Friday, October 13, 2006

The Accidental Outcry Witness, '60 Minutes' Style

Kim Roberts Speaks, Patrick Baker Spins
In August, when it was revealed that the accuser’s description of the alleged assault, contained within her written statement to police, included the version where she was forcibly pulled away from the second dancer, Kim Roberts, while three additional accomplices restrained Ms. Roberts, we noted that someone should have informed Ms. Roberts that she was the "accidental outcry witness."

The Accidental Outcry Witness:

“The biggest contradiction, however, appears to be with none other than Nifong’s star date rape drug hinter, Kim Roberts. It is with great anticipation that we wait for the spin on how Ms. Roberts being outside really meant inside but outside the bathroom door and how Ms. Roberts waiting in her car for one or two of the Lax players to help a passed out on the back porch dreamer really equates to helping Adam the Short carry the accuser to the car after helping to dress her.”

“To learn that Ms. Roberts is now an accidental outcry witness is perhaps the biggest surprise. Someone really should have told Ms. Robert’s that she would be starring at trial as the first outcry witness before she gave all those interviews saying she “can’t say a rape occurred - and never will.”

Courtesy of this morning's Herald Sun , we know now what that anticipated spin is. According to Patrick Baker, Durham City Manager, Kim Roberts told one thing to police but another to '60 Minutes'.

“Baker said he will be interested to see what new details the show brings to light, but he doesn't believe the Durham Police Department's work on the case should be second-guessed if new statements contradict previous ones.”

"If the dancer says one thing to our officers and another to '60 Minutes,' it raises questions about her credibility and the credibility of the entire case," Baker said. "The Police Department is at the whim of the evidence given to them. ... If people have given the Durham Police Department the wrong information, it's certainly going to affect the DA's ability to prosecute the case."

“But, he cautioned, "Keep in mind these men were indicted by a grand jury. ... It wouldn't be the first time an indictment has occurred based on information that is later proven to be false. I think justice needs to be served. I don't want anyone to go through indictments when they're innocent. If the witness or the victim is not telling the truth, that's going to come out."

What is most odd, and terribly transparent, about City Manager Baker’s weak attempt to pass the buck, and make Ms. Roberts the scapegoat of the investigation, is that it appears that nothing Ms. Roberts said to '60 Minutes' contradicts her written and oral statements to police. To the police, she stated that the accusation was a “crock.” To '60 Minutes', Kim may not have used the “crock” word, but certainly set the record straight that the details given by the accuser are untrue as they relate to what she reportedly witnessed.

If Ms. Roberts is being truthful when she states that the questions from Ed Bradley represent the first time she heard that, in the accuser's version, Kim was a witness to the start of the alleged assault, and to the immediate aftermath, it can only mean that Kim was never presented with, nor questioned about, the specifics of the accuser’s written statement to police. It is shameful for Mr. Baker to lay blame upon Ms. Roberts for the investigators' failure to confirm what she may have NOT witnessed by asking her the same questions Ed Bradley did. It is also shameful for Mr. Baker to claim Kim told one thing to police, and another to ’60 Minutes,’ as there is nothing in Kim’s written police statement to support the accuser’s version of her and Kim being separated by 6 men, or Kim helping the accuser dress afterwards.

As we suspected, Kim Roberts didn’t know she was an “accidental outcry witness.” As remarkable as it seems, nobody informed Roberts about the accuser’s claims regarding Kim’s supposed role in the event. Until Ed Bradley sprung the news on her, Kim had no idea of her role as the "outcry witness." A role that was assigned to her by the accuser.

“In the show, to be aired Sunday, CBS correspondent Ed Bradley asks Roberts, "In the police statement, [the accuser] describes the rape in this way: 'Three guys grabbed Nikki.' That's you," in reference to Roberts' dancing name Nikki."

"'Brett, Adam and Matt grabbed me. They separated us at the master bedroom door while we tried to hold on to each other. Bret, Adam and Matt took me into the bathroom.' Were you holding on to each other? Were you pulled apart?"

"Nope," said Roberts, who also said it was the first time she had heard this account of the event." MSNBC: Roberts says alleged victim wasn't raped by lacrosse players

“Roberts also denies the accuser's statement to the police that after the alleged rape, Roberts came into the bathroom and helped one of the rapists dress her.”When pressed by Bradley about whether she saw signs of rape from the accuser, such as complaining about pain or a mention of an assault, Roberts says, "She obviously wasn't hurt ... because she was fine." 60 Minutes Teaser

It is beyond disturbing to learn that the spin from the City of Durham, by way of City Manager Baker, is:

"If the dancer says one thing to our officers and another to '60 Minutes,' it raises questions about her credibility and the credibility of the entire case,"

Unless Ms. Roberts has given the police an additional, amended statement that contradicts her only known written statement to police, and unless that additional statement confirms the details given by the accuser, details which Ms. Roberts now tells Mr. Bradley she is hearing for the first time, there is absolutely no merit in Mr. Baker’s insinuation that Ms. Roberts' responses to Mr. Bradley contradict her statements to police.

Perhaps Mr. Baker can enlighten the public on when Ms. Roberts told police that she was restrained by three players, when she told police that she saw three other players pull the accuser into the bathroom, and when she told police that immediately after the alleged assault she helped one of the attackers dress the victim. Absent the existence of these statements which Baker implies exist, there is no excuse for his attempt to make Ms. Roberts the scapegoat for the police failures and the District Attorney’s false prosecution.

