SUMMARY OF THE ACTION
1. This action arises out of a combination of actors and entities that, from time to time, we refer to herein as the Consortium. The Consortium included a world-renowned University, its faculty, its police department, its medical center, and a SANE nurse; a city, its city manager, its police department, and a rogue officer; a private DNA lab, its lab director, and its owner; and a prosecutor who was disbarred, and subsequently convicted of contempt and incarcerated for certain of his acts in furtherance of the Consortium’s conspiracy.
2. Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of the Consortium’s conspiracy to railroad 47 Duke University students as either principals or accomplices based upon the transparently false claim of rape, sexual offense, and kidnapping made by a clinically unreliable accuser on March 14, 2006. The conspiracy was facilitated by overt acts and by the refusal to intervene on the part of those in the Consortium who knew of the wrongs conspired to be done to Plaintiffs, had the power and authority to intervene, and refused to do so.
3. The conspiracy’s vehicle was the false accusation of rape made under circumstances akin to duress, by a woman with a long, troubling psychiatric history. When the duress was removed, Mangum quickly recanted the rape claim. However, in the hands of the Consortium, Mangum’s recanted accusation of rape morphed into a brutal gang rape, the horror of which grew in each retelling. It would never be the same story twice. Her claim was taken virtually from her lips and fashioned into a weapon in the hands of those who would leverage outrage was animated by racial was unleashed at once on 47 of them.
4. The Consortium’s conspiratorial objectives in the matter of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. were motivated by a racial animus and also by an animus based upon Plaintiffs’ their perceived status as non-citizens of the state of North Carolina.
The defendants retaliated against the team members for having the temerity to reach for the protections of the United States Constitution, the only thing that could keep them safe from wrongful convictions upon false allegations of the most horrific kind and from a rogue prosecutor and a rogue police officer who wanted and needed to prove they were true.
5. Over the course of the 13 month investigation into Mangum’s false accusations, defendants conspired to achieve the retaliatory purposes of their conspiracy by, among other things, agreeing to conceal the overwhelming evidence of innocence they found or knew to exist very early on; agreeing to fabricate forensic medical evidence, including the falsification of medical records associated with Mangum’s Sexual Assault Examination, agreeing to conceal from Plaintiffs powerful exculpatory DNA evidence to which Plaintiffs were entitled by law before indictments in the matter were handed down; agreeing to fabricate witness testimony from the State’s witnesses, and to harass, intimidate and threaten the witnesses who would prove Mangum’s claims a lie; and by agreeing to make consciously parallel public false statements impeaching the character and credibility of the accused 47 members of the men’s lacrosse team.
6. All of the foregoing conspiracies depended for their continuation upon an overarching conspiracy between Duke University and its co-defendants to conceal the fact that, at all times relevant to this action, the investigation of Mangum’s claims was the Duke Police Department’s investigation. Mangum alleged she was raped and sexually assaulted at a residence that was within the Duke Police Department’s jurisdiction, and, by statute and agreement, Duke University Police had the primary responsibility to “initiate and conclude” an investigation of Mangum’ s allegations.
7. The fact of Duke Police Department’s jurisdictional obligation to investigate Mangum’s false accusations was kept secret through another overarching conspiracy among all Defendants to publicly and privately conceal it.
8. So great was the damage done the 47 Duke University students on the men’s lacrosse team that even the unequivocal exoneration after a re-investigation led by two of this State’s most revered respected prosecutors could not repair it. For 13 months, the defendants and others not yet named in this action conspired and colluded to subject plaintiffs and their teammates to public outrage and condemnation before a national and international audience, day after day. Throughout this affair, those who had the power to destroy Ryan, Matt, Breck, and their teammates acted to destroyed them; and Duke University, with the statutory authority and power to intervene to prevent the wrongs being committed upon their own students, refused to intervene.
9. It was not until North Carolina’s Attorney General’s Office and its special Special Prosecutors, Senior Deputy Attorney General James J. Coman and Special Deputy Attorney General Mary D. Winstead obtained jurisdiction that the truth of what happened at 610 N. Buchanan became the aim of the investigation in this matter.
10. The word “innocent” does not trip lightly off the tongue of a prosecutor. Coman and Winstead, with State Bureau of Investigation (“SBI”) Agents DeSilva and Tart, sought the truth, found the truth, and insisted upon a declaration of innocence. On April 11, 2007, the North Carolina Attorney General declared Plaintiffs and their teammates innocent. For the tireless work of Special Prosecutors Coman and Winstead, SBI Agents DeSilva and Tart, and the Attorney General’s declaration that Mangum’s allegations were a hoax, Ryan, Matt, and Breck are enormously grateful. This case is not about them, nor is it about the justice system in North Carolina. This case is a reckoning; it is an accounting of those who were willing to obstruct and pervert justice to serve their own selfish aims, those who had the power to intervene and did not, and the damage they have done.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
SUMMARY OF THE ACTION