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In the un-humbled opinion of one, Poetic Justice...


On June 15, 2007, during his ethics trial, Mike Nifong
announced he would resign as Durham's District Attorney.





Duke Party
CLASS DISMISSED

Until Proven Hooligans


April 11, 2007


"These cases are over," announced Attorney General Roy Cooper at his nationally televised press conference. Going beyond expected statements about insufficient evidence and proclaiming Reade Seligmann, Colin Finnerty and Captain David Evans to be "innocent," the AG said they'd been cleared of all charges.

Assigning shame but mentioning no names -- Cooper spoke of pending legislation designed to thwart "rogue prosecutors." DA Nifong was no doubt turning in his grave.

As for the victim at the bottom of this media-soaked tragedy of errors, Mr. Cooper said prosecutors have determined that she truly believes the three men attacked her at their drunken party.

The factual validity of the woman's allegations of sexual assault and kidnapping will never be known since, after a year of unrelenting pressure from high profile lawyers, well-placed pundits and determined bloggers, the State of North Carolina is refusing to move forward with a search for the truth. (Attorney General Cooper mentioned nothing about new legislation to combat rogue defense attorneys.)

What is very clearly known at this point: Duke's lacrosse team behaved horribly at their illegal, under-aged, drunken, stripper bash.

DA Nifong and several others in the system can be faulted for many things, but responding to years of complaints about out-of-control student athletes -- and believing a victim who speaks of an assault -- are not among them. Reports of sexual harassment and hate crimes are to be taken seriously. Duke's Blue Devils and all the other Big Men on campuses across the nation can take note: the authorities have zero tolerance for your sexist, racist violations.

Despite the legalistic pronouncements from Roy Cooper -- obviously designed to shield the State from potential civil litigation -- the players on Duke's lacrosse team are far from innocent. Their own digital photos prove them guilty of a great deal. The case is not over. Based on their disgraceful past, one can expect to hear much more from Duke's hooligans in nice, white, cotton shirts.

digital Duke

Of course, lacking press spin-wizards, savvy attorneys, and a network of wealthy backers, the victim in this case was assumed to have been guilty from the start. No one ever had a doubt she was a "fantastic liar." Well, after a full and fair investigation from the independent AG's office, she has been cleared of that charge.

This troubled woman may indeed be responsible for certain things that happened the night of Duke's lacrosse party, but no one can blame her for being a victim of the gang's reported broomstick threats, race-baiting and gender bashing.

And unlike the players, the lawyers, the media pundits and Duke's team of indignant supporters, this so-called "accuser" had the common sense, common decency and good graces to shut up and go away. She stayed clear of the circus. Her steadfast refusal to participate in this painfully divisive debacle places her, and her alone, above the fray. After months of investigations and millions of dollars -- the victim is the only person involved who's been proven to be truly innocent.



"I hope people who experience sexual violence in any form feel comfortable calling for help . . . and know that each case is different, and they can seek help when they've been violated. There's a possibility that the way the media handles high-profile sexual assault cases, and the fear that would happen to any survivor who comes forward, can have a chilling effect and make them reluctant to step forward."
-- Margaret Barrett, executive director,
Orange County Rape Crisis Center in Chapel Hill



"We respect the integrity of the Attorney Generalís investigation and supported the involvement of special prosecutors. If his office believes the state lacks sufficient evidence to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements of each crime took place, then it is the stateís constitutional duty to dismiss the charges.

. . . Now, as we have repeatedly said, comes the hard part. How do we proceed toward the healing places in our communities and our hearts? Long after the television vans with their saucer antennas have pulled out of Durham, long after the bloggers have grown weary from typing, those of us who believe in freedom and justice can not rest. How do we work to ensure that the final decisions in this case in no way deter women of color from making claims of violations against them which violate their spirits and their bodies?"

-- statement from William J. Barber II,
president of the North Carolina NAACP



"It's been a year thatís really changed the picture for our neighborhood. As a result of this incident, there have been a lot of really positive changes that have happened between the Durham community and Duke."
-- Jennifer Minnelli, president of Durham's
Trinity Park Neighborhood Association

Duke MSNBC scandal

"No more media. No more talk."
cabbie, Moezeldin Elmostafa


Rutgers

On Aprill 11, following 4 hours of coverage of the Duke case dismissals, cable news network, MSNBC, announced it was dropping the Don Imus Show due to the host's on-air description of Rutgers Women's basketball team members as "nappy headed hos" and "jigaboos."

To be filed under the heading, "Poetic Justice"-- it was exactly one year ago on the April 11 edition of MSNBC's The Situation, that anchor Tucker Carlson famously characterized the victim in the Duke case as a "crypto-hooker."

Carlson stated that "the testimony of an ordinary person is different from the testimony of someone who hires herself out to dance naked in front of and, yes, sometimes sleep with people, strangers, right? They're different. It's okay to have a bias against strippers in this case, isn't it?"

Carlson later added, "I'm merely saying that her testimony about matters of sex is to be taken by ordinary, commonsense people a little differently than the testimony of someone who isn't a crypto-hooker."




". . . down there at Duke where the lacrosse team supposedly, you know, raped some, uh, hos."
-- Rush Limbaugh,
March 31 broadcast of his national syndicated radio show




"Durham dirt-bag . . . dirty, verminous black stripper."
Michael Savage,
April 11 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program











Duke Dollar

March 22, 2007

Inside Lacrosse Magazine lawyer, Paul Caulfield -- as quoted by Fox News:

"The assault and attempted kidnapping charges still pending . . . will soon be dropped."

