Duke Lacrosse Case Of False Rape Allegations

Abstracted from Wikipedia

References are available here


 

| EJF Home | Join the EJF | Comments? | Get EJF newsletter | EJF Newsletters |

| Courts, Veteran Courts, And Civil Liberties | Contents | Index |

 

| Chapter 2 — Perjury And False Allegations |

| Next — Chapter 3 — What Happened To Civil Rights? |

| Back — Is It Reasonable? by Erik Pistol |


 
It would be nice to believe that events like this were rare but that is not the case.

Index

Abstract

Timeline of events

Events at the house

After Mangum and Robert's departure

Minute-by-minute list of events

Timeline of March 13-14, 2006

Investigation and prosecution

DNA tests

Arrests and investigation timeline

Defense and media questioning leading up to the dismissal

Credibility of the accuser

The Duke defense lawyers or media reports noted that:

Inconsistencies in Crystal Mangum's story

Durham Police Department's actions

Chief investigator

Photo identification

Accusations of intimidation tactics

Supervisor

Effects of these false allegations and corrupt justice system on the community

Effects on Duke faculty

Effect on Duke students

Effect on community relations

Aftermath

Crystal Mangum arrested for attempted murder, assault and arson

Crystal Mangum charged with first-degree murder in boyfriend's death

Tried and convicted


 

Abstract

On March 13, 2006, Crystal Gail Mangum, a black student at North Carolina Central University who worked as a stripper, dancer and escort, falsely accused three white Duke University students, members of the Duke Blue Devils men's lacrosse team, of raping her at a party held at the house of two team's captains in Durham, North Carolina. Many people involved in, or commenting on, the case, including prosecutor Mike Nifong, called the alleged assault a hate crime, or suggested it might be one, and filed multiple charges against the accused students. Following the accusations feminist hysteria reined on the Duke campus, and despite overwhelming evidence the men were innocent, Nifong aggressively prosecuted the charges.

Duke University suspended the lacrosse team for two games on March 28, 2006. On April 5, 2006, Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign under threat by athletics director Joe Alleva and Duke President Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 season.

On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. Cooper stated that the charged players — Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans — were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse." The initial prosecutor for the case, Durham County's District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was labeled a "rogue prosecutor" by Cooper, withdrew from the case in January 2007 after the North Carolina State Bar filed ethics charges against him. That June, Nifong was disbarred for "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation," making Nifong the first prosecutor in North Carolina history to lose his law license based on actions in a case. Nifong was also found guilty of criminal contempt and served one day in jail. Crystal Mangum never faced any charges for her false accusations as AG Cooper declined to prosecute her.

In dismissing the charges Cooper pointed to several inconsistencies in Crystal Mangum's accounts of the evening as well as unimpeachable alibi evidence provided by Seligmann and Finnerty in the summary of findings report. The Durham Police Department came under fire for violating their own policies by:

• Allowing Nifong to act as the de facto head of the investigation;

• Giving a suspect-only photo identification procedure to Ms. Mangum;

• Pursuing the case despite vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb; and

• Distributing a poster presuming the guilt of the suspects shortly after the allegations.


 

Timeline of events

Events at the house

Top

In March 2006 27-year-old Crystal Gail Mangum, a student at North Carolina Central University, had been working part-time for about two months as an escort and stripper for Allure Escort Service.

Early claims by feminists that Mangum had only recently taken up this line of work and that the party was "the first time she had been hired to dance provocatively for a group" were incorrect; Mangum was working at strip clubs at least as far back as her 2002 arrest for stealing the car of a patron to whom she gave a lap dance.

Before arriving at the party that day she had, by her own admission, consumed alcohol and Flexeril (a prescription muscle relaxer). Mangum's coworker that day was Kim Roberts, but they arrived separately.

According to statements provided to police by students attending the party, on March 13, 2006, a party was held at the off-campus residence of the captains of the Duke lacrosse team, a house that Duke University owned and had previously purchased with the intent of reselling as a a single family dwelling once the lease of the current occupants expired. The players were consuming alcohol at the party and contacted Allure Escort Service requesting two white strippers. But the women who arrived, Mangum and Roberts, were respectively black and half-Asian-American, half-black.