Contrary to Mr. Baker’s assertion, this failure to interview the "outcry witness" about the accuser's fantastical tale is exactly the reason to second guess the investigation. Consider that after two suspects were indicted, a third remained only 90% identified, with a mustache he never had. With an unidentified “suspect” and an "outcry witness" who supposedly saw the event begin, the police never inquired with her, “Who was the third guy?” Consider that with a woefully weak case, DA Nifong never once sought to bolster his case with confirmation from the witness who supposedly saw the event begin?

Mr. Baker would have us believe that the false prosecution is Ms. Roberts fault for giving false information to police. It would appear, however, that she did not give false information to police in her written statement nor her phone interview as noted by Inv. Himan. It would appear further that, as incredible as it may seem, Ms. Roberts was never asked by police, or the District Attorney, the questions asked by Mr. Bradley. Yet, Mr. Baker would prefer that the readers of the Herald Sun falsely think that Ms. Roberts said one thing to '60 Minutes' and another to police officers.

Perhaps Mr. Baker should have read Ms. Roberts statements to police before he issues a statement informing the public that she said something different to '60 Minutes'. And maybe Kim should have been reading LieStoppers. Then, the news sprung on her by Ed Bradley wouldn’t have come to her as a shock.

Note to Mr. Baker: If the dancer did not say one thing to police officers and another thing to '60 Minutes', it calls into question your credibility and the credibility of the entire case. (Sir, your dump AND your pants are on fire.)

Additional Reading for Patrick Baker:


Anonymous said...

Another great piece. Your analysis of Baker's statements is right on. It is strange because generally I think of a defense attorney as creating "spin". However, in this case, time and time again the "spin" comes from the Durham police dept., DA, public officials, and the Duke adminstration/faculty. Of course, sometimes it is not just spin, but outright lies.

Anonymous said...

Baker needs to be included as a target of any civil suit against the City of Durham...

Anonymous said...

Every person with even a passing interest in this case has known from the start that Kim Roberts' versions of events (including her 911 call, her statements to police, her media interviews, etc.) were completely irreconciliable with the Accuser's various stories. It was obvious to everyone that Kim's testimony, whatever it was, would provide even more proof that the Accuser is lying. Only the most gullible, or ill-informed, observer could have assumed that Kim would somehow corroborate the Accuser's many versions of events. Don't forget that in some of her versions, the Accuser also has Kim assisting the rapists, stealing the Accuser's money, and pushing the Accuser out of her car! No competent or ethical prosecutor would have sought indictments against anyone based on the word of the Accuser in this case. If Baker, Nifong, et al. think they're somehow going to avoid civil liability for Durham or themselves by trying to lay the blame on Kim, they're even bigger idiots than we thought.

TombZ said...

In reflecting on Durham's police, DA, City Manager, Mayor, Duke's 88 and its administration, one word comes to mind:


Anonymous said...

After 60 Minutes airs this Sunday,
I think Mr. Evil should be arrested
for impersonating a district attorney. Bail should be set at $400,000.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Baker was Durham PD's attorney before he became City Manager?

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the Herald-Sun piece on Baker's comment, but the reporter would have to be a complete incompetent if he didn't follow up Baker's statement that "if the second dancer is now telling a story different from the one she told our beloved police department" with the questions: "Mr. Baker, are you saying you've seen her statement to the police and it IS different?" and "If you haven't seen it, then why are suggesting she's lying without any factual basis to do so?"

And if the reporter did not ask such questions, he/she needs to followup the interview and ask them now for a second-day story. And other media outlets (the N&O for obvious example) need to do so as well.

ME said...

City Manager Baker says: "The Police Department is at the whim of the evidence given to them."

Could there possibly be a more definative statement with regard to this rogue DA hijacked fiasco?

A police department left to the WHIM OF EVIDENCE PROVIDED!!

The concepts of a police department investigation that actually includes searching for investigative leads, interview and re-interview of key witnesses, and adherence to departmental norms, policies, and produres seem totally foreign to Baker.

I don't know which is more shocking: that DPD failed to re-inverview Roberts/Pittman to verfiy the complainant's accusations made in her Apr 6 written statement, or that DPD still, as of today, has not spoken to either Collin Finnerty or Reade Seligmann about their actions on the night of Mar 13-14 (as reported today by KC Johnson).

All the above, and what is known about the keystone cops bungling of this fiasco, calls into question whether or not the Durham Police Department has investigative policies and procedures. If the Department has such policies and procedures, its systemic failure to implement and utilize them is yet even more shocking.

And the frightening aspect of all this: DPD reports to City Manager Baker.

Anonymous said...

I love his response! Just like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar! LOL

Liestoppers, you're the Best!

Anonymous said...

Durham needs A LOT more than 60 Minutes, they need 24 Hours! The "Good Ole Boy" system is something you gotta see to believe, and leaves a bad taste of chewing tobacco and Budwesier.

What has changed?! The same people still run the puppet show, and the citizens just watch like three year olds do Barney.

Yes Virginia, Big Strange Purple Monsters do exist! As certain as there are people like you who are gullable enough to swallow what you are fed by the media to believe, instead you trust a box that is loaded with Big Purple Monsters!

Oh, if only there were a 24 Hours in Durham with REAL Outcry Witnesses with the guts to object to the mendacity, the world would be a MUCH better place for us all!