Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

The Duke Lacrosse Rape case is all across the news wires. (some links to the full stories are http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/04/11/duke.lacrosse/index.html;
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/11727630/detail.html; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,265688,00.html; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,265187,00.html)

The three were charged after an escort-service dancer accused them of raping her at a team party in March 2006. All charges against Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty were dismissed yesterday.

The North Carolina state bar filed ethics complaints against Nifong (the prosecuting DA in this case) in December and January, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence from the players' defense attorneys and of "making misrepresentations to the presiding judge."

Certain news sources have now released the name of the "victim" since the charges were dropped and she is no longer a "victim."

Other news sources quoted the AG - Asked if she had lied about the attack, Cooper said that investigators think that she "may actually believe" the many different stories she has told. As for charging [Victim] in connection with her claims, Cooper said it was "not in the best interest of justice" to file charges against her. He then made reference to "sealed" records--which apparently regard her mental health--about the woman that convinced prosecutors not to pursue charges against her.

This case has burned me up from the very beginning. These poor innocent boys' reputations have been tarnished. This woman, apparently with serious mental-health issues, has been manipulated by a district attorney to suit his own quest for personal fame (and his pursuit of re-election).

On another board I post on, one poster says her DH was an investigator and she knows that 75% of reported cases are proven false - "many times it was the female who regretted it later after a night of drinking or just not thinking it all the way through" (I personally suspect her figure is much too high). Another mom said "as a mother of boys, I can't tell you how much this case sickens me."

The case sickens me too. Women who are indeed sexually assaulted or raped are going to find themselves subjected to intense scrutiny in the wake of this case. Rapists everywhere will use this case as evidence of a "system gone crazy."

This case is a travesty of justice. I am a firm believer in our system of justice and in insuring everyone's constitutional rights are protected. Some people point to the dismissal as evidence that our system works .... in the end.

It is horrifically sad to read about the toll these charges have taken on these young men. Their lives, I imagine, are forever changed.

As far as the woman, if it can be proven that she intentionally perpetuated this hoax, then I pray she is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But if she is an innocent victim, whose mental health status was taken advantage of by a manipulative district attorney, then I pray she finds peace in the wake of this mess as well.

1 comment:

Tina said...

I have been following this case too - and it sickens me that now, for the women who really need to prosecute for assults against them, they will be grilled and grilled over and over again, making their case harder to prove.

The DA should serve jail time for wrecking the lives of innocent people.