Tuesday, April 27, 2010


By sceptical

(I would like to thank Quasi, JSwift, Q.A. and Baldo for their suggestions)

THURSDAY JUNE 1: Duke University Deputy Counsel Kate Hendricks sends a letter to attorneys representing lacrosse team members, informing them of District Attorney Mike Nifong’s May 31 subpoena of team members’ home addresses and key card data. The letter states that Duke considers this information protected under FERPA, but does not inform the players that key card data had already been improperly given to Nifong by Duke Police back on March 31.

New York Times columnist David Brooks writes a guest column for The (Duke) Chronicle titled “The Duke Witch Hunt” stating in part: “The members of the lacrosse team were male, mostly white and mostly members of the suburban bourgeois middle class (39 of 54 recent graduates went on to careers in finance). For many on the tenured left, bashing people like that is all that's left of their once-great activism. And maybe the saddest part of the whole reaction is not the rush to judgment at the start, but the unwillingness by so many to face the truth now that the more complicated reality has emerged.”

FRIDAY JUNE 2: The head of Duke’s key card department, Matthew Drummond, also sends a letter to all lacrosse team members, informing them of Nifong’s subpoena for identity card data. He states the information will be turned over June 12 unless he receives objections from the players. The letter also does not reveal that Duke Police already gave Nifong the key card data in March.



MONDAY JUNE 5: Duke University announces that the school's men's lacrosse team will resume play in the fall, but under stronger administrative standards. "I am, I know, taking a risk in reinstating men's lacrosse," President Richard Brodhead says in a prepared statement. "The reinstatement is inevitably probationary. ... (If) we did not allow these players the chance to take responsibility for creating a new history for their sport at Duke, we would be denying another very fundamental value: the belief in the possibility of learning from experience, the belief in education itself."

Brodhead says he and athletics administrators would rethink their decision if they see any repeat of "patterns of irresponsible, individual or team behaviors familiar from the past." Possible violations include underage drinking, disorderly conduct and harassment.

President Brodhead sends a letter to the Duke community which reads in part:
“Let me also say a word about the players. These students have lived through an extraordinarily painful situation for the last eight weeks. Whether or not the felony charges are upheld against the three indicted students, the fact is that members of the team engaged in irresponsible and dishonorable behavior on the evening of March 13, and those who were involved bear responsibility for their actions. For all that, few of us have suffered an ordeal like the one that unfolded as intense media interest turned this event into a worldwide news story. Setting aside the legal charges, which must be resolved in court, I am pleased that team members have acknowledged the error of their conduct and have made the commitment to create a new history for themselves and their sport at Duke.”

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that controversial black professor Houston Baker and his wife are leaving Duke for Vanderbilt University. Baker was critical of how Duke administrators handled the lacrosse case.

TUESDAY JUNE 6: Kevin Cassese is named as Duke’s interim men’s lacrosse coach while a search begins for a permanent replacement for Mike Pressler. At a press conference introducing Cassese, several lacrosse team members crowd into the back of the press room at Cameron Indoor Stadium, joined in a show of support by basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, football coach Ted Roof and women's lacrosse coach Kerstin Kimel.

DA Nifong is on "a fishing expedition" in his quest for records of students not charged in the lacrosse case, attorneys for one player say in court papers. Nifong issued two subpoenas May 31. The first asks Duke for home addresses for 47 lacrosse players and two other students; the second asks for identity card data that could track where the 49 students were in the hours before and after the alleged rape. Thomas C. Manning and Robert Ekstrand, who represent Frederick Krom Jr., file a motion in Durham Superior Court asking that Nifong's subpoenas be quashed.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 7: It is revealed that the DNA tests that failed to link lacrosse players to accuser Crystal Mangum cost taxpayers nearly $23,000. DNA Security of Burlington analyzed 23 "evidence specimens" at $450 apiece and 50 "reference specimens" that cost $250 each.

THURSDAY JUNE 8: Defense lawyers file a motion to suppress the identifications that Crystal Mangum made in photo lineups. The motion states the accuser went through at least six sessions with police, trying to point out her attackers. Defense attorneys for Collin Finnerty request notes and results from all the line-ups. They say how the accuser identified her alleged attackers is critical to their defense, suggesting discrepancies in the process. Three days after Mangum claims she was raped by three players, she was shown a series of pictures of possible suspects. Attorney Joe Cheshire claims his client, Dave Evans, was never picked in the first lineup. Three weeks later, police conducted another lineup with Mangum. During that session, she identified Finnerty and Reade Seligmann with 100 % certainty. She also picked Evans with 90 % certainty.