"There have been rumors that the families of Finnerty, Seligmann and Evans may be considering civil lawsuits against Nifong, Duke or the state if it turns out the accuser's story doesn't pan out and Nifong is found to be guilty of mishandling the case. This is something that will wait in the wings. Once the criminal case is dropped, we are going to see this and I believe we'll see it quite quickly."









Nobody Talks, Everybody Walks

March 7, 2007

A year after Duke's lacrosse team decided to hold their 10-hour, underage booze party and stripper bash, authorities are no closer to knowing the truth of what actually happened that night. Every single lacrosse player on the team had lawyered up and fell silent within days of their March 13 blowout. The champions have now spent 12 months hiding behind a stone wall of silence.

please come forward

It's not clear why the players are so determined to conceal the truth, since their attorneys and media reps have repeatedly insisted that absolutely "nothing happened" at the party. But starting with the cancellation of their March 22, 2006 police interview and right up to this very day, Duke's Blue Devils have refused to come clean.

Legally speaking, the team's decision to run away from the crime scene, resist speaking with police, and forever conceal the truth, is a workable strategy. "Nobody talks, everybody walks" is the catchy phrase outlaws have used for decades to avoid prosecution for their misdeeds. Criminal conspirators have long known that if they don't break ranks and start pointing the finger at each other, prosecutors face an uphill battle.

In this instance, lacking any conclusive physical evidence, the team's refusal to cooperate with police reduces the case to "he said/she said" -- and the so-called Friends of Duke have spent millions of dollars to ensure the "she" involved here, would never be believed. "She's just a stripper," gang members assessed on the night of the party. The strategy to disparage, disgrace and discredit their victim has never changed.

While the players refuse to talk to the police, the Lax Pack has repeatedly spoken ill of their victim in an on-going national media campaign against her.

parents of the victim
parents of the victim

"Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt," was reportedly the last thing Duke's champs said to the escort they invited and paid to be at their party. A year has gone by without a denial. A full year has passed without explanation or apology for this and similar reports of racist slurs, sexist threats and abusive behavior.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do jurors in the court of public opinion. Lacking any direct response to these allegations of sexual harassment and assault, one is forced to assume the lacrosse team stands behind their repugnant remarks and lewd actions.

Duke's party hounds, like all suspected law-breakers, have a constitutional right to remain silent. Of course, they do not have the right to obstruct justice.

Legalities aside -- and speaking purely practically -- hiding from reality and running from the truth is a losing strategy. Declining to tell the truth is the same thing as lying, and there's simply no good reason to lie.

It may well be that the team is covering up for misdeeds that have nothing to do with a kidnapping or rape. For all anyone knows, they may be perfectly innocent of those specific charges and lying simply to avoid having to admit to other violations. Everybody's talking. Rumors are rampant of alcohol abuse, illegal drug sales and theft during Duke's infamous party.

True or not, rumors of a cover-up will persist until at least one of the lacrosse players gathers up some courage, walks away from the gang, and starts talking to authorities about what really happened during last year's Spring breakdown.









Duke in overtime
Dodge, Deny and Delay

February 12, 2007

Faced with accusations of hiding behind a conspiratorial wall of silence, Duke's Devils and their devotees have long argued that the team was desperate to speak with police and have this matter clarified but that police refused to listen.

Back in May of 2006, Captain Polygraph stood on the Durham County courthouse steps and proclaimed he "fully cooperated" with authorities "and continued to try to cooperate." But complained, "I've repeatedly, through my lawyers, tried to contact the district attorney. All of my attempts have been denied."

From that point forward, the Lax Pack spared no expense in their attempt to destroy the complainant by dragging her through the mud in a mean-spirited media campaign. They were also bound and determined to bring down the DA through public pressure ginned up by a gang of media spin wizards and bigoted bloggers.

Well . . . DA Nifong bowed out of this national disgrace on January 12 and formally requested state Attorney General Roy Cooper's office handle the matter. The excuse for the team going to FOX NEWS and 60 MINUTES instead of quietly speaking with police is no longer valid. That excuse left the case with DA Nifong.

It's been a month . . . and yet the lacrosse champions are still hiding behind their wall of silence. To this day, they refuse to simply go to authorities and tell the truth.

These suspected kidnappers and sex offenders, like all suspected criminals, have the right to remain silent. Of course, they also have the right to tell the truth and move on with their ivy league lives. Having completely discredited the victim and the prosecutor -- there is simply no good reason left for them to hide.

At this point, the lacrosse team's continuing stone-wall of silence speaks volumes.






demonstration

Lacrosse Pot Bangers Get Burned

It was to be a grand, pots and pans, bang-up show of support for Duke's Blue Devils.

Planned for the first Sunday in February -- the big parade through downtown Durham and over to Duke's lacrosse field was to be a public demonstration reminiscent of the many public events recalled during Black History Month.

Organizers simply identified themselves as, "Concerned Mothers for Duke Students."

The point of the huge rally was to show everyone the vast numbers of ordinary folks in Durham who actively supported the Duke students indicted for First Degree Kidnapping and First Degree Sexual Offenses.

Needless to say, turn-out was light. Very light.

The point made by the failed demonstration actually proved the opposite of what its planners intended to show. When the embarrassed little group of less than 100 people got to campus where the lacrosse team was practicing, they stood outside the fenced field and applauded the team whose antics got their coach fired and winning season cancelled.

