Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Day the Hoax became a Frame

The April 10 Meeting

205. On or about April 10, 2006, Nifong, Himan, and Gottlieb met with Meehan and Defendant Clark, who upon information and belief is the president and controlling shareholder of DSI, at DSI’s offices in Burlington (the “April 10 Meeting”). During the April 10 Meeting, Meehan orally reported the results of all analyses conducted by DSI to date, including the results summarized above, which demonstrated that several men contributed DNA to the various items in Mangum’s rape kit, but excluded with 100% certainty any of the Duke lacrosse players as contributors of DNA on the rape kit items. These Defendants were thus on notice of these DNA results demonstrating Plaintiffs’ actual innocence at the time they sought the indictments of Seligmann and Finnerty on April 17, 2006, and Evans on May 15, 2006.

206. Indeed, rather than concluding the investigation of the Duke lacrosse players after the April 10 Meeting, Nifong, Himan, Gottlieb, Clark, and Meehan began to consider ways in which these exculpatory results could be concealed and obfuscated in a subsequent prosecution of three Duke lacrosse players on rape charges.

207. Ultimately, Nifong, Himan, Gottlieb, Clark, and Meehan conspired to conceal and obfuscate these exculpatory results. Among other things, these Defendants agreed not to take any notes memorializing the substance of their discussions, so as to hide exculpatory evidence from the three innocent Duke lacrosse players to be charged.

208. Nifong, Meehan, Clark, DSI, Himan, and Gottlieb conspired and acted to conceal and obfuscate the exculpatory DNA results, knowing that if those results came to light, they would prevent an indictment or conviction of any Duke lacrosse player they falsely charged. Indeed, the intended and actual effect of this conspiracy was to facilitate an indictment and prosecution of the three innocent Duke lacrosse players, while concealing by omission the true results of DNA testing, which established Plaintiffs’ actual innocence.

209. Upon information and belief, the Supervisory Defendants were aware of the substance of the April 10 Meeting, including the results of DSI’s testing and the illicit agreement to conceal the exculpatory results of DSI’s testing, yet in their rush to charge and convict the three innocent Duke lacrosse players, they willfully ignored and/or were deliberately indifferent or grossly negligent with respect to this evidence demonstrating Plaintiffs’ innocence and the misconduct underlying the investigation. Moreover, the Supervisory Defendants continued to allow Nifong to have primary responsibility for the police investigation, to have Durham Police look to Nifong for direction as to the conduct of that investigation, and to have Gottlieb and Himan continue to participate in that investigation. RCD Lawsuit

Also on April 10, 2006 the SBI DNA results were released. Nifong had known for 13 days, since March 29th that there would be no DNA match from any Duke Lacrosse Player to the body swabs from the false accuser. He had nothing, worst he had exculpatory evidence from YSTR tests from DNASI that there were multiple non Lax male DNA samples found in and on the body of the false accuser and on her underwear.

That night after faxing the SBI results to the Defense Attorneys, after having attended a meeting earlier at DNASI with Meehan, Clark, Gottlieb, and Himan, Nifong had this to say.
“I’m not saying it’s over. If that’s what they expect, they will be sadly disappointed,” Nifong said at a candidate forum Monday night. “They can say anything they want, but I’m still in the middle of my investigation. … I believe a sexual assault took place.” N & O

The next day Nifong attended the NCCU Forum where before an enraged crowd of NCCU students, faculty, and community activists he had this to say.

In response to a question asked by an NCCU criminal justice student, Nifong said the DNA tests are not finished. "We're still waiting for the results of DNA tests that have not been done," he said. N & O
Most of official Durham and Duke knew this charges were false. For the next year the leadership of the City of Durham, Durham PD, Duke PD, and the Duke University Administration would do nothing but let three innocent young men lives hang in the balance for a crime that never happened. Some would actively participate in the attempt to frame any member of the Duke Lacrosse Team.

April 10, 2006 - The Day the Hoax became a Frame

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