The motion also reveals medical evidence contradicting claims by Durham police and prosecutors that Mangum had been beaten, choked and gang-raped at the team party. The claims were part of the request for a non-testimonial identification order for the lacrosse team. Defense lawyers reveal in the filing that police have a medical examination of Mangum that showed only a small scratch on her knee, a small cut on her heel and vaginal swelling. The lawyers suggest these injuries could be explained by Mangum’s activities in the days before the March 13 party.

The new court filings also state that a second dancer initially told Durham police that Crystal Mangum’s rape claim could not be true and that it was "a crock." According to the 32-page motion filed by Kirk Osborn, the second dancer, Kim (Roberts) Pittman, told police that she was with Mangum the entire time at the party except for a period of less than five minutes. But police search warrants made public earlier claim Mangum told police she had been raped, beaten and sodomized for a 30-minute period by three lacrosse players in a bathroom.

Attorneys Bill Thomas and Jay Ferguson, representing other unindicted lacrosse players, file another motion to quash subpoenas DA Nifong issued May 31 ordering Duke to release the home addresses of 47 lacrosse players and two other students, as well as DukeCard tracking data from the night of March 13. The lawyers write that the subpoenas were unlawfully issued and violate the North Carolina State Bar's Rules of Professional Conduct and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. They state that Nifong had inappropriately used the subpoenas as a "broad discovery tactic" instead of employing them to obtain specific information pertinent to the case.

Black professors at Duke are quoted criticizing the university administration’s response to the the lacrosse incident in a Chronicle article: “Black faculty in particular [have been affected] because of the very racial dimensions of some aspects of the incident," says Paula McClain, a political science professor who is black. "The substantial number of faculty people that I have talked to have all felt the same way--that the University failed to recognize the racial dimensions of this and failed to address it quickly." Six black faculty are leaving their positions at Duke this summer, five from the School of Arts and Sciences and one from the Fuqua School of Business.

FRIDAY JUNE 9: The Johnsville News blog reports that the motions filed June 8 show that: “Describing Crystal Gail Mangum as a sex worker is 100% accurate based on this new information. In fact, she was an overworked intoxicated sex worker when she went to the Duke lacrosse house. Her driver, Jarriel Johnson of Raleigh, gave police a handwritten sworn statement on April 6 that detailed his time with her. Two days before the party, Johnson said he drove the woman to an hourlong appointment at the Holiday Inn Express in Wakefield. At 11 p.m., Johnson said, he drove her to Platinum, a strip club in Hillsborough. The woman twice asked him to stay another hour, he wrote. At 4:30 a.m., Johnson said, he drove her to an hourlong job at the Millennium Hotel near Duke University. The next night, Johnson said, he drove her to Raleigh ‘to find this guy she met.’ They checked into a hotel near Lane Street, bought Chinese food and waited for the man to call. Johnson said he left at midnight. When he came back the next morning, Johnson said, he waited in his car while the accuser performed for an older man in the hotel room.”

SATURDAY JUNE 10: Washington Post runs a sympathetic article “Lacrosse Players' Case a Trial for Parents/ Faith in Their Sons' Innocence Sustains Them Amid Ravages of Scandal” with quotes from some of the D.C. area lacrosse team families.

SUNDAY JUNE 11: New York Times publishes an opinion piece “ Jocks And Prejudice” by Nicholas Kristof which begins:
“As more facts come out about the Duke lacrosse scandal, it should prompt some deep reflection.
“No, not just about racism and sexism, but also about the perniciousness of any kind of prejudice that reduces people -- yes, even white jocks --to racial caricatures. This has not been the finest hour of either the news media or academia: too many rushed to make the Duke case part of the 300-year-old narrative of white men brutalizing black women. That narrative is real, but any incident needs to be examined on its own merits rather than simply glimpsed through the prisms of race and class.”

MONDAY JUNE 12: Duke law professor James Coleman says Nifong should ask the state attorney general for a special prosecutor to handle the case against the lacrosse players. Coleman, who led the university's investigation of the lacrosse program, says evidence presented by defense lawyers has made him question whether Nifong is too personally invested in the case. "I don't think he's showing detached judgment," Coleman says. "I personally have no confidence in him."


WEDNESDAY JUNE 14: Durham Police interview Mariecia Smith of Durham Access, where Crystal Mangum was first taken early in the morning of March 14. Smith provides a summary of the accuser’s time at Durham Access, where Mangum first claimed she had been raped.

Crystal Mangum’s cell phone is made available to defense lawyers for analysis after several requests. Durham police have reportedly not analyzed the phone previously.