Some of the "concerned mothers" carried protest signs declaring Duke's suspected felons to be "innocent until proven innocent" -- a sentiment that's too clever by half, and which reveals an attitude of entitlement which has been at the heart of this scandal from the beginning.

Duke's lacrosse team is innocent until proven guilty -- just like everybody else. They're not above the law. And regardless of whether the State can prove an assault took place at one of their many out-of-control parties or not -- the team is still very guilty of very many things.

The pep rally in support of Duke's party animals was followed by a real news event on the second Sunday in February. This week brings yet another national headline about another rape, in another bathroom, during another party, in another house rented by "several male Duke students."









the pajama game



Cooper
LEGAL BLOCK
Cooper

January 12, 2007

Amid unrelenting criticism, DA Nifong has formally requested state Attorney General Roy Cooper's office take over the case, saying he faced a conflict of interest because of ethics charges filed against him by the state bar. Lax defense lawyers were ecstatic and openly predicting the state would quickly drop all charges.

In his press conference, the Attorney General seemed in no hurry to drop the matter. "Agreeing to accept the prosecution of these cases doesn't guarantee a trial, nor does it guarantee a dismissal," he said. "It simply promises a fresh and thorough review of the facts and a decision on the best way to handle these cases."

Cooper knows that justice isn't justice if it doesn't appear to be justice. The Duke scandal is looking like the best justice money can wrestle down and beat out of the system.


Along with battling the Devils' legal advococates who tried every possible angle to avoid addressing the complaint, Mike Nifong was repeatedly kicked, punched and choked by a gang of spin wizzards, web loggers and radio talkshow hosts.

After months of assault from all sides, the state was left with no choice. Nifong had to quit. But in his defense -- the fact that the DA held out as long as he did is truly amazing. Nifong faced off the "Duke Daddies" and did not shrink away. He's now lost possesion, but it's far from certain his team has lost the whole case.

Roy Cooper announced Jim Coman, a former director of the State Bureau of Investigation and head of the attorney general's Special Prosecution Section; and Mary D. Winstead, a prosecutor in that division, would now oversee the matter.

"When you have high profile cases, people tend to form opinions about the cases," the Attorney General said. "It's critical that we put blinders on to those opinions and that we stick to looking at the facts and the law. We don't shrink away from these cases."



Nifong



taxi







Nothing for Christmas

Duke defense


IS THIS CASE OVER?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Just before taking his leave for the holiday weekend, DA Nifong filed court papers that came as a Christmastime surprise to nearly everyone. Prosecutors dismissed the First Degree Forcible Rape charges. Duke's defendants are still charged with First Degree Sexual Offense and a count of First Degree Kidnapping, for allegedly holding the complainant against her will.

Nifong's filing cites investigator Linwood Wilson's December 21 interview with the complainant. The woman told police she was no longer certain whether she was penetrated vaginally with the men's penises -- as she previously claimed -- or with some other object. Under state law, a rape charge requires vaginal intercourse, while Sexual Offense covers any sexual act.

The DA's last-minute flurry of activity resulted in a media blizzard of stormy complaints from lacrosse loyalists and Devils' advocates.

"Do the rest of this. Do the honorable thing. End this case because there isn't a case to bring," demanded Collin Finnerty's lawyer, Wade Smith. "There is not a spider web of evidence," Smith said. "We have a bare assertion by a woman that a criminal act occurred . . . We have an assertion and nothing else."

Finnerty's mother, Maryellen, said the decision was more proof "that this entire case has been built on lies."

Duke President Richard Brodhead issued a statement saying, "Given the certainty with which the district attorney made his many public statements regarding the rape allegation, his decision today to drop that charge must call into question the validity of the remaining charges."

And thundering above the rest, Captain Evans' lawyer, Joe Cheshire, bitterly condemned the DA.

"His entire case rises and falls on the statement of the accuser. He has no other evidence," Cheshire railed. "Going forward with a case when he knows he has multiple, different, contradictory statements from that person -- is that seeing that justice is done, or is that simply trying to fit facts into a prosecution to prosecute it at all costs?"

Last week, it was revealed that DNA testing done for the prosecution by a private laboratory found genetic material from several men on the complainant's underwear and body, but that none of it came from the players.

Cheshire said DA Nifong's sudden decision to have the accuser interviewed -- and her sudden change of story -- were, "a troubling, transparent coincidence." It suggests the prosecution was trimming its theory of the case to accommodate the DNA findings, he said.

Although the most serious charges have been dropped, Nifong's holiday trimming hasn't brought much joy to lacrosse fans this season. His late December decision means the State's burden of proof has been considerably lightened should there actually be a trial in the Spring. Meanwhile, the defendants still face 30 years in prison.

Mr. Cheshire pointed out that Rape and Sexual Offense carry the same possible sentence of up to 24 years in prison, while Kidnapping is punishable by up to 7 years. "Some people have said, 'Is the case over?"' he moaned. "The case quite clearly is not over."

Well, the State's rape case is over and done with, and so are defense arguments involving the legal, social and moral issues associated with rape.

Leaving lacrosse lawyers burdened with months and months of media spin overkill designed to bash the complainant's reputation and strangle her willingness to continue -- Nifong ducked for cover and took shelter from the storm. Paper was taped over the windows of his office and a sign on his door read: "No media, please!"

Mike Nifong could not be reached for comment. In fact, nobody from the DA's office could be reached. They closed up early on Friday afternoon and held a Christmas party.


