Sunday, September 25, 2011


By sceptical

(Thanks to Quasi, Baldo and Q.A. for suggestions and comments on the final draft.)

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 1: In his blog “Durham-in-Wonderland,” Prof. KC Johnson of Brooklyn College describes a Duke University course-- “Hookup Culture at Duke”—being offered this spring. Cross-listed by women’s studies and cultural anthropology, the course is taught by instructor Anne Allison, a member of the “Group of 88” professors who signed a controversial April 6, 2006 ad in the Chronicle shortly after rape allegations against Duke lacrosse players by Crystal Mangum. The goal of the course is: “To understand ‘hooking-up’ at Duke in terms of larger frameworks of race, capitalism/consumerism, class, lifestyle, identity, (hetero)normativity, and power, and 2) to enable students to critically assess both the nature of Duke hook-ups and the institutional setting of Duke itself.” Johnson gives the course as an example of “a campus culture where 88 faculty members could sign a rush-to-judgment public denunciation and then, months later and after the underlying case has imploded, issue a “clarifying” statement proclaiming that they’d do it all over again.”

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2: NPR runs a segment “Duke President takes fire over lacrosse case” by Adam Hochberg in which Duke VP John Burness attacks the lacrosse players:

“But Duke Vice President John Burness defends the school's response. He says administrators stand by their decision to punish the team for its party behavior, which he says included not only hiring exotic dancers, but also directing racial slurs toward them. And he says Duke has little choice but to let the criminal charges play out in court. Burness says that alumni continue to donate to Duke at record levels, and that — coupled with a stable application rate — convinces him the university responded well. But while one of the accused players now has graduated from Duke, the others haven't decided whether to return. The father of one of them says he hesitates to send his son back to a university that, in his words, didn't "stand up for our boys."

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3: The Raleigh News & Observer (N&0) reveals criticism of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong by North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley in a speech given January in New York. Easley calls Nifong the worst appointment he had ever made, and confirms that Nifong had violated an agreement not to run (he had been interim DA).

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 4: Duke lacrosse fans and supporters stand together at the Durham County Courthouse, where former lacrosse players Collin Finnerty, David Evans, and Reade Seligmann previously appeared to face felony charges for alleged rape. More than 100 people then walk 3 miles from the courthouse toward Duke’s lacrosse field in support of the 3 men. At the end of the walk, there is applause for the lacrosse team as they practice on the field. Two activist groups spearhead the gathering -- Concerned Duke Mothers, formed in response to the initial rape accusations, and Ethical Durham, a group that encourages Duke students to vote and support ethical causes. After previous protests where people taunted the lacrosse players, supporters say it is time to show the accused players who’s behind them. Their ranks include DA Nifong's former campaign manager, Jackie Brown. “(We’re wearing) the fantastic lies buttons, for those fantastic lies (Nifong) told,” Brown says. “That makes me feel like my son is in a good place at Duke, in Durham, and that there are other people who believe in justice,” says Tracy Tkac, whose son plays on the lacrosse team.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 5: A critical hearing in the Duke lacrosse case previously scheduled for today has been postponed until May as the new special prosecutors continue to study evidence. The accuser in the case, Crystal Mangum, was expected to appear at the hearing and defense attorneys planned to ask Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III to throw out her photo identifications of the defendants. Legal experts have said without the accuser's photo identifications, prosecutors would probably have to dismiss the charges against the three former lacrosse players.

Black journalist Cash Michaels closes down his website “ourheartsworldlatest” with an attack on supporters of the indicted Duke lacrosse players:

“Virtually every other site devoted to the subject is authored and administered by journalist-or-detective-wannabes who believe their rank speculation, blatant lies and blanket condemnation of anyone who is not a Duke Three supporter qualifies them to be the ultimate authority of what's right and wrong in this case, if not in life. Here's hoping none of these egomaniacs ever run for public office where they respectively live. Neo-Nazism simply just doesn't merit a place on the ballot. But then there are the hate-filled mice these Pied Pipers of bias and ignorance attract out of the woodwork and onto their message boards, infesting the truth with their unique brand of vicious untruths about the accuser, her family, her supporters--Black and white, the African-American community, and this website. For the most part, ignoring the ignorant is always good advice, because what these unfortunate people crave is attention for their morally malnourished behavior. But there are times when it is not only worthy, but necessary to publicly counter out-and-out coldblooded lies about our honest, community-based efforts to support the rights of the Duke case accuser.”

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 6: Two members of the Durham grand jury that indicted 3 lacrosse players tell ABC News that they now have second thoughts about the case. The grand jurors spoke anonymously since grand jury proceedings are secret. One juror says the indictments were a mistake while the other stands by the original decision. "Knowing what I know now and all that's been broadcast on the news and in media, I think I would have definitely made a different decision," one of the jurors says. "I don't think those charges would have been the proper charges, based on what I know now." Because of more recent developments concerning the case, however, both say they have doubts about the charges. They also say they don’t understand why DA Nifong did not drop all charges when the rape charge was dropped Dec. 21.

The N & O reports that a nonprofit corporation set up to help 3 former Duke lacrosse players defray legal expenses is about a quarter of the way towards recouping an estimated $3 million in legal fees spent to date. The Association for Truth and Fairness, incorporated in Delaware on April 19, has raised about $750,000, according to one of the three founders. Legal bills have mounted for Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann since they were charged with rape at a lacrosse team party last March. The accused have hired a team of defense lawyers that has spent hundreds of hours on the case. The team has hired private investigators, pollsters, and experts on DNA and forensics. Kevin Finnerty, father of Collin Finnerty, does not quibble with estimates of the $3 million spent so far. "Unfortunately, that is accurate," Kevin Finnerty says. James Cooney, a Charlotte lawyer who represents Seligmann, states a trial would push the price higher. "It would be extremely expensive," Cooney says. Sherman Joyce, an Evans family friend who helped organize the nonprofit, explains the goal is to raise $5 million to pay the lacrosse legal bills and more.

