Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why was Crystal's statement not taken until April 6th?

Professor KC Johnson had another brilliant post yesterday, "The Lying Game", covering the responses of the defendants in the Ekstrand lawsuit.

KC questions a stunning fact: Crystal's statement was not made until April 6th, three weeks after her accusations. How could an NTO calling for a 46 man DNA sweep be written up without a recorded statement by the accuser?

Suspicions are that DPD investigators Gottlieb & Himan knew they couldn't be locked into a version when they first interviewed Crystal on March 16th. She had told wildly conflicting stories starting on March 14th as she moved through police custody into Duke University Medical Center hands. Her accusations to Durham DPD Officer Shelton, Officer Sutton, and the medical staff were a constantly changing montage of accusations, recantation, varying amount of dancers, and missing money (which, at one point, she admits she may have been deposited into her bank account.) It appears that no one believed her ever-morphing stories until hours later when she fell into the arms of Sane’-Nurse-In-Training Tara Levicy ,who, of course, later infamously stated to attorneys that she never met a woman who lied about rape.

DPD Officer Shelton had rightly figured Crystal accusations out that night in the hallway of DUMC when he proclaimed loudly, "She lying!"

DPD Investigator Jones was so unimpressed by Crystal's wild tales that she had decided to close the rape file.

However DPD Sergent Mark Gottlieb entered the stage to seize the case away from Investigator Jones. The case was now the hands of a police officer who had just been transferred out of the Duke beat because of his unfair treatment of Duke students.

The Hoax began.

The question remains: when should an investigator take a statement from an accuser? The answer to that question becomes moot when the investigators record all interviews.

In the Duke Lacrosse case we have conflicting physical descriptions of her "assaulters" given by the false accuser to each investigator in the same interview on March 16th. Of course neither gave those descriptions in the first discovery. It never appeared in Himan's official department notes, but rather in a handwritten notebook pages of that interview. Sgt Gottlieb's conflicting descriptions appeared months later in a typed presentation which seem to make up for every weakness.

The reality is that less than honest Police Departments don't take a formal statements until they have worked out the conflicts in their theory of the case. The Gell case was clear warning to all NC Police Departments to keep notes. The response of Durham Investigators in this case was simply to either withhold them, not take them, or make them up.

Also this case it is alleged that Levicy modified the Sexual Assault report to suit the evidence, imaginary as it was. The magic towel appears late in the game to explain away the lack of DNA.

Is our Justice system just an adversarial GAME where truth is secondary to winning?

Until North Carolina makes it mandatory that all interviews of accusers and witnesses must be recorded, we will continue to have Hoaxes with less than honorable investigators. Like transcripts for Grand Jury proceedings we are still waiting. More importantly, JUSTICE is waiting. Until we demand change, we will allow ourselves to be in jeopardy to ideologues and corrupt law enforcement officials.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

ADAs Cline & Saacks should have asked has this accuser given a recorded statement before that NTO was submitted? But how can you forgive an experienced Superior Court Judge Stephens who signs it?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant exposition. This post should appear as a letter to the editor in every newpaper in North Carolina.

Until the public is alerted to the potential danger awaiting each citizen in North Carolina who can be victimized by our police system nothing will change. Dishonest officials never give up their power willingly.

dsl

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder about Judge Stephens. Was he in the back pocket of Nifong? Did he really read through the documents that were submitted or did he just give them the once over and then sign? Once again, the very tangled strands of this case are there for all to see.
If nothing else, the responses of the defendants in the various court briefs show that the safeguards that one thought one possesses in this country are not in play in Durham. One waits with baited breath to find out how the court will rule vis-a-vis the discovery motion.
The Triangle area of North Carolina is not a place that I would want to find myself nor is it a place that I would want to spend major bucks for my offfspring to receive an education. Where are the business leaders, the law school professors, the North Carolina legal community? Are they cowed into a quiet submission of "there is nothing one can do"? While there are many wonderful qualities about North Carolina (I once lived there and still have siblings who reside in the Charlotte area) one has to wonder whether the potential that one has of being deprived of one's civil liberties is worth the nice weather.

bill anderson said...

April 6 is the day when everyone involved on the police and prosecution figured they could "get their story straight." Notice that there was no "towel" in the story until the SBI lab reported some of David Evans' DNA on a towel found in the hall of 610 N. Buchanan.

Tara Levicy then spun that into a fabricated interview with Crystal, who then received instructions when she wrote her statement that remarkably matched Levicy's fabricated interview. Nifong figured he could fool a jury with the "magic towel" routine after he had secured indictments.

However, neither Nifong nor the police had counted on Reade Seligmann's electronic alibi. When Kirk Osborn put that information on his web page and when the local news stations interviewed Moez Elmostafa, the Nifong camp had been hit with a WMD.

First, the information released demonstrated that the very story they had worked so hard to fabricate COULD NOT BE TRUE. Second, Nifong and the police had deliberately not looked at Seligmann's alibi beforehand, which now placed Nifong in a position in which he was refusing to look at exculpatory evidence, which would be a strike against him when he was tried by the NC Bar.

Third, Reade was able to raise doubt as to his guilt in a very public forum, when then cast doubt on the entire case.

On April 6, Nifong figured he had things in the bag. He had his "lineup" IDs, Crystal had written a semi-coherent statement (that pretty much had been set up for her by Nifong's gang), and he knew that the press and Durham's power structure, as well as the people who mattered at Duke, would stand behind him.