Santa Seligmann
Reade Seligmann





A Child is Born



On December 15, WRAL NEWS erroneously reported that the
complainant in the Duke case gave birth at UNC Hospitals.
She is in fact pregnant -- but not due to deliver until February.

Cheshire commented: "It's impossible for any of these young men
to have fathered that child because none of them ever touched her."


duke





Duke Pride
FED UP

December 13, 2006

DA Mike Nifong, no doubt the easiest political target in Durham County, is lucky to have enemies who -- incredibly -- have made more stupid mistakes than he has!

Considering Nifong's barely legal handling of the Duke arrests, and the relentless media allegations of a hoax based on political corruption -- you wouldn't think it would be THAT hard to take down the DA . . . Well, he's not dead, and Nifong's been a sitting duck -- since April.

His detractors have taken shot after shot, but fortunately for him, they're the gang that can't shoot straight. Their intimidation tactics and lies miss the mark every time.

After the initial receipts and deceits fell flat, the true Blue troopers bitterly complained to the attorney general, whined to the governor and beseeched Sean Hannity -- all to no avail.

When fanatical financing from "Friends of Duke" failed to dredge up even a half-way decent political opponent to punch and kick Mr. Nifong, Duke's devotees marched straight to 60 MINUTES to try and strangle justice out of him.

Nifong didn't budge -- and worse yet, Durham County D.A. wasn't the only race Adam, Bret and Matt's team lost in the mid-term elections.

Freedom Fries

So now the gang's decided it's time to pull out the big guns. The party's over. They plan to jump above the state prosecutor's head and put the Feds in charge of Durham County. And to do that, they went to Hanover County congressman, Walter B. Jones. You remember him? He was the Republican's FREEDOM FRIES warrior.

So angered and offended by France's objection to the U.S. starting a war in the Middle East, Jones pushed for a boycott of our long-time ally and even passed a law to erase the word "french" from the congressional menu!

Last year, mortified by the baseless arguments for war and the carnage and slaughter in Iraq, Mr. Potato-Head said of the FREEDOM FRIES episode: "I wish it had never happened."

But the fearless "Friends of Duke" have got Walter all fired up again. Despite the fact that he represents a different district, he's written a very stern letter about the "hoax" in Durham.

Aiming a large cannon at Mike Nifong, the gang that can't shoot straight is demanding a federal investigation of the racially-charged, Duke Gang Rape case to search out any possible civil rights violations.

Yikes!

I don't doubt a federal investigation into this matter will reveal multiple civil rights violations -- but Adam, Bret and Walter may wish it had never happened.










Kim's October Surprise

Kim Roberts

TRICK or TREAT?

October 30, 2006

The blog-happy Friends of Duke are as giddy as kids on a Halloween sugar-high. Lax Pack supporters are out in force, floating and gloating through cyberspace. They're unable to mask their joy at the thought that three indicted felons might escape a gang rape trial that would haunt them the rest of their lives.

The cause of all the celebration is an appearance by Kim Roberts on "Good Morning, America." Speaking with Chris Cuomo, the second dancer -- for the first time -- declared that after the alleged attack the complainant told her to "go ahead, put marks on me."

"The trip in that car from the house . . . went from happy to crazy. I tried all different ways to get through to her," Kim said. "I tried to be funny and nice. Then I tried to, you know, be stern with her . . . We're kind of circling around, and as we're doing that, my last-ditch attempt to get her out of the car, I start to kind of, you know, push and prod her, you know."

Roberts said she told the woman, "Get out of my car. Get out of my car."

"I push on her leg. I kind of push on her arm," she continued, "and clear as a bell, it's the only thing I heard clear as a bell out of her was, she said -- she pretty much had her head down, but she said plain as day -- 'Go ahead, put marks on me. That's what I want. Go ahead.'"

Kim told ABC the outrageous comments "chilled me to the bone, and I decided right then and there to go to the authorities."

In truth, that was seven long months ago. So the frightening fact for lacrosse fans is that, despite several police interviews and repeated television appearances, Kim never mentioned the bone-chilling comments to anybody, anywhere, at any time.

Coming after so many other exotic twists and turns in her story, it's hard to know if the escort's October surprise is a treat for Duke defense attorneys or just another one of her nasty tricks.

Either way, it's worth noting that Roberts -- not the complainant -- called 9-1-1 about the lewd lacrosse party. It's also true that once Roberts had summoned police to have the complainant removed from her car, she pretended not to know anything about the woman.

Crock or not, Kim's bombshell comes after DA Nifong's recent admission in court that he has not ever interviewed the accuser "about the facts of that night."

Now THAT'S scary.










Captain Fantastic
Reality TV


October 16, 2006

Facing 30 years in prison, it appears Adam, Brett and Matt have finally sobered up.

Looking more like law clerks than lacrosse players, the three suspected felons repeatedly told 60 Minutes star, Ed Bradley, they were shocked to find themselves at the center of a national disgrace.

Without a trace of embarrassment Captain Fantastic offers, "I've learned more in 5 months than I have in 22 years -- about life." So along with his cotton shirt, he can thank the accuser's grandpa for his education.

The party's over. And these erstwhile Masters of the Universe know it. They know -- regardless of what may happen in a court of law, they'll always be defined by this ugly scandal.