Chronicle columnist Kristin Butler explores why some media outlets have now identified rape accuser Crystal Mangum while many newspapers, including the Chronicle, have not. In a column titled “The worst, kept secret…” Butler argues that there is a double standard for women who falsely accuse men of rape, and that false accusations are not rare events:

“For one thing, there is no especially compelling reason to believe that printing the names of false accusers will keep future victims from reporting rapes; there is, however, evidence to suggest that false rape allegations are much more common than many people are aware, and that the media's policies may even create a perverse incentive to cry rape. Indeed, the FBI estimates that 9 percent of rape claims are "unfounded"-- -defined as dismissed with no charges filed: this is several times the 2-percent rate often quoted by the media. Much more disturbing were the results of a study conducted by Eugene Kanin, professor of sociology at Purdue University, which found that 41 percent of rapes reported in an unnamed Midwestern town over a 9-year period were ultimately retracted by complainants. In a secondary study that has disturbing implications for campuses like this one, Kanin found that fully 50 percent of rape claims at two unnamed "large, public universities," were eventually recanted.”

FEBRUARY 7: Two former members of the grand jury that indicted 3 Duke lacrosse players can be charged with contempt for talking about the case. Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson Jr. says he could not believe it when he heard the two grand jurors on an ABC Television program talking about the Duke case. The judge calls the secret grand jury process the most sacred in the judicial system. The judge would not give details about what he might do, but he states grand jurors who discuss a case can be charged with contempt of court, a misdemeanor offense that can carry up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. "It was pretty clear to me that the jurors are in violation of North Carolina law," Hudson says.

Defense attorneys for the 3 indicted lacrosse players meet again with the North Carolina special prosecutors today, their second session in as many weeks after having had no meetings at all with DA Nifong. They decline to disclose what was discussed.

KC Johnson reports a petition from the Duke Conservative Union already signed by 200 students is on the group’s website and on Facebook. The petition demands an apology from the “Group of 88,” Duke faculty who signed an ad in the Chronicle on April 6, 2006. The petition reads in part:

“In the ad they not only tacitly supported the accusations of the now utterly discredited accuser, but praised protestors who similarly rushed to judgment, while levying baseless accusations of racism against our student body. In a time of intense emotions and enormous stakes, when our community dearly needed a call for calm, for patience, for rational and careful thinking, these professors instead took a course of action which escalated tensions, spurred divisions along race and class and brought our community into greater turmoil. Their actions also further undermined the legal process and most likely emboldened a rogue district attorney.”

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8: The N&O reports that Linwood Wilson, DA Nifong’s chief investigator in the Duke lacrosse case, was reprimanded in 1997 by the state commission that licenses private detectives. After an appeal of the board's decision was unsuccessful the following year, Wilson allowed his investigator's license to expire-- ending a 16-year career as a private eye that was marked by repeated complaints and at least 7 formal inquiries into his conduct. In a July 15, 1997, letter to the state Private Protective Service Board, Wilson complained that the reprimand would hamstring his ability to testify at trials. "When a letter is placed in my permanent file it is open to the public and therefore could be damaging to my creditability in court," Wilson wrote. "I could be cross examined by any attorney who has gotten a copy of my file." In a Jan. 24 article, the N&O reported that Wilson's file at the state board contained records of allegations from 20 years ago that he made false statements on the witness stand and set up an illegal telephone tap. In both cases, state investigators wrote in internal memorandums they thought Wilson had likely broken the law, but no charges were filed. Wilson, 58, says in an interview last month that his integrity had never been called into question and that he "retired" as a private eye in 1998 because he was tired of the acrimony that comes with working divorce and child custody cases.

The group Friends of Duke University places an ad in the Chronicle challenging the “Group of 88” faculty and their “Clarifying Statement” issued January 17 by “Concerned Faculty.” In a press release, FODU spokesman Jason Trompbour states:

“We remain sincere in our efforts to reach out to them. We are dismayed that, not only would they chose to ignore our efforts, but that they would instead respond with a defiant refusal to admit mistake either in judgment or expression and that they would insult the motives and/or intelligence of their critics. We do not begrudge members of the Group of 88/Concerned Faculty their right to call attention to social issues of concern to them. We instead condemn the unfair public vilification of members of the lacrosse team done in the course of expressing their concerns.”

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 9: Durham political activist Beth Brewer files a civil complaint against DA Nifong seeking to remove him from office. Later, a judge says he will issue an order on Monday to stay any action on the complaint. Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson says the complaint filed today basically mirrors ethics charges the North Carolina State Bar filed against Nifong within the past two months. Citing provisions in North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 7A-66 on the removal of district attorneys, Brewer charges Nifong with willful misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the office into disrepute. Last year, Brewer organized a political action committee, "Recall Nifong -- Vote Cheek," to elect Durham County Commissioner Lewis Cheek as district attorney, even though he had decided he was not running for the office. "This was filed by a woman who tried to defeat me through the political process," Nifong says after he had a chance to review the complaint. "Since that wasn't successful, she obviously tried to pursue this through this particular remedy." The complaint is significant, former federal prosecutor Dan Boyce says, and raises questions not only about Nifong's ability to serve as district attorney, but also his right to practice law. Nifong also says in an interview that he is looking forward to defending himself against the State Bar's ethics charges and that he is working with his attorneys on a response, which is due Feb. 23. "I wish everyone would withhold judgment until they hear the evidence, as well as my response," he tells WRAL, adding that there is more to the Duke lacrosse case than what the media has reported.

