On the evening of March 16, 2006, Durham Police investigators conducted a series of four photo arrays with false accuser Crystal Mangum. Durham Chief of Police Steve Chalmers described these photo lineups in his report to the mayor and city council as conforming strictly to the procedures outlined by the department’s General Order 4077 which requires the inclusion of five known innocents for each suspect. In total, twenty fillers, men known to be innocent of the false allegations made by Mangum, were included in those photo arrays. According to the report by Chalmers, the known innocents used as fillers in those arrays were each members of the Duke lacrosse team. Included among those fillers was Reade Seligmann, who was eventually charged with crimes that exposed him to the prospect of decades in prison.
If the assertion made by Chalmers – that the photo arrays were composed and conducted properly – is true, the conclusion can be drawn that, as early as March 16, 2006, Reade Seligmann was known to be innocent by the Durham Police Department. Yet, one month later, the two DPD officers investigating the transparently false allegations, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Inv. Ben Himan, were the only two witnesses to testify to the Grand Jury that indicted Seligmann. Logically, if Chalmers assertion is true, Gottlieb and Himan would have been the two officers to make the determination on March 16, 2006 that Seligmann and the other 19 fillers were known innocents and therefore valid for inclusion in the lineups. The ramifications of two DPD officers knowingly testifying, under oath, against a known innocent to a Grand Jury at the behest of a corrupt District Attorney are horrifying.
While it may be easier to believe that Chief Chalmers’ claims regarding the inclusion of genuine fillers in the first photo arrays is a blatant falsehood, there remain indications that Seligmann was a known innocent on March 16. If we assume that the Chief is misrepresenting the propriety of the early lineups and accept that in Bizzarro PD Land secondary suspects or “maybe innocents” are used as lineup fillers instead of known innocents, the results of the identification attempt that included Seligmann clearly demonstrated his innocence. If he wasn’t a known innocent prior to his inclusion in the March 16, 2006 photo array, he certainly was a known innocent after the false accuser identified him with only 70% certainty as having been in attendance and stated that she did not recall where she had seen him. Her uncertainty about his presence and her admitted lack of knowledge of where he had been – she ought to have remembered that one place she saw him was in front of her face orally raping her, as she later invented in the subsequent identification procedure on April 4, 2006 - verified his innocence to the officers who would later secure his indictment through their apparently disingenuous testimony before the Grand Jury.
In their December motion to suppress the identification of Seligmann and his co-defendants, the defense attorneys described the early photo arrays that further exonerated Seligmann as follows:
34. Following the accusers interview by Inv. Himan and Sgt. Gottlieb, Inv. RD Clayton of the Durham Police Department was asked to conduct a photo identification procedure with the accuser. He was accompanied by a female investigator, Inv. Michelle Soucie. Inv. Clayton was provided with 4 photo arrays; he did not prepare the arrays, nor did he know the status of the persons in the arrays. Discovery at 1667. The first round of discovery provided by the State on May 18, 2006, contained forms signed by the accuser concerning the identification procedure. Discovery at 414, 407, 384 391, and 392. The only detailed narrative of this procedure appears in an undated and unsigned report prepared by Inv. Clayton and provided to the Defendants on June 22, 2006, in the second round of discovery. 2 Discovery at 1667-68.
35. Sgt. Gottlieb had worked with other investigators on the morning of March 16 to compile photographs of the members of the Duke Lacrosse team; these were prepared from a disc provided by the Duke Police Department. Discovery at 1816. Sgt. Gottlieb instructed Inv. Soucie to place these photographs into arrays; only members of the Duke Lacrosse team were placed in the photo arrays that were to be shown to the accuser. The arrays were constructed so that each array contained a player named Matt, Adam, or Brett. Discovery at 1818.
36. Inv. Claytons report indicates that he arrived at the accusers home at approximately 7:00 pm, less than 72 hours after the claimed assault. He had 4 photo
arrays in 4 folders, each labeled A, B, C, and D. Each photo array contained six photographs. The forms provided to the Defendants on May 18, 2006, reflect that the accuser was asked to identify the person you saw sexually assaulted you. See, e.g., Discovery at 384. The undated report produced by the State on June 22, 2006, claims that Inv. Clayton instructed the accuser that:
"I informed her that if she did recognize a person in the photo in array [sic] to be as descriptive as possible regarding the details of that person. I then told her to use a scale from 1 10 if she was able to recognize the person. 1 being the least and 10 being the highest. I gave her an example as 10 being that she positively recognized the person on the photo 100%. Each photo was displayed for 30 seconds. I showed her one photo at a time. After a photo was displayed I did go back to any pervious [sic] displayed photos in the array."
37. Photo Array A contained the photographs of Glenn Nick, Kevin Coleman, Matt Zash, John Walsh, Reade Seligmann and Dan Oppedisano. Discovery at 408-413. When first shown Photo Array A, according to Inv. Soucies notes, the accuser remarked that this was harder than she thought it would be. Discovery at 1315. According to the later produced report by Inv. Clayton, in photo array (A) she stated that the people in the photos looked alike.
Nonetheless, the accuser was able to select photo #5 (7 10) 70% [Reade Seligmann]. She could not remember where exactly she saw # at the party. Discovery at 1667.
38. Thus, according to Inv. Claytons report, while the accuser was 70% sure that she recognized Reade Seligmann from his photograph, she could not recall where he was at the party.
In a recent story on the impotent report produced by Chalmers and seconded by Durham City Manager Patrick Baker, the News & Observer notes that Baker admits that many of the lacrosse players were cleared prior to the April 4 lineup lottery.
Chalmers and Baker devoted much of their reports to explaining the widely criticized April 4 photo-identification procedure that led to indictments in the case.
The procedure, which did not follow department policy, was not an attempt to identify suspects but to locate witnesses, Baker and Chalmers concluded.
The accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, had viewed photographs of 36 lacrosse players in March and not identified any assailants. So police, at Nifong's suggestion, showed Mangum photographs of the 46 white members of the team. Mangum had said all the attackers were white.
"This decision to attempt to identify witnesses rather than suspects was driven primarily by the fact that the witness had failed to identify her attackers in six previous suspect identification processes which were governed by" police policy, Baker wrote.
"Baker said many players were no longer suspects by the April 4 lineup."