If you want to know why Nifong went after Elmo with a vengeance, and why Himan wanted Reade charged with obstruction of justice, there is your reason. The semi-seamless case fell apart and the only thing he could do to put it together was to send Linwood Wilson December 21 to meet Crystal and fabricate a new story and a new timeline. But, by then the people who mattered had caught on to Nifong's game, and he and his beloved case were toast.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to track the movements, meetings, phone conversations, and emails that took place among the various members involved in the hoax following the release of the electronic alibi of Seligmann. My hunch is that there were a flurry of contacts (given Mr. Anderson's outline of the importance of April 6th). What Nifong et al never counted on was the determination of those individuals, with no ax to grind other than the desire to see that real justice (as opposed to the Nifongesque/Dukesque brand) was done.

Anonymous said...

I think that any tales of "Tara's story" is fabricated.

Anonymous said...

10:35 - please clarify -- do you mean the tales told by Tara contain fabrications (I agree) or do you mean tales told about Tara's role in the hoax are fabricated?

If Tara had not modified medical/SANE documents after the fact and had not provided PD/Nifong with evolving "facts" in the case -- Tara wouldn't have to be worried about her tale(s)...

Anonymous said...

That would be the tales told aboout Tara's role in the hoax are fabricated.
I don't think she has anything to worry about - certainly, not her Nursing License, and there is not one shred of evidence against her. Its hearsay.
You will see and those of us who know better, will be shouting "Told you so."

Anonymous said...

Stephens is also tied to the release of the R. McFadyen ' American Psycho' e-mail. Everyone involved had all 20+ e-mails they players had sent to each other..it is impossile not to know they were all joking with one another (OK we know it was nasty but joking nonetheless) It was only released to inflame the community against the players. It had no relevance at all. Ruined a young mans reputation however.
It is just amazing that there was so much indifference that allowed so much corrpution to take place against the Lacrosse team . From the university to both police departments to the DA office and the rest of the Durham community. The above writer is correct...we need a telephone, e-mail trace !!

Anonymous said...

10:16... Tales told about Tara ... what? Tales like she performed the SANE exam (when she didn't because she wasn't certified) and she saw evidence of blunt force trauma? Testimony under oath (at Nifong's Bar hearing) will hardly be considered hearsay.

And her 'no DNA doesn't mean no rape -- after all the accused may have used condoms' and 'rape isn't about ejaculation, it's about power' -- oops -- Tara's own report twice indicates that the false accuser said no condoms were used -- she didn't say she was unsure -- matter of fact she says the accused ejaculated in her. And, later calling back to clarify -- 'oh yeah, no DAN could mean no rape too'. Well that revelation was pretty darn late in the game... obvious that until that point Tara BELIEVED and told PD/DA that no DNA meant nothing.

Her belief that a three person gang rape and beating could produce no DNA shows, at minimum, her ignorance.

An inexperienced nurse, even more inexperienced SANE with a demonstratable feminist agenda (never met a woman who lied about rape).... why didn't she direct PD and Nifong to Dr. Manly - the person who did perform the exam?

I pray for those that Tara continues to 'nurse' -- if she'll jump to conclusions so easily in the Duke Hoax -- how safe is anyone under her care?

Awaiting depositions --

Anonymous said...

10:16... Tales told about Tara ... what? Tales like she performed the SANE exam (when she didn't because she wasn't certified) and she saw evidence of blunt force trauma? Testimony under oath (at Nifong's Bar hearing) will hardly be considered hearsay.

And her 'no DNA doesn't mean no rape -- after all the accused may have used condoms' and 'rape isn't about ejaculation, it's about power' -- oops -- Tara's own report twice indicates that the false accuser said no condoms were used -- she didn't say she was unsure -- matter of fact she says the accused ejaculated in her. And, later calling back to clarify -- 'oh yeah, no DAN could mean no rape too'. Well that revelation was pretty darn late in the game... obvious that until that point Tara BELIEVED and told PD/DA that no DNA meant nothing.

Her belief that a three person gang rape and beating could produce no DNA shows, at minimum, her ignorance.

An inexperienced nurse, even more inexperienced SANE with a demonstratable feminist agenda (never met a woman who lied about rape).... why didn't she direct PD and Nifong to Dr. Manly - the person who did perform the exam?

I pray for those that Tara continues to 'nurse' -- if she'll jump to conclusions so easily in the Duke Hoax -- how safe is anyone under her care?

Awaiting depositions --

Anonymous said...

Tara is every bit as culpable as Nifong.

Anonymous said...

What exactly did Tara testify to at the bar hearing that incriminated her? The bar hearing testimony was a non event in terms of the questions asked her and answers. Both Tara and the Medical Doctors signed in the wrong place on the printed check list. Lets see the written "fabrications" if there are any available.

Sigfried said...

As someone in law enforcement it is obvious that no statement was taken because they knew that the allegation of rape was false and any statement would be full of holes. Usually behavior like this would be criminally prosecuted by State or county prosecutors. If they did not, then the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department would investigate and prosecute. This proves that the Civil Rights Division only looks to prosecute cops who violate the civil rights of non-whites or criminals. White civil rights victims of law enforcement misconduct have no recourse. I have investigated civil rights violations by federal law enforcement personnel and the only cases that the Civil Rights Division takes are those crimes commited by whites against either non-whites or common criminals.