THURSDAY JUNE 15: Rolling Stone publishes an article “Sex & Scandal at Duke --Lacrosse players, sorority girls and the booze-fueled culture of the never-ending hookup on the nation's most embattled college campus” in its June 15 edition, smearing the social scene at Duke University.

Defense lawyers file court papers questioning whether DA Nifong read Crystal Mangum’s medical records before he gave dozens of interviews describing details of the alleged assault and her injuries. In interviews beginning March 27, Nifong repeatedly said the medical examination showed that the accuser was raped in a bathroom at the team party March 14. "On March 29, 2006, Mr. Nifong claimed to have read a medical report that, according to discovery, was not printed until March 30, 2006, or retrieved by law enforcement pursuant to Mr. Nifong's own subpoena until April 5, 2006," according to Joe Cheshire and Bradley Bannon, Dave Evans' attorneys.

The News & Observer’s Joseph Neff reports that in the early days of the Duke lacrosse incident, Mike Nifong's public statements appear to have contradicted certain facts in his own files. A comparison of his words with documents that Nifong gave defense lawyers show that Nifong made what appear to be misstatements about condom use, a purported struggle involving choking, and a 911 call made by the second dancer, among other things.

Duke Athletic Director Joe Alleva states he hopes to have a permanent replacement to Mike Pressler as men’s lacrosse coach by August. He announces some members of a search committee, according to an article in The Chronicle.




MONDAY JUNE 19: Mike Nifong releases an angry e-mail he sent June 13 to Newsweek after the magazine criticized his prosecution of the lacrosse case:
"What has surprised me is the utter lack of any degree of skepticism on the part of the national media with respect to the claims of the defense attorneys, many of which are misleading and some of which are absolutely false," he writes in the e-mail. "Is anyone surprised that the defense attorneys are spinning this case in such a way that things do not look good for the prosecution?" he asks. "None of the 'facts' I know at this time, indeed, none of the evidence I have seen from any source, has changed the opinion that I expressed initially," he says. He continues: "The only people I have to persuade will be the twelve sitting on the jury, and if you want to know how I am going to do that, you will need to attend the trial. If in the meantime, you and other 'journalists' want to continue your speculations in the competition to come up with the most sellable story … then please spare me the recriminations when you get things wrong, as you inevitably will."

Newsweek publishes an article by Susannah Meadows titled “Lacrosse Scandal: The Duke Accuser--New Credibility Questions” which raises doubts about Mangum’s credibility based on revelations in defense motions filed earlier in the month.

Steve Monks, chairman of Durham County's Republican Party, criticizes the handling of the Duke lacrosse rape investigation, and states he is trying to get enough signatures to challenge DA Nifong in the November election. "I've got to either continue to watch this train wreck happen or try to do something about it," Monks says at a news conference.

MSNBC anchor and Duke alum Dan Abrams again expresses skepticism about Nifong’s case. "There are so many contradictions in [Mangum’s] story that this DA never should have brought this case," Abrams says on "The Abrams Report.” Abrams argues the charges against the players should be dropped on the basis of insubstantial evidence. "We do know what [Nifong] had at least at the time these guys were indicted, and it ain't much," Abrams states. “Considering what has been turned over, I will be surprised if this case makes it to trial."

TUESDAY JUNE 20: Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has been out of sight during the lacrosse scandal, speaks out about the events of spring and calls critics of big-time college sports narrow-minded. Krzyzewski asserts he stayed in the background because he wanted to mind his place. "I am the basketball coach. I'm not the president, I'm not the athletic director and I'm not on the board of trustees and don't want to be," says Krzyzewski, who also holds the title of special assistant to the president. Behind the scenes, Krzyzewski states he supported President Brodhead and athletics officials, including former lacrosse coach Mike Pressler, who resigned in April. He says he and his wife recently dined with the Presslers, whom he calls friends of theirs.

USA Today publishes an editorial : “Every day, the criminal case against three Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping a woman hired to strip at a team party last March seems to unravel a bit more. DNA evidence has failed to identify a rapist, the credibility of the stripper and a key corroborating witness has shifted uncomfortably, and the prosecutor who brought the charges stands nearly mute — unwilling or unable to explain why the case he once pushed so publicly now seems so weak.”

