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 email@example.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"?
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?