And yet . . . they agreed to appear before a nationwide television audience. Maybe their wall of lawyers figured further exposure of their clients in the media just couldn't hurt. You're in it -- so spin it. Still, it's a strange choice, and legally speaking, one that may come back to haunt the lax pack.

The three defendants complain in amazement that they were randomly picked out of a photo line-up of 40 party-goers, and were forever after branded.

Much to his lawyer's chagrin, raw TV footage of Scott Peterson was played at trial. There was Scott, preening for the camera, acting shocked and indignant over finding himself in national headlines about a horrific murder.

Cute is its own worst enemy.

All in all, the edited interview captured little more than the Duke defendant's complaints and denials. No guilty-looking Peterson moments. But at one point in the otherwise extremely sympathetic interview, Bradley circles in on an obvious oddity with the gang's basic storyline: two of the three party-goers "randomly" named by the complainant, just happen to have both pulled a Cinderella and disappeared from the house at the stroke of Midnight.

Bradley to Seligmann: "Why did you leave when you did?"

Seligmann: "I didn't like the tone of the party and I -- it just made me uncomfortable. It's as simple as that. I wasn't -- it was a boring party. And I just didn't like the tone." Reade was suddenly in the mood for a dial tone, and $30.00 worth of burgers.

If Cosmic Collin was asked why he exited the house at that very moment, it was edited out -- but he does admit he left at the same time Seligmann and the escorts did.

Bradley to Finnerty: "When did you leave the party?"

Finnerty: "I left soon after I saw them do their act, in the room, with everybody else. I saw them leave the room and I never saw them again in my life."

Ed Bradley must not have had time to ask any of the suspected gang rapists about March 13th and the 60 minutes between 11 PM and Midnight. But those questions may best be addressed on the reality of Court TV.


dukeduke








taxi
DA: Alleged Duke Party
Attack Took 5-10 Minutes

WRAL.com
September 22, 2006

Three Duke University lacrosse players took five to 10 minutes to sexually assault a woman hired to perform as a stripper at a team party, and not the 30 minutes she originally described to investigators, a prosecutor said Friday.

"If I had to speculate, I'd say this whole event took five minutes, maybe 10 minutes at the outside. I would ask the court to take judicial notice that when something happens to you that is really awful, it seems to take longer than it actually takes," District Attorney Mike Nifong said.









locked
When and Where?


September 22, 2006

Blue Bathroom / 12:03


The complainant gets to the party well before midnight, perhaps at about 11:40. The players say she was immediately paid off and told to leave, since she wasn't the White woman they had ordered and since she seemed to be "incapacitated" on some sort of drugs. Reportedly, the accuser and the other escort, Kim Roberts, left the house right away. They both got into a car and were ready to drive off.

But for whatever reasons, the women did not leave the area. Duke's time-stamped photos show the complainant inside the house -- angry and about to leave the house again -- some 20 minutes later at 12:03.

Curiously, at exactly at 12:03, defendant Reade Seligmann is also on his way out the door. So apparently -- Reade, his good buddy Rob Wellington, the accuser and Kim Roberts were all about to exit the lacrosse house at the same exact moment.

Seligmann walked a few blocks away and called for a cab, but once again -- for whatever reasons, the women did not actually leave the area.

Despite Reade's many receipts and records proving he was not in the house after midnight -- it's not at all clear what time the alleged offenses occurred.


Green Bathroom / 12:20


Through their lawyer, Bob Eckstrand, several team members initially reported the escorts gave a brief midnight performance in the living room. After some crude comments about a broomstick, they said the escorts did not leave but rather, they locked themselves in "the bathroom."

Players insist nothing happened and that 20 minutes later, the escorts unlocked the door and -- at that point -- left the house. Presumably at around 12:20.

The complainant didn't specify anything to police about a dance in the living room. Instead, in her April 4, photo line-up interview, she focuses on a performance for a small group of men in the master bedroom. Team attorneys never mentioned anything to reporters about some other show, which had taken place in some other room -- yet the accuser is very clear:

[IMAGE 11 SHOWN]
Sgt: Where was he?
Victim: In the master bedroom.
Sgt: Was that where you described earlier with the big TV screen, where you danced?
Victim: Yes.


Maybe most players didn't know about any master bedroom activity -- which is why they didn't report it -- but the lacrosse captain's house at 610 Buchanan has two bathrooms. They've only ever been described as the "Green Bathroom" and the "Blue Bathroom." With 40 drunken men roaming around, it's possible many at the party knew nothing about what happened in some other bathroom -- at some other time.

Defense lawyers have now requested Judge William Smith force DA Nifong specify for them in which of the bathrooms the alleged offenses took place. The judge refused. So despite the team's many denials that nothing happened in "the bathroom," it's obviously not yet clear where the alleged offenses took place.




[IMAGE 38 SHOWN]
Victim: He was in the master bedroom.
Sgt: What was he doing there?
Victim: . . . "Yeah, let's see some action!"
Sgt: He was the one saying let's see some action?
Victim: Yes.













Pressler - Danowski
Cut Back, It Gets Even Worse


September 12, 2006

Duke University's athletic administrators met with school athletes for a rousing pep talk to start the year. It was a closed-door event, so there's no word on whether coach John Danowski announced the Lax Pack's new motto: "Succisa virescit."

The coach's son, Matt, gave a reporter his interpretation of the slogan, claiming "It means -- when cut down, it grows back stronger." Considering the lacrosse team's recent indictments for First Degree Kidnapping, First Degree Sexual Assault and First Degree Forcible Rape, their version of the phrase is more of a threat than a promise.

