Duke Lacrosse Rape update.
For anyone unfamiliar with the case, last march two strippers were hired to perform at a fraternity house in Durham NC. One of the woman later made an allegation of rape. She claimed she was assaulted, held down and rapped by at least three members of the Duke lacrosse team.
MIke Nifong, a prosecutor handling the case, became very vocal and media friendly almost immediately after the claim was made and Duke university and different racial and feminists groups became involved. It was a media storm as folk weighed in against white rich fratboys who feel they can use and abuse black female stripper. It got very ugly, with groups on Duke's campus calling for the men to be castrated at one point.
The three men accused denied the charge from the word go, and while there were discrepancies in the alledged victim's case from the outset-including the woman picking a man from photos who was no where near the scene at the time- MIke Nifong aggressively pursued this case, mostly in front of a bank of television cameras.
But things started to fall apart for Nifong early on. The men all gave DNA samples. DNA from five men was found on the accuser, but none of it belonged to the three defendants. Mr. Nifong knew this before he indicted the trio.
Nifong and Brian Meehan, the director of the lab where the DNA testing took place, concealed the exculpatory test result from defense attorneys, a violation of procedure and perhaps of the law.The victim self changed her story several times, and the second stripper who was there on the night in question also threw cold water on the rape claims.
Nifong carried on with his charge, never wavering publicly.
However, facing ethics charges that could lead to his disbarment, the Nifong, the Durham County district attorney quietly asked to be removed from the case on Friday _ faxing a letter to the state attorney general asking for a special prosecutor to take over the case that is sure to define his nearly three-decade career.
And what of the students? What of the woman who accused them? What happens next? Was this simply a jump the gun case? Who is the real victim here? The students who had their faces plastered all over the media? Are their charges to be held? What did happen that night?
We'll have to wait and see how this plays out, won't we? Maybe that's what we all should have done from the beginning.