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 11: James (Jimmy) Regan, a Duke lacrosse player (class of 2002) and U.S. Army Ranger, is reported killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Assistant Coach Kevin Cassese played with Regan for three years, and addressed the current team: “What I said was that he was a guy who worked hard every day, who would do anything for his teammates, and would do anything to make the team better.” Cassese spoke of Regan’s performance in the 2002 ACC Championship game, when Regan scored four goals. Jack Moran, Regan’s high school lacrosse coach, says, “You couldn’t ask for a better person”—someone who passed up the opportunity to go to law school to serve his country, because “he felt there was a higher calling.” Regan served a tour of duty in Afghanistan before being stationed in Iraq. It would take over 2 ½ years until Duke University included Regan’s name on a war memorial in a ceremony led by U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 12: Beth Brewer, the Durham resident who last week filed court papers seeking the removal of DA Nifong from office, questions a judge's decision to delay action on the issue. Brewer filed a civil complaint against Nifong on Friday, alleging willful misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the office into disrepute. Judge Orlando Hudson says the civil complaint mirrors ethics charges the North Carolina State Bar has filed against Nifong, and he issues an order today that would defer Brewer's complaint until after the State Bar hearing in the case is completed. "Due process of law requires that the district attorney be allowed to defend himself before one tribunal at a time regarding the allegations," Hudson writes in the ruling. But Betty Tenn Lawrence, an Asheville lawyer representing Brewer, challenges Hudson's authority to postpone the removal proceeding. State law dictates that the judge act on a civil complaint within 30 days, Lawrence writes in a letter to Hudson. Hudson tells WRAL that his decision to delay action on the complaint constitutes acting on it. Brewer and her attorney could file a motion asking the state Court of Appeals to force Hudson to take some other action, but there was no word today on whether they plan to do so.

Police are investigating allegations that a Duke University student was raped at an off-campus party around 3 a.m. yesterday. More than 50 people attended a rowdy party over the weekend at 405 Gattis St., a duplex where several male Duke students live, according to Durham police. Neighbors say large number of cars were parked along the street and loud music blared from the house. An 18-year-old woman (months later self-identified as Katie Rouse) says she was raped in a bathroom of the residence, according to a Durham police news release. Police had not charged anyone but released a description of a suspect. The man is described as being in his late teens or early 20s, about 6-foot-1 and wearing a black do-rag, a gray and blue jeans, according to a police news release. Yesterday afternoon, beer cans and sweatshirt bottles were strewn throughout the lawn and bushes of the residence.

Members of the “Group of 88” hold a forum at Duke to discuss issues relating to the lacrosse case. They accused their critics of “McCarthyism” and urged them to “shut up and teach,” in the words of Prof. Charles Piot.

In a Chronicle column “Alumns: Withhold your support,” senior Steven Miller writes:
“The lacrosse scandal brought to light in a new way many of the tragic problems facing our University and the unwillingness of the administration to correct them. If we truly love Duke, and truly support its students, then we will take action to repair the University we love and to protect all its students present and future. If we truly love Duke, then we will demand that it live up to its ideals. What sense is it for alumni to criticize Duke, see Duke be totally unresponsive to their criticisms and then to keep the checks rolling in? Is it any wonder Duke perpetually ignores the grievances of its students and alumni? “

Blogger John-in-Carolina discusses the differences between the so-called “Wanted” and “Vigilante” posters which appeared on the Duke campus following rape charges against the Duke lacrosse team. There were four versions of the text-only “Wanted” posters which were produced for Durham CrimeStoppers by Durham Police Cpl. David Addison. The “Vigilante” poster contains the photographs of 43 Duke lacrosse players and was produced anonymously. Both posters inflamed public opinion against the lacrosse team

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 13: Mary Katherine Ham writes a blogpost “A tale of two rapes in Durham” in which she and contrasts the media and public reactions to rape allegations against white lacrosse players made by a black woman last year to those concerning the recent rape in which the accuser, a Duke freshman, is white the alleged suspect is black:
“There's another accusation of rape floating around Durham this week. The accuser was allegedly attacked at a house party this Saturday. The accuser is white. The suspect is black. Heard anything about that? Yeah, I didn’t think so. The mainstream media has bent over backward to keep race out of this. Even those who first gave a description of the alleged rapist as a “black man” later redacted that from their reports. The News & Observer never printed it at all. And none has pointed out, as the Duke Chronicle has done, that the alleged victim was white, making this a mirror image of the Duke lacrosse case."

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 14: Duke University administrators will wait for Durham police to finish their investigation of a freshman's allegations that she was raped at an off-campus party before doing an inquiry of their own. Larry Moneta, vice president of student affairs, says he heard about the incident early Sunday. "We're providing direct support to the woman," he asserts. Durham police were called to 405 Gattis St. at 3 a.m. Sunday after an 18-year-old (later self-identified as Katie Rouse) reported being raped in a bathroom there. No charges have been filed. Members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., one of whom lives at the house, organized the party that started Saturday night and continued into early Sunday. Police filed a second incident report from the home shared by several Duke students and owned by Arcadia Land Management, which, according to county property records, is an Oklahoma company. At 11:11 a.m. Sunday, police filed an incident report for three drug violations: possession of marijuana, Oxycontin and cocaine. As news of the reported rape spread through the blogosphere Monday, many people questioned whether DA Nifong would show the same interest in the investigation as he did the Duke lacrosse case. According to the Chronicle: “The alleged victim ‘is doing as well as can be expected,’ Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek said. University officials said Monday that they had met with members of the fraternity after the report was filed by the alleged victim, who Wasiolek confirmed is white.”

