotel. On his way to pick her up, the AV calls him on his cell and informs him that while walking up and down the street in the front of the hotel, she met an older gentlemen that wanted to see her peform and that she was returning to the hotel room with the older gentlemen. She told Johnson she needed more time. After arriving at the hotel, Johnson waits approx 90 minutes for the AV and this man to emerge from the hotel room.

In a case, where vaginal swelling and pain seem to be the ONLY physical injury, it seems this aspect needs to be investigated and reported.

This prostitution like behavior, unless one has specifically taken it upon themselves to search legal PDF documents and read lengthy handwritten statements, is largely unknown.

Mr, Neff,

Has the prostitution like behavior by the AV been investigated? Are there plans to report this to your readers?

Thank you,

Tony Soprano

Tony Soprano said...

We know nothing about the woman's (AV) second driver - Brian Taylor.

To my knowledge, there is only one cryptic article on Brian Taylor.

In that article, Taylor claims the AV came to his house showered and then modeled lingerie for him - and asked him his opinions. In that article, Taylor doesn't offer - and apparently is not asked - whether he had sex with the AV. Yet, my understanding is that she listed him as a potential candidiate for the DNA found inside her.

That would mean that Taylor and the AV may have had sex just before he dropped her off at the lacrosse party - and another recent "job" was mentioned by Defense attorneys where the AV performed for a couple with a vibrator.

Since the only injury found at Duke Medical Center was vaginal swelling (edema), this line of inquiry deserves more attention.

I would've liked to have seen Mr. Neff condense and summarize, perhaps in an accompanying chart or box, the sexual encounters documented in the case file - from all sources.

Along with the accuser's credibility, the vaginal swelling is paramount in the case.

The notes by Investigator Soucie, detailed in Mr. Neff's article, show that Mike Nifong understood the importance of that vaginal swelling - and that he needed to rule out other sources as the cause.

Inexplicably, Nifong's investigators found many sexual encounters and intrusive performances that would account for her condition - yet, they proceeded full steam ahead in the public and private prosecution of the Duke students.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't a Police Investigation of the Allegations. It was an attempt to pinned this accusation on any three of the Lacrosse Players!

April 17 & they haven't investigated where the AV was during the day of the party? They just indicted 2 people on what?

Jarriel's Statement 4/6/2006 clearly points out her real occupation and how she went from motel room to motel room!

I hope all 46 Players sue Durham for a Bundle!

as Joe Cheshire says "READ THE FILES!"

Anonymous said...

Duke's Trial by Media - Why the seamy lacrosse scandal may be too hot to be true
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060806/14duke.htm

Anonymous said...

So she identified RS with 70% certainty as having attended the party but with 100% certainty as having forced her to perform oral sex. Huh?

Anonymous said...

1200+400+400=2000. The ho-s were paid 400 each to dance. She claims 1200 was paid to return to the house. She reported 2k stolen. Does this mean she first stole KR's 400 and share of the extra 1200 before KR stole the whole 2000? Has KR been asked if the claim of an extra 1200 is a crock too?

Anonymous said...

Rumors persist that the FA is open for business in Charlotte and has been since March 17 working under the name of PleasureRyde. Someone needs to ask Mr. Neff if he can confirm or dispute these rumors.

Anonymous said...

From the article's reference to the AV's written statement:

[I]Nikki said, "What happened girl, did they hurt you," I said yes, and she said that she would get help for me."[/I]

How in the world does this make sense when considered along with the first 911 call that does not ask for help, the second 911 call to remove the woman from Nikki's car, and the "crock" and other statements by Ms. How-Do-Spin-This-Into-Coin?

Was this help that she offered to get her the drive around and then dump at Kroger? Was it the kicked her outta the car and stole her stuff? Or, was it the "hey, I'll change my story to fit yours" retelling after receiving the bond adjustment?

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Nifong, DA

Anonymous said...

My question, how and why was Mr. Nifong allowed to get away with this? This should have been brought to a screeching halt months ago and Nifong, his office and possibly other city employees and political figures investigated.

Mostly, these young men must at all cost have their names restored no matter what the costs. I will stand for nothing less.

Anonymous said...

These have all been fantastic lies.
And I am enjoying watching them unravel. Sound familiar??

Anonymous said...

The Neff article indicates 5 seperate versions of the immaculate event prior to the written statement the AV gives on April 6 and johnsville out lines the possibility that the total number of versions may be even higher. How could both Baker and Wilson argue that her story has never changed? It makes no sense that they would even try to make such an outrageous claim. Do they expect that if they say people will just take their word for it? This whole thing stinks.