Number 40 went on to say, "Last season obviously got cut short, and I think we realize what a privilege it is and how much we actually miss and love playing lacrosse. So it's pretty fitting for us, I believe." Obviously not a Latin major, Matt's spin on the meaning is nonetheless quite revealing.

Not so roughly translated, "Succisa virescit" actually implies: Pruning promotes growth. Taken in that light, Duke's coaches need to start practicing what they preach.

The time for pep talks, cheer leading and towel-snapping ended years ago for the Blue hooligans. In 2005, an official Duke report described the lacrosse team as "building toward a train wreck."

Despite disgraced coach Mike Pressler's winning mottos and inspiring pledges to excellence, since 1999, records show, 41 Duke lacrosse players -- about 31 percent of all players on the roster from then until now -- have been charged with a variety of rowdy and drunken acts. Unbelievably, 56 Duke lacrosse players were involved in 36 on-campus incidents since 2003.

The March 13, underage, booze and escort bash wasn't the first time Duke's Lax Pack decided to break the law. Defiantly violating the rules WAS the rule for this gang.

Initially, team captains expressed deep regret for causing "so much anguish for the Duke community" and bringing "shame to our families and ourselves." But then just before he was handcuffed and arrested for gang rape, Captain David Evans bizarrely represented his team as "46 of the best guys you could ever meet." In reality, more than a third of the 46 have prior criminal charges on their rap sheet -- many involving alcohol abuse.

And while the lacrosse team aren't the only bunch of drunken hooligans in Duke athletics -- they're clearly the biggest losers on campus. Two months after the nation-wide Duke rape scandal broke, lax midfielder Matthew Wilson was charged with drug possession and driving while drunk.

Duke's athletic director, Joe Alleva remarked, "I would rate morale as low in April and May, but I would rate the morale as back to normal and high right now." Alleva may think it's time to return to business-as-usual and that the Blue Devils deserve a big pat on the back and a pep rally -- but he's not in a very good position to judge. His own son was recently charged with a DWI -- and had received another DWI back in 2002.

Duke will not be going back to normal -- they're going back to a court of law. The public parade of these criminal perpetrators and their mountain of misdeeds wont be anything for anyone to cheer about. It's high time Coach Danowski and the Blue Devils' other directors got control of this gang and held them accountable. They should be made to see that there are harsh consequences for their shameless criminal acts.

But then again -- why bother? Based on their record, even if they were severely cut back, this gang would likely continue to defy the law.



"proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris"
-- Latin phrase, translated:

"It is human nature to hate a person whom you have injured."







Michael Peterson   Michael Peterson   Michael Peterson
Three-Ring Circuits


September 1, 2006

According to an August 19, WRAL report:

"The complexity of the Michael Peterson murder trial resulted in 54 days of testimony and consisted of 66 witnesses and more than 500 pieces of evidence. Jury selection, alone, lasted nearly two months. The Duke lacrosse case is expected to be just as complex, Judge Orlando Hudson said, in part because there are three defendants and three sets of attorneys."

Declaring the Duke case to be "exceptional," Durham County's trial court administrator announced that -- unlike most cases in Durham County -- a single judge will handle all aspects of the case. Taking over management of the lacrosse case and its schedule will be Superior Court Judge William Osmond Smith III.








A Logical Response to
Kidnapping and Gang Rape


August 7, 2006

An August 6 News-Observer article says an investigation of official documents reveals that the accuser gave police and medical personnel "at least five different versions" of what happened at Duke's lacrosse party. Of course, they could all be part of the same confused and confusing response to extreme trauma.

The first medical interviewer, a registered nurse at the Durham Access mental health facility, said the accuser was incoherent but that her responses appeared "as if she were psychologically hurt." The nurse told Officer Joseph Stewart the woman's answers to her questions were "more of a traumatic response, rather than a drunk response -- because her thoughts were broken but logical, due to her trying to hold on to reality."

Real but wrong, or imagined yet logical -- the accuser's first responses weren't just vague and confused ramblings. She reported several odd, distinct -- and therefore -- easily verifiable facts. The lengthy N-O case review by Joseph Neff provides some confounding details the accuser offered in the hours and days immediately following the alleged assault.

610







610

Captain Courageous Throws in the Towel


August 1, 2006

In early April, defense attorneys alluded to a finding in results from initial State testing which detected a DNA match to an unknown lacrosse player on a towel. The towel was located at the lacrosse party house in the hallway outside of a bathroom. At that time, lawyers also indicated DNA had been found "on another object."

Now, citing "several sources close to the case," a Durham newspaper is reporting that the DNA on the towel was semen -- and that the semen matches rape suspect David Evans. Testing on the towel also found non-semen-based DNA that did not match Seligmann, Finnerty, or in fact, any of Duke's lacrosse players.

The case's only other DNA link to Captain Evans is "tissue consistent with Evans' genetic makeup" on a fake acrylic fingernail which was found in a bathroom trashcan at 610 Buchanan.

Semen discovered on the bathroom floor has been linked to one other Blue Devil -- reportedly a player who has not been charged. (Matt Zash?)

Details about the DNA results and the match to Evans were included in the 1,800 plus pages of "discovery" DA Nifong gave defense attorneys last month. Apparently it was information the attorneys chose not to leak.

No one from Evans' legal team has commented, but lacrosse lawyer Bill Thomas told reporters the scientific finding was irrelevant.