In a two-part blogpost, Prof. KC Johnson examines the actions of the “potbangers” who held protests outside the lacrosse house at 510 N. Buchanan St. after Crystal Mangum alleged she was raped there. He contends that as evidence grew of the innocence of the lacrosse players, the “potbangers” used other charges, such as racism and sexism, against the lacrosse team. “The one constant in this progression: having come out strongly against the players early on, the potbangers were determined to find something to justify their assault on the lacrosse players’ character,” according to Johnson.

A Chronicle article reveals that the rapper Common criticized the Duke lacrosse team during a concert at Emory University in April, 2006. Common is scheduled to appear during Last Day of Classes (LDOC) festivities. Several students who attended a concert held at Emory University April 19, 2006 said that Common incorporated lines such as, "I'm the boss, f--- those boys from Duke lacrosse" into his act while freestyling. "That was the first time he brought it up-as a punchline-and then emphasized it later," says Tal Hirshberg, Trinity '04 and a third-year law student at Emory. Hirshberg adds that about 40 minutes after the first mention of Duke lacrosse in the concert, Common said he "really believes in [his] heart that those boys in Duke lacrosse did it-- that they raped a black princess." LDOC Chair Beth Higgins, a senior, says she had not been aware of the incident during the LDOC committee's proceedings with Common. "I am very shocked that that happened," Higgins says. "I'm surprised he accepted the offer if he felt that way."

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 15: In a letter to the Chronicle, Duke economics professor Roy Weintraub takes strong issue with the “Group of 88’s” assertion that those who disagree with them are guilty of McCarthyism. Weintraub writes:
“So I read with astonishment the recent panelists' invocation of McCarthyism as their characterization of the criticism they have received for their public statements or writings. They face no death sentence, no jail time, no threats from Trustees or administrators of employment termination, no loss of income, no loss of custody of their children, no loss of their passports, no reduction whatsoever in their public or private circumstances. I don't ask the panelists to shut up and teach. I ask them instead to understand that for various Duke faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents and alumni to disagree with them in public or in private is neither McCarthyism nor an academic travesty and betrayal of the values of our institution, but is rather an expression of their believing otherwise.”

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 16: Prof. William Anderson of Frostburg State University points out in detail actions taken by state actors in the lacrosse case which he asserts have been illegal, and their attempts to cover-up those actions. He says: “Granted, I have my doubts that the North Carolina authorities really are interested in investigating and prosecuting their own, but, nonetheless, I figure that it does not hurt for the readers to know about the commission of crimes, especially when they are committed by the police and prosecutors... Thus, I will lay out some of the actions taken by police and prosecutors that clearly are legal violations, and then let the actions speak for themselves.”

Blogger John-in-Carolina investigates the role of Durham Police Cpl. David Addison in propagating the lacrosse hoax. Addison acts as liason to CrimeStoppers and also serves as a police spokesman. John- in Carolina notes:

“March 24 was a very busy day for Addison: the Duke lacrosse story was breaking. In WRAL – TV’s first report on the case, Addison told the public: ”You are looking at one victim brutally raped. If that was someone else's daughter, child, I don't think 46 [DNA tests] would be a large enough number to figure out exactly who did it.”

That same day Addison spoke to the Raleigh News & Observer which the next day reported in a story the N&O told readers concerned “sexual violence”:

”[A]uthorities vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity.
‘We're asking someone from the lacrosse team to step forward,’ Durham police Cpl. David Addison said. ‘We will be relentless in finding out who committed this crime.’”
Addison went days telling the public about the “victim” who’d been “brutally raped.”

The Johnsville News blog hands out tongue-in-cheek “Freedom of the Press Awards” for reporters’ and editors’ questionable coverage of the Duke lacrosse case. “Winners” include Samiha Khanna, Anne Blythe, Ruth Sheehan, Melanie Sill and Linda Williams of the N&O; John Stevenson and Bob Ashley of the Herald-Sun; Cash Michaels of the Wilmington Journal; Duff Wilson of the New York Times; and Shadee Makalou of the Duke Chronicle,

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 18: LieStoppers features a post about a New York Journal of Law article by Henry Korn titled “District Attorney Scandal in Duke University Case.” The Korn article summarizes the actions of DA Nifong in the case and concludes:

"There are sure to be many more developments in the story of how Mr. Nifong conducted the prosecution of the three Duke University students that will have direct impact on his license to practice law. This is a story that squarely teaches that 'rushing to judgment' without wisely stepping back and reviewing the evidence runs directly counter to the ethical obligations that govern how attorneys are required to conduct themselves. The harm of such ignorant conduct is that others are grievously wounded. Familiarity with, and adherence to, the code of professional responsibility provides the foundation for attorneys to avoid abuse of their license and harm others by so doing."