WEDNESDAY JUNE 21: The father of Reade Seligmann says the case "has taken an unbelievable and horrendous emotional toll" on his family, which borrowed $400,000 from a friend to post their son's bond. In an affidavit seeking reduced bond, Philip Seligmann says his son, "has never been involved in the criminal justice system in any state before the filing of these charges…We are committed as a family, along with Reade, to do everything necessary to restore our good name." The affidavit is filed along with a motion by defense attorneys seeking additional discovery evidence, specifically access to Mangum’s computer -- which they believe to be in the possession of the Durham Police Department -- and records from the Durham Access Center, where she was taken for involuntary commitment before she told police she was raped.

Former Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler is interviewed by Sports Illustrated. Pressler tells SI he wanted to stay at Duke, but athletic director Joe Alleva gave him the choice of resigning or accepting an indefinite suspension. "I felt if I was allowed to continue, I could solve any problems," Pressler says. "... Anytime I'd been aware of something, I took care of it," he says. "But the administration felt that wasn't going to be the case. For me to buck, that would not be in the best interest of those 47 kids and all the alumni. Take a bullet? I'd do it again."

The N&O reports that the two challengers to DA Nifong trying to get on the November ballot each have to collect 6,303 signatures of registered voters in only nine days. County Commissioner Lewis Cheek, who practices corporate law, is appealing to voters through a mass mailing and an e-mail campaign. Steve Monks, the county Republican Party chairman, who practices family and criminal defense law, is taking a more folksy route, planning events and dropping petitions off at Northern Durham bait shops and other businesses. The challengers are critical of Nifong's handling of rape accusations arising from the lacrosse team party.

THURSDAY JUNE 22: At a hearing Judge Ronald Stephens reduces Reade Seligmann’s bail from $400,000 to $100,000. Also, DA Nifong says he has provided defense attorneys with an additional 536 pages of evidence. Nifong states he didn't have a toxicology report to turn over, although he later refuses to say if such a test was performed. Among the other items Nifong has yet to turn over is an analysis of Mangum’s computer, which he says is still pending, and records from Durham Access Center where authorities took Mangum before she told police she had been raped. The only record from the facility, Nifong states, is a single page from a log book he is still working to obtain. At the request of Seligmann's attorney, Kirk Osborn, Stephens orders Nifong to turn over to a judge for review Mangum’s hospital records from June 1993, when she said she was raped in nearby Creedmoor.

Nifong, who has come under criticism, remains publicly confident about the case and seems equally confident in court during a brief exchange of words with Cheshire. "And people who don't do a lot of rape cases, probably don't know that," Nifong says at one point, to which Cheshire shoots back, "Amazingly enough, I have tried a few rape cases in my 33 years." Cheshire later has a confrontation with investigator Linwood Wilson outside the courthouse.

Reade Seligmann has remained very upbeat in the midst of the high-profile rape investigation, according to a CBS News correspondent. "He's a very confident young man," CBS reporter Trish Regan tells WRAL. “His parents told me he's the kind of person who always looks at the glass as half-full." Regan says Seligmann, 20, has been spending his time away from Duke finishing his coursework and working out -- and he hopes that he will be able to play lacrosse again. "And interestingly, he told me he wants to be a lawyer," Regan reports. "He had thought about being a lawyer prior to this, and this entire incident has convinced him that this is his calling."

FRIDAY JUNE 23: A Durham police officer who interviewed Crystal Mangum describes her as nervous and says her story changed several times, according to a police report made public by defense attorney Joe Cheshire. The report by Gwen Sutton, dated in the early hours of March 14, also details several comments by Mangum that conflict with a version of events presented by authorities, including the number of strippers at the party and number of men she says attacked her. In Sutton's narrative, Mangum says she was one of four dancers at the party and that she was attacked by five men. The one-page narrative is included in the 536 pages of additional discovery Nifong handed over June 22. Cheshire, who represents David Evans, releases the report after the verbal confrontation with investigator Linwood Wilson.

SATURDAY JUNE 24: In an interview with the News & Observer, defense attorney Joe Cheshire says much of the additional evidence handed over June 22 duplicates documents previously turned over or consists of the players' academic records. Cheshire says he is struck that police apparently had not investigated the escort services where the two dancers worked, yet they conducted an extensive investigation of a taxi driver whose sworn statement is part of Reade Seligmann's alibi.


MONDAY JUNE 26: Lawyers for Reade Seligmann file a motion seeking a "bill of particulars" that would detail information prosecutors used as the basis for charging him with rape, sexual offense and kidnapping. Among the 22 pieces of information requested are the exact time and place where the alleged assault took place. The motion, filed by Kirk Osborn and Ernest Conner, says Seligmann has provided a "complete alibi" that clears him of any suspicion. It also argues that the accuser has changed her story several times and says the defense needs to know "which story is going to be presented as the 'true story.'"