"Every person who uses a bathroom on a daily basis will have his DNA present in that bathroom in some form," Thomas said. "But in this case, none of the accuser's DNA whatsoever was found. The only significant DNA is semen from a third party unconnected to the case. There still is no evidence whatsoever linking any of these [lacrosse players] to allegations made by the accuser."

However, lawyer John Fitzpatrick -- who is not connected to the Duke case -- opined that the evidence could be crucial.

"It is evidence to show that some kind of orgasm occurred. It gives more credence to the prosecution's theory that something happened. It is a potential link to a crime. It is a big thing," Fitzpatrick said. "The prosecution can say the semen was there because the alleged victim was right. Of course, the defense will probably try to explain it by saying the guys just masturbated."

Lawyer Kerry Sutton remarked, "Finding a healthy young man's semen or DNA on a towel near his bedroom or in his own bathroom couldn't possibly be less shocking."




taxi


"Professional conduct for police officers applies to them on-duty or off-duty, inside or outside their jurisdiction. We'll investigate this matter and if we find there was misconduct, action will be taken."
-- Deputy Police Chief, Ron Hodge



Duham Police Department's
Lee and Tanner
Suspected Hate Criminals Named


Five Durham police officers were investigated in the Blinco's Bar incident: Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, Richard Clayton, James A. Griffin, Gary P. Lee and Scott Tanner. Two former officers are involved in the case, one named James Kennedy and one whose name remains unidentified.

Of the seven, only Lee and Tanner will face the charge of simple assault against restaurant cook, Rene Dennis Thomas.

According to the criminal summonses issued July 27,2006, Lee attempted to strike Thomas and tackled him, causing him to fall to the ground, and that Tanner kicked Thomas in the head. Gottlieb and Clayton have been restored to full-duty status. No additional charges are expected to be filed.

Blinco's line-cook seemed surprised to hear that the charges involved the officers they did. "Lee and Tanner? Huh? Okay. Check that again and call me back," Thomas told a reporter.

"I don't think you have the right guys."



Sgt. Gottlieb
Sgt. Mark Gottlieb,
the Duke rape case investigation supervisor, is also
president of the Durham Police Officers' Association.


"There were Durham officers in the bar who were not involved in this incident and didn't know there were other officers present."
-- Ron Hodge

"Fuck you, n----!" . . . "Fuck you, cracker!"
-- exchange with police according to cook, Rene Dennis Thomas

"When they closed in on me, I just covered my head. It lasted maybe 2-3 seconds . . . I heard someone say, 'He's not worth it. Let's get out of here.'"
-- Rene Dennis Thomas

"Don't worry . . . She's just a stripper."
-- cabbie, Elmostafa, quoting a drunk lax player






A Bunch of Hooligans

Blinco Bar

Durham Investigators Investigated


On July 24, 2006, W.R.A.L. news published the following:

Durham police Deputy Chief R.H. Hodge said officers from Raleigh spoke with Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the supervisor of the lacrosse investigation, and Officer Richard Clayton, who reports to Gottlieb and has assisted on the Duke case, at Durham police headquarters. Raleigh officers were also interviewing several other Durham officers, but Hodge would not say how many.

Durham police Chief Steve Chalmers, however, has said six officers are being investigated.

"We take professional conduct very seriously and professional conduct for police officers applies to them on-duty, off-duty, within their jurisdiction, outside their jurisdiction," Hodge said. "We're going to investigate this matter and should we find there's some misconduct, disciplinary action will be taken."

Both Gottlieb and Clayton were placed on administrative duty Friday, the day after a cook at Blinco's sports bar in Raleigh said he exchanged words -- including some racial slurs -- with the passenger of a black truck as it sped away from the restaurant.

Rene Dennis Thomas, a 29-year-old cook at the bar, has said the truck stopped and he found himself surrounded by at least three more cars. Thomas said he fell to the ground after several men got out of the cars, and he was hit and a shoe grazed his face . . .

Hodge said several Durham officers were at Blinco's on Thursday night, including some not involved in the investigation . . .

WRAL

"I would like to think that somebody who was not in the
bathroom has the human decency to call up and say,
'What am I doing covering up for a bunch of hooligans?'
I'd like to be able to think that there were some people
in that house that were not involved in this and were as
horrified by it as the rest of us are."


-- DA Nifong, 3/28/2006, NY Times






Wolves in Blazers and Khakis
Excerpt from Washington Post artcle by Marc Fisher
July 13, 2006


Now we're getting to the nub of the case. Because while no one in the
courtroom makes much of an issue of it, this case is swimming in beer.
The boys, all of them underage, testify that they were drinking back at the
Georgetown University dorms, drinking in Georgetown bars -- they were
even heading back to campus to drink some more after they'd finished
attacking two strangers.

If the people crowding into Judge John Bayly's courtroom are looking for
insight into the North Carolina case, here it comes: How do you make sense
of the disconnect between the proud, even arrogant claims of excellent
character by Finnerty's friends and the disgusting descriptions of his behavior
by the two men he humiliated that night in Georgetown?





lucky 13

Finnerty's McDefense Strategy Fails

July 10, 2006

During his D.C. gay-bashing trial, Collin Finnerty's unfortunately named defense attorney, Steve McCool, claimed his client's victim -- not his client -- was the "hothead" who caused trouble on November 5, 2005.

Hoping to duplicate the Durham, Duke Rape defense strategy, Mr. McCool attempted to prove defendant Finnerty innocent by suggesting one of the victims was a liar -- and a drunk with a DUI charge from 2004.