MONDAY FEBRUARY 19: Police make an arrest in connection with a Duke University freshman's allegation that she was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party earlier this month. Michael Jermaine Burch, 21, of 322 Junction Road, Durham, is charged with second-degree rape. He is being held in Durham County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. The arrest came eight days after Durham investigators were called to 405 Gattis St. early Feb. 11. Members of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity threw a party at the rental property where one member of the fraternity and three other Duke students lived. The party drew more than 50 people and spilled outside the duplex. The 18-year-old accuser, later self-identified as Katie Rouse, told investigators she was sexually assaulted about 3 a.m. in a bathroom. She went to Duke University Hospital, according to police radio reports. Burch is not registered as a student at any college or university. He was arrested as he left his job at the Rose's department store on N.C. 54.

Two supporters of DA Nifong—Victoria Peterson and Jackie Wagstaff -- organize a “District Attorney Appreciation Week” in Durham. The sole event is a barbequed chicken lunch attended by Nifong staffers, the two organizers, and two other women. The Herald-Sun reports that Nifong suggests the event's organizers are more in tune with reality than countless out-of-state hecklers who criticize his handling of the controversial Duke lacrosse case. "If you rely on certain media, you might think there is universal disapproval of me," Nifong says, referring largely to national television outlets that have relentlessly hammered him over the lacrosse incident. "But if you're closer to home, you realize that's not true," he adds.

Prof. KC Johnson analyzes the on-air performance of broadcaster Nancy Grace regarding the Duke lacrosse case. He states she has used innuendo, non-existent evidence, unawareness of basic facts of the case, and denigration of skeptics in her commentary about the case.

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 20: Sports Illustrated publishes an article by S.L. Price titled “The season after” describing the upcoming return of the Duke lacrosse team for its first game since the team’s season was cancelled last year because of the rape allegations.

“When they come out for warmups against Dartmouth, the team will be divided into thirds, with each wearing a special shirt bearing the number of one of the accused. But any hope of turning the experience into motivational fodder "is jaded by the fact that three of our close friends are undergoing a horrible experience," says senior co-captain Ed Douglas. "For me to try to find a good thing in this whole process seems almost smug."

And the players know that many in the public believe their irresponsibility cost their coach his job. That's why they are keeping a lower social profile on campus this year, why the seniors have pledged themselves to what Douglas calls "a sober preseason." That's why, just minutes before they walked out to practice last Thursday, Sue Pressler, Mike's wife, addressed the team in the locker room, something she never did in all the years her husband was coach. She spoke of the elephant still looming over the case -- that the public still believes something happened that night -- and that it's time for that elephant to die. She told the players that the Pressler family has never blamed them for what happened, told them she loved them, told them it was time to stop running and be proud again.”

NCCU law professor Irving Joyner is criticized by Prof. KC Johnson. Joyner, who is the “case monitor” for the North Carolina NAACP, has been outspoken in his criticism of the lacrosse players, whose March, 2006 party he calls “perverted,” and in his pro-prosecution support for DA Nifong and the Durham Police. Johnson states, “Even to the end, Joyner has tried to get the case to trial. Almost alone among observers, he contended that the dropping of rape charges made it more likely to get convictions”

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 21: Duke lacrosse defendant Reade Seligmann could be leaving Duke and be headed to play for Brown in the Ivy League. Brown University Sports Information Director Chris Humm confirms that the school is trying to recruit the 6-foot-1 midfielder for its men's lacrosse team. Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., was suspended last spring from Duke after he was indicted on charges of kidnapping, rape and sexual assault stemming from an off-campus lacrosse team party. Seligmann graduated from the Delbarton School, a Roman Catholic school in Morristown, N.J. He won three state lacrosse titles while he attended the school but saw limited playing time after arriving at Duke. There, he played only in six games and scored one goal before Duke President Brodhead canceled the season in April. In January 2007, Duke invited Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, 20, to return as students in good standing. Evans, 23, graduated from the university in May.

DA Nifong has been granted an extension to file a written response to ethics charges leveled against him for his handling of the Duke lacrosse case. Nifong's response to the North Carolina State Bar complaint was due Friday Feb. 23, but the Bar's disciplinary commission moved the deadline to Wednesday Feb. 28 because one of Nifong's attorneys is ill. The State Bar has accused Nifong of withholding evidence from lawyers defending 3 lacrosse players charged with sexually assaulting a stripper, of lying to the court and to bar investigators, and making misleading and inflammatory comments about the players. Legal experts say Nifong could be disbarred if he's convicted. Also today, ABC-11 reports that last week the special prosecutors interviewed Nifong as part of their continuing investigation into the case. The Attorney General's office confirms that the meeting took place, but did not release details.

The N&O reports on differences in public reaction between rape charges stemming from the lacrosse party and those from the more recent alleged attack at an off-campus party:
“Now there are new sexual assault allegations from another off-campus Duke party, and avid chroniclers of the twists and turns in the lacrosse case ask: "Where are the potbangers?"
"That's a good question," said Manju Rajendran, one of the organizers of the potbanger protests. "Why is there not a massive reaction every time a rape occurs? I feel like that should happen any time there's rape." Some say the city is fatigued by the lacrosse case and people might be treading carefully because of the controversy and criticisms lobbed from near and far.
"Normally with a rape case, police do the investigation, and charges are filed, and it goes through court," said Orin Starn, a Duke professor who has been critical of big-time college sports programs. "The lacrosse case was something of an anomaly. It became a media event that was covered and dissected and debated, both locally and nationally."

(…) Bloggers, who have chronicled the details on Web sites, take delight in blasting "the potbangers" and the so-called "Group of 88" at Duke, professors who endorsed a student newspaper ad that deplored racism and sexual assault on campus. Some of the most dedicated have posted MTV-style videos with captions and music. One of the more telling accounts captures the protesters marching down Buchanan Street in a simple video that was posted on YouTube. In that video, the protesters call Duke Provost Peter Lange outside his house across the street from the hip-high stone wall rimming Duke's East Campus. At the time, no charges had been filed, and Lange urged the protesters not to rush to judgment. The crowd hurled questions, asking why Duke had not punished the players, why no disciplinary actions had been taken.