Newsweek publishes a lead article about the lacrosse case by Evan Thomas and Susannah Meadows titled “Doubts About Duke-The prosecutor insists his rape case is strong. One big problem: the facts thus far.” An Editor’s Note says the article “examines the growing evidence that the prosecution may not have a convincing case, and that the accused lacrosse players may have been victims of an overzealous D.A. and an overheated press corps.”

TUESDAY JUNE 27: David Evans is found guilty of a noise violation stemming from a party on January 10, 2006. Durham police officers Kevin Watt and E.C. Peterson testify that they heard music from two houses away as they approached 610 N Buchanan. Peterson states once inside, he had to shout to ask that the music be turned down. Watt says Evans and Flannery were polite and respectful. Both were charged with violating the city's noise ordinance. Durham District Court Judge Elaine Bushfan orders Evans to pay $110 in court costs and gives him a “prayer for judgment,” a finding that means the conviction will not appear on his record. Initially, the state had agreed to dismiss the complaint if Evans completed community service, paid court costs and stayed out of trouble, but DA Nifong reinstated the charge after the lacrosse party. Flannery was previously found not guilty by another judge with the same evidence.

Andrew Cohen, CBS News legal analyst, attacks the news media for taking a pro-defense stand in the lacrosse case in an article in the Washington Post titled“The Media Rush to Duke's Defense:”
“ Here, journalists are tripping all over themselves to quickly and repetitively report the biased view of the young men's defense attorneys, family members, and other supporters. And the prosecutor, after saying a bit too much too early about his case, now is saying nothing at all, leaving the defense spin unchallenged and gaining both in perceived credence and volume. There is nothing wrong with this defense strategy -- I would do it, too, I suppose, if I were representing the alleged rapists -- but just because it's a good idea for lawyers doesn't meant it is good journalism. There is no balanced coverage in the Duke case. There is just one defense-themed story after another.”

WEDNESDAY JUNE 28: Supporters of Durham County Commissioner Lewis Cheek say they have enough signatures to put his name on the November ballot to challenge DA Nifong. Campaign manager Jackie Brown says Cheek's volunteers had gathered 7,215 names by this afternoon. Cheek must present 6,303 verifiable signatures -- 4 percent of the county's registered voters -- to elections officials by noon June 30 to make it onto the ballot. Cheek's campaign sent out about 25,000 letters to voters the previous week asking for their signatures.

THURSDAY JUNE 29: Superior Court Judge Ronald Stephens lowers bond for Collin Finnerty from $400,000 to $100,000. On June 22 a similar reduction had been ordered for Reade Seligmann.

It is revealed that Ryan McFadyen’s suspension from Duke was lifted June 7. The Duke lacrosse player, who was suspended for sending a private e-mail message about killing and skinning stripper, has been reinstated to the university, according to his attorney Robert Ekstrand. Bloggers and supporters of McFadyen have noted that while the message was in poor taste, it was sent in jest as a take-off of "American Psycho," a Bret Easton Ellis novel about a serial killer that was made into a movie and is a team favorite. The novel is assigned by some Duke professors in their classes.

FRIDAY JUNE 30: Judge Stephens also reduces the bond of David Evans from $400,000 to $100,000.

Wade Smith, representing Collin Finnerty, says that Finnerty passed a polygraph test weeks ago. Smith will not disclose the questions the lie-detector operator asked his client. Earlier, Finnerty's parents appear on NBC's "Today Show" to defend their son. Kevin Finnerty tells his television interviewer that his son could prove his innocence. The elder Finnerty does not disclose details of his son's alibi but mentions cell phone and dormitory access records. "He has numerous eyewitnesses every step of the way, every minute of the night.”

Durham County Commissioner Lewis Cheek hands in more than 9,800 voter signatures to beat a noon deadline. It is the first step in apotential challenge to DA Nifong, a fellow Democrat who has been criticized for his handling of rape accusations against lacrosse players.


(The Duke lacrosse case article indices in the Raleigh News & Observer and the Duke Chronicle have been taken down following website revisions. Articles can still be found using the search feature of the new websites.)




Duke University & Brodhead Statements

Duke University Archive of Media Coverage

Johnsville Blog Posts

WRAL Stories

KC Johnson’s Case Narrative

Chronology by Vance Holmes “Poetic Justice”
CBS News Chronology

AP Chronology

Wikipedia Timeline

Hat Tip: The Editor would like to highly commend sceptical for his continuing series. His Chronolgy is the most definitive resoucre of the events surrounding the Duke Lacrosse Frame on the web

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