Former Duke lacrosse captain William K. Gerrish, testified as a defense witness, saying that he and Finnerty had been drinking at a bar prior to the incident. Finnerty, 20, is not old enough to drink legally.

Gerrish testified that Finnerty was not heavily involved in the altercation. But under cross-examination, Gerrish also said he tried to calm his buddy down. "I think Collin was fired up, but I don't think he was the lead dog trying to instigate the situation," Gerrish said.

Under oath, Gerrish swore that he saw someone hit Finnerty. However, on cross-examination Gerrish admitted that he told an investigator the opposite -- that he never saw Finnerty get struck. He was also forced to acknowledge he told the investigator that Finnerty was "fired up" and wouldn't let the confrontation end.

Asked about the discrepancies by prosecutor George Verghese, Gerrish said some of his memories were fuzzy.

Officer Vincent Wright, the policeman who arrested Finnerty, wasn't at all fuzzy about what happened. Arriving just after the fight, the officer chased down Finnerty and his two pals who were running away from the crime-scene.

Nonetheless, with a straight face, Mr. McCool declared that Collin was actually the victim in the gay-bashing.

I don't know what Susannah Meadows, Tucker Carlson or Bill O'Reilly think about the lacrosse player's strategy, but McCool got a chilly reception from Judge John Bayly. Finding that the defendant's claims were not credible -- Bayly promptly convicted Collin Finnerty of misdemeanor assault.

The judge concluded that Finnerty "menaced" one victim over a 15-to-30-minute period with verbal taunts and violent threats.








"It's totally not Collin. Anybody that knows Collin, knows
he's a very gentle boy and it's not within his character at all."

-- Collin Finnerty's mother, Maryellen -- 6/30/06, NBC

lucky 13 The Wolf Who Cried Boy

Kevin Finnerty: "Collin has significant exculpatory evidence. He has numerous eye-witnesses every step of the way, every minute of the night. Clearly there was two DNA tests done -- obviously no DNA. He has numerous phone calls around the time in question -- many incoming, many outgoing. He has [restaurant] receipts. He also swiped himself with his card, back into his dorm."

Finnerty

Maryellen Finnerty: "Nothing happened at all, with any member of the team."

Maryellen Finnerty: "No one is going to turn. There's nothing to turn on."

Finnerty


Kevin Finnerty: "There were clearly strippers there. They were there for a brief period of time. Collin had nothing to do with the arranging of their arrival. He was in the room. He saw them come. He saw them go . . ."

Maryellen Finnerty: "No. He didn't see them go. He left early!"

He left early!


"It could've been anybody there. I just think it was sort of a
pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and there was no other reason why she would pick Collin."

-- Maryellen Finnerty -- 6/30/06, NBC


June 30, 2006

Oh . . . so NOW cocky Collin understands how Jeffrey Bloxgom felt in November when, walking down a Washington D.C. street "minding his business," Finnerty and his friends began -- according to court documents -- "picking on him for no apparent reason."

When Mr. Bloxgom dared to challenge the Finnerty gang for hurling anti-gay slurs and "told them to stop calling him gay and derogatory names," they decided he deserved a beating.

Now Finnerty knows how it feels to be randomly picked out and abused the way he randomly picked out Bloxgom -- who is hetrosexual, by the way -- and attacked him, busting his lip and bruising his chin while screaming hate-filled slurs and accusations.

Despite what delusional parents and their "legal team" may firmly believe, these are not gentle lessons for a "gentle boy." These are multiple indictments against a criminal defendant in a court of law.



And now a word from our sponsor . . .






"I'm certainly not proud of this moment. I'm certainly not proud of the situation we're in.
I'm certainly not proud of what happened on March 13. But in the end you're not judged by
one game or one season. You're judged by the body of your work."

-- very lax coach, Mike Pressler June, 2006


(56 Duke lacrosse players were involved in 36 on-campus incidents since 2003)


media circus
The lax team doth protest too much, methinks.

When they aren't watering their neighbor's gardens, supporting local tavern owners, or taking midnight taxi tours through town, Duke's lacrosse team is busy planning their moves for next season's battles.

Disappointed that their legal coaches were unable to find a broom big enough to sweep away their felony charges, the spandexed Lax Pack have huddled together and come up with seven new strategies for success.

1. Send some Moms and Dads out with patronizing pardons to back-track on our ill-advised media gang attack of the accuser

2. Find someone who (hiccup) understands our drinking problem, to (hiccup) win as a write-in candidate (hiccup) and then (hiccup) drop our case

3. Locate disgruntled alumni and convince them the police department is making Dukies look like crap

4. Claim that all college students urinate in public, smoke dope, abuse alcohol, and shout racist slurs at the escorts they hire for their underage drinking parties

5. Put out word that our parent's bank accounts are dwindling dangerously down to mere millions

6. Leak rumors of a coming "White Flight" from Durham

7. Have cable TV stars demand the state Attorney General's office intervene and dismiss our rape charges in order to restore the public's confidence in the justice system



Evans Family


". . . 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."

-- from "The Media Rush to Duke's Defense"
by Andrew Cohen, Washington Post, 6/27/06





The Gang's All Here Duke FOX scandal Duke FOX scandal

Tucker Carlson Duke MSNBC scandal Dan Abrams

In mid-June 2006, legal correspondent and Duke alum,
Dan Abrams was put in charge of MSNBC as the new General Manager.






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