"We don't know the facts, what happened in the house," Lange said. "We are waiting for the police investigation to discover the facts. This is an extremely serious crime if it happened."
A wait-and-see attitude seems to be prevailing in the more recent case.

(…)Tim Tyson, one of the professors who was at a Buchanan Street vigil, said recently that his intent was not to attack the lacrosse players but to draw attention to the larger issues of sexual violence, classism and racism that the case seemed to embody.

"I wasn't confident at that time that I knew what happened," Tyson said. "It still seems clear to me that something ugly happened in that house. ... I don't think people should be used as things. If there only had been an ugly incident and no allegations of rape, I still would be disappointed with the students."

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 22: WEBCommentary contributor Michael Gaynor calls on Duke President Brodhead to resign in a post “Duke under Brodhead: Failed crisis management 101.”
“As president. Mr. Brodhead (1) failed these student athletes; (2) failed their parents who had placed their trust in Duke University as a guardian of their sons; and (3) failed to validate a system of honor, which should be the basis of student life at Duke. Some of the other actions of some of the members of the lacrosse team at that off-campus party last spring were wrong, to be sure, but that did not in any way justify the phony criminal accusations that not only intimidated Duke University, but also were eagerly embraced by a significant segment of the Duke community (as well as the Durham community and the national media) determined to treat them as true because they fit their agenda.(…) President Brodhead should resign, because he failed to manage the Duke crisis competently and courageously. He failed to demonstrate the courage, sense of honor and strong judgment that a leader must have to be successful. He failed the parents of the accused students and, most importantly, he failed to properly lead Duke University through a crisis and instead made it worse by lending credence to the ludicrous accusations by a person who quickly could have been determined by President Brodhead not to be a credible person…”

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 23: The Duke lacrosse team gears up for its game tomorrow-- the first since the season was canceled last year. Thus far, Duke practices have generated a lot of attention this year. Team co-captain Matt Danowski is getting used to all the onlookers. “All the media attention has given people insight into our lives and the people we are,” Danowski says. “We welcome it." Saturday's home opener is expected to draw a large crowd, and the school is beefing up security. The game will also be televised live nationally. On Saturday, players will wear warm-up jerseys with the numbers 45, 3 and 6 to represent the three players accused of sexual assault: Finnerty, Evans and Seligmann. John Danowski tells WRAL that he's been helping Finnerty look at lacrosse programs at other schools. Seligmann is considering an offer from Brown University. Evans graduated last year.

Six Duke professors write an article in the Chronicle suggesting that Duke should “move forward” from the lacrosse controversy. The article states, in part:

“The time has come to move forward. The primary issue is how we live as a community at Duke-- how we behave toward each other, the values we espouse, the rules we pledge to uphold in our interactions. Now is the time to turn what has been a time of crisis into an opportunity for constructive change-to help make Duke a model of mutual respect and caring. Whatever happened at the lacrosse party last spring, three facts remain undisputed: racial epithets were used; a Duke student group hired two female strippers for the entertainment of young men; and underage drinking was encouraged. In the ensuing months, we have heard our students grapple with these and related issues that reflect patterns of behavior found, not only on our campus, but-according to colleagues elsewhere-at our peer institutions as well.”

The article is analyzed in a blogpost titled “Chafe’s Embarrassment” by KC Johnson and in another titled “Juxtapositional Fallacies” by Duke professor Michael Gustafson, who writes:
“In being told the three "undisputed" facts, we are being told to forget that the Coleman Report quashed any sense of racism on the team; to forget that men on the team publicly stated their outrage over racist comments, if made, by their teammates; to forget that Devon Sherwood called those 46 men his brothers; to forget that the women on the lacrosse team - empowered, strong, intelligent women led by an empowered, strong, intelligent woman publicly wore their thoughts on their wrists about the innocence of three of those men.

We are being given a false dilemma - either show outrage against the lacrosse team and its party and support those who made noise about it, or deny that racism and sexism and assault exist. Either believe that the entire campus culture is flawed (and we're the ones to fix it), or support sexist insults and racial division."

The Chronicle reports that the Campus Cultural Initiative committee will recommend several proposals-- summarized here by Prof KC Johnson in his “Durham-inWonderland” blog:
“1) A mandatory “diversity” course for all Duke students. This proposal could be called the “Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative,” since Group members disproportionately teach such classes. 2) Residential changes to prevent “the practice of assigning housing to selective living groups and social/affinity/interest groups.” 3) Reducing time athletes can spend on travel and practice—a proposal, as one Chronicle commenter observed, effectively demands the withdrawal of Duke from the ACC. The report does not appear to have demanded a reduction of time that non-athletes are allowed to spend on extracurricular activities. 4) Raising the “low end of the admissions standards” to ensure a better-qualified student body—a fine idea in theory, but one that almost certainly seems to be hypocritical, since advocates of “diversity” in admissions almost always advocate broadening the range of admissions standards.”

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 24: The Duke men’s lacrosse team wins its first game of the season, defeating Dartmouth 17-11. Zach Greer has six goals and Bo Carrington has two assists. The game is nationally televised and 70 journalists request credentials for the event. A crowd of 6,485 watches the game—the second largest crowd ever at Koskinen Stadium on the Duke campus.

The AP carries a feature article by Eric Tucker about former Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler’s new job leading Bryant University men’s lacrosse team:

“The last time Mike Pressler prepared for a lacrosse season, his Duke team was among the nation's best. But after an escort service dancer accused three lacrosse players of sexually assaulting her at a March team party, Duke canceled its season, and Pressler resigned. He feared he'd never coach again. "No way I thought I'd be sitting here doing this again," Pressler told reporters Friday at Bryant University, the northern Rhode Island school that hired him as lacrosse coach. "There was a time during the summer where I thought my career was over." Duke and Bryant open their seasons today -- Bryant hosts Adelphi University, and Duke hosts Dartmouth. (…) Pressler admitted satisfaction about the mounting questions dogging the criminal cases and said he stood by his players from the outset. "We believed in the truth. I knew the truth the day after it happened. I stood by the truth," Pressler said. "You can only imagine when 50 people believe one truth and 50 million believe another -- and nobody wavers." He said he remains in touch with his former players, saw them last Christmas when he was in Durham and has recommended Seligmann and Finnerty to coaches at other schools. Both were invited to return to Duke in good standing; Evans graduated last year.”

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 25: The Washington Post runs a feature article by Adam Kilgore titled “A relief for this to be over” which gives reactions of Duke lacrosse players, their parents, their coach John Danowski, Duke faculty and Durham residents to the resumption of play by the lacrosse team yesterday. The article reveals Coach Danowski met with the players’ parents prior to the game against Dartmouth. It concludes:

“The accuser's selection of Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans -- which players viewed as random -- buried a troubling notion in the players' minds: It could just as easily have been them. "You see the families, and we feel like it could have been us where they were," John Walsh said. "It could have been anybody." Danowski said before the game that he hoped for nice weather Saturday, so his players could have "a day in the sun." He got his wish, but the day, pristine and void of controversy, will not make the case go away. Once the indictments are settled, further litigation against the school and the state remains possible. And the Duke players will continue to wrestle with everything that has happened. "The one thing I have seen this week, I have seen a little survivor's guilt," Danowski told the parents before the game. "I'm starting to hear that from a couple young men. I told them: 'If that's what you're feeling, in the end that's not good or bad, right or wrong. Your feelings are your feelings. Tell someone you know, tell someone you trust. Talk about it.' "

MONDAY FEBRUARY 26: WRAL reports the new prosecutors in the Duke lacrosse case appear to be making progress in their assessment of the evidence. Special prosecutors Jim Coman and Mary Winstead took over last month after DA Mike Nifong removed himself from the case. Sources tell WRAL the accuser in the case, Crystal Mangum, has already been interviewed by the new prosecutors in the case. In contrast, Nifong alleges he did not question the accuser until nearly nine months after she claimed three former lacrosse players assaulted her. A representative for state Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office tells WRAL that Coman and Winstead are in the process of talking with people and reviewing evidence connected to the case.

In a comprehensive and balanced article, Christina Asquith presents the views of four members of the Group of 88 and also their critics. The article examines actions and statements by the Duke academics following the onset of the rape allegations and subsequent events. The article is published on-line at

Chronicle columnist Stephen Miller compares the Duke campus’ reaction to Crystal Mangum’s rape charges against white lacrosse players in March, 2006, and the reaction to a recent rape allegation against a black man. He states:

“[In 2006] Protesters swarmed our campus and the city streets, they screamed vulgar condemnations, they tarred the whole team as complicit in a stonewall cover-up, they put up wanted posters, banged pots and pans. They cried out for justice and vengeance, demanded suspensions, expulsions and incarcerations. Worst of all, as they feverishly disregarded due process, they helped create an atmosphere of hysteria and madness which could only serve to embolden an unhinged district attorney who had the power to breathe life into the fantasies of the growing mob. But when a black man was recently accused of raping a white Duke student at a party hosted by members of a black Duke fraternity, suddenly these great defenders of virtue fell silent. There have been no protesters, no signs, no one chanting and screaming in front of the house where at least one member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. live demanding they "come forward" with what they know. No one is demanding President Brodhead take action or that we cure a sexist and racist campus culture in response to these accusations. No professors are running ads that convey guilt or claiming, as they did before, to know the alleged crime was racially motivated.”

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 27: Attorneys for 3 former Duke lacrosse players file a new motion accusing DA Nifong of withholding evidence, including more DNA results than originally thought. Now the defense wants all DNA test results from the case. "If the information we had December was explosive, then this is doubly explosive," says Wade Smith, defense attorney. Private lab director Brian Meehan had admitted under oath he and Nifong withheld DNA evidence. Adding to that revelation, the defense has filed a 39-page motion today. It says another report Meehan sent to the defense last month shows more DNA was found on the accuser than was previously disclosed. The DNA did not match the 3 defendants in the case. Defense attorneys say they are still waiting on the complete report on DNA taken from the accuser. According to the N&O, “In the motion filed Tuesday, defense lawyers said they realized that they have received only 11 of the 22 DNA sequencing charts from the samples tested. ‘The defendants are still in the dark,’ the motion said. ‘The statistical likelihood is that such data will show that there was even more exculpatory, unidentified male DNA discovered by DNA Security in the rape kit extractions that, by Jan. 12, 2007, still had not been reported to the defendants by Mr. Nifong and Dr. Meehan in any way.’”

A report released today says Duke University could become a more “inclusive academic community” by changing its curriculum, housing system, alcohol policies and other key aspects. The report is the final product of the Campus Culture Initiative (CCI) Steering Committee, which Duke President Brodhead appointed last spring following the arrests of 3 Duke lacrosse players for an alleged rape at an off-campus party. The CCI report calls for changes in areas such as dining and residential housing, including an end to the practice of assigning West Campus housing to selective living groups such as fraternities. According to the report, the social life of Duke students is too often organized around drinking, and “the risk of another alcohol-related death in the Duke community is very real.” The report calls on Duke officials to “re-orient social life on campus to reduce the centrality of alcohol and enable more non-alcohol events and venues.” While the committee praises the record of Duke student-athletes in both competition and the classroom, they said “strong and persistent forces” nationally make it more difficult to balance academics and athletics. The report recommends that Duke officials should decrease practice and travel time demands on its student-athletes and calls for stronger ties between athletic programs and other parts of the university. The committee also recommends higher admission standards for Duke athletes. Brodhead says in a statement that none of the proposed changes are a “done deal,” nor are any of them off the table as university officials begin to debate their implementation.

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 28: DA Nifong files a reponse to the State Bar allegations against him. He states that he was given inaccurate information about the case by Durham police; that he was under no obligation to give the defense more information about the exculpatory DNA findings because he did in fact turn over the underlying raw data before any trial; and that his public statements about the case were made before specific individuals were actually charged. The response also reads in part:
"A well-connected and well-financed (but not, I would suggest, well-intentioned) group of individuals--most of whom are neither in nor from North Carolina--have taken it upon themselves to ensure that this case never reaches trial. (And if this seems like paranoid delusion to you, perhaps you should check out websites such as former Duke Law School graduate and current Maryland attorney Jason Trumpbour's www.friendsof“, which has not only called for me to be investigated, removed from this case, and disbarred, but has also provided instructions on how to request such actions and to whom those requests should be sent.)”
LieStoppers publishes the text of the State Bar’s amended complaint merged with Nifong’s point-by-point responses.


February 1: KC Johnson on “Hook-up Culture at Duke” spring course

February 2: John Burness criticizes lacrosse players in NPR segment

February 3: N&O reveals Gov. Easley criticized Nifong in New York speech

February 4: Lacrosse Supporters Hold March in Durham

February 5: Key hearing postponed until May

February 6: Two members of grand jury speak out

February 6: Non-profit raises $750, 000 for lacrosse defense

February 6: Kristin Butler on naming rape accusers

February 7: Special prosecutors meet with lacrosse defense attorneys

February 7: Judge Hudson Threatens Grand Jury Members with Contempt for Speaking

February 8: Complaints Against Linwood Wilson Revealed

February 8: Friends of Duke University places Chronicle ad challenging “Group of 88”

February 9: Beth Brewer files civil complaint asking Nifong’s removal

February 11: Former Duke lacrosse player Jimmy Regan reported killed in Iraq

February12: Girl charges rape at off-campus party

February 12: Lawyer for Brewer questions delay in her civil complaint against Nifong

February 12: “Group of 88” members hold forum at Duke

February 12: Columnist Steven Miller urges Duke alums to withhold donations

February 12: John-in-Carolina on the “Wanted” and “Vigilante” posters

February 13: Mary Katherine Ham on “A tale of two rapes in Durham”

February 14: Duke holds off investigation of alleged rape pending police inquiry:

February 14: KC Johnson on the “potbanger” protests

February 14: Chronicle reveals rapper Common criticized Duke lacrosse team

February 15: Prof. Roy Weintraub in a letter attacks charges of McCarthyism

February 16: William Anderson on the cover-up

February 16: John-in-Carolina on the role of Durham Police Cpl. David Addison

February 16: The Johnsville News hands out “awards” for poor media coverage

February 18: LieStoppers on New York Journal of Law article criticizing DA Nifong

February 19: Suspect arrested in Gattis St. alleged rape

February 19: KC Johnson on broadcaster Nancy Grace

Feburary 19: Jermaine Burch charged with rape of Duke freshman at off-campus party

February 19: “District Attorney Appreciation Week” in Durham

February 20: Sport Illustrated on “The season after”

February 20: KC Johnson on NCCU law professor Irving Joyner

February 21: Reade Seligmann considering transfer to Brown University

February 21: Nifong given extension to file answer to State Bar charges

February 21: N&O article compares response to lacrosse and more recent rape allegations

February 22: Commentator Michael Gaynor calls on President Brodhead to resign

February 23: Chronicle article by 6 Duke professors

February 23: Campus Cultural Initiative recommendations

February 24: Duke Lacrosse team gears up to play first game

February 24: Duke lacrosse team defeats Dartmouth in first game since cancellation,2933,254398,00.html

February 24: AP story on Pressler coaching Bryant lacrosse

February 25: Washington Post feature article on Duke lacrosse

February 26: WRAL reports Special Prosecutors have interviewed Crystal Mangum

February 26: Christina Asquith on the Group of 88

February 26: Stephen Miller on campus reaction to two different rape allegations

February 27: Defense lawyers file new motion asking for additional DNA data

February 27: Campus Cultural Initiative Report released by Duke

February 27: Journalist Bob Wilson says Nifong must go in editorial

February 28: Nifong files response to State Bar charges, slam FODU


(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

Friends of Duke University Media Index

New York Times Article Index


Updated Chronology of Duke Lacrosse Case

March, 2006:

April, 2006:

May, 2006:

June, 2006:

July, 2006:

August, 2006:

September, 2006:

October, 2006:

November, 2006:

December, 2006:

January, 2007:

1 comment:

Marco2006 said...

Many Thanks to sceptical. This is an amazing series!