The girls began performing around midnight and one player asked if the dancers had any sex toys. Ms. Roberts responded by asking if the player's penis was too small, according to the team captains. The player then brandished a broomstick and suggested that she "use this (as a sex toy)." This exchange of words abruptly stopped the performance, and both strippers went inside the home's bathroom. While the women were still in the bathroom, Seligmann and Finnerty left the house. The women came out, and Ms. Mangum roamed around the yard half-dressed and shouting.

Shortly before 1 AM Mangum and Roberts entered Kim Roberts' vehicle. Ms. Roberts then provoked an ugly incident by calling the attendees "Short dick white boys" to which one player yelled "We asked for whites, not niggers." Mangum and Roberts then departed in Roberts' car. Kim Roberts also introduced another element of racism into this incident by calling 911 and saying white men who came out of 610 N. Buchanan yelled "nigger" at her from near the East Campus wall.

After Mangum and Robert's departure

Top

As Roberts drove away with Mangum, the two women began to argue. Roberts pulled over and attempted to push Mangum out. When that measure failed, Roberts drove Mangum to a nearby Kroger supermarket, went inside, and spoke to a security guard. She told the guard that a woman was refusing to leave her car. The guard walked to the car and asked Mangum to leave, but Mangum stayed in the vehicle. The guard said that she did not smell alcohol on Mangum's breath, but thought she might have been under the influence of other drugs. At 1:22 AM, the guard called 911 to report that Mangum refused to leave the car. Police then arrived, tried to remove Mangum from the car, and questioned her.

The police then took Crystal Mangum to the Durham Access Center, a mental-health and substance-abuse facility, for involuntary commitment. During the admission process, she claimed that she had been raped prior to her arrival. Mangum was then transferred to Duke University Medical Center and received treatment for genital injuries, but it was unclear whether or not these injuries were consistent with rape. There were no abrasions, tears, or bleeding in the vaginal area, but investigators did find swelling in the vaginal area, along with tenderness in Mangum's breasts and lower-right quadrant. Semen was also recovered from her vagina. There was no blunt-force trauma, but Mangum had two non-bleeding scratches on her right knee and a non-bleeding scratch on her right heel, which reportedly had been there before she arrived at the party.

There was diffuse swelling of the vagina, and investigators did not note any other injuries in the rest of the report. Ms. Mangum later claimed that she had performed using a vibrator for a couple in a hotel room shortly before the lacrosse-team party. This activity, or a yeast infection, might account for the swelling.


 

Minute-by-minute list of events

The Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle, published this list of events.

Timeline of March 13-14, 2006

Top

Based on several published reports, The Chronicle offers readers a timeline for the night of March 13 and the early morning of March 14.

11:30 PM — Approximate time, according to a Durham police warrant, of the two exotic dancers' arrival at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

11:50 PM — Neighbor Jason Bissey told the Raleigh News and Observer that he saw two women walk to the back of the house, where they were greeted by a man.

12:00 AM — Bissey sees the two women enter the house.

12:02 AM — A time-stamped photo provided by defense attorneys shows women dancing in front of the lacrosse players.

12:03 AM — Another photo shows both dancers leaving the party.

12:03 AM-12:30 AM — There is a 27-minute gap where no photos were taken.

12:07, 12:14 AM — Phone bills indicate two outgoing calls are made from sophomore Reade Seligmann's cell phone.

Sometime before 12:24 AM — A taxi driver has said in a written statement that he picked up Seligmann and a friend a block and a half away from the party.

12:24 AM — Seligmann's ATM card is used at a Wachovia bank. The taxi driver confirmed that he drove Seligmann and his friend to a bank and fast food restaurant before taking them to West Campus.

12:25 AM — Seligmann calls his girlfriend, another Duke sophomore, on his cell phone.

12:20 AM-12:30 AM — Bissey told the Durham Herald-Sun he saw the women leave the house during this period, only to try to go back inside to retrieve a missing shoe.

12:30 AM — A time-stamped photo shows Mangum, wearing only one shoe, rifling through her purse and apparently smiling on the back porch of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

12:37 AM — A photo shows the woman lying on her side on the porch, apparently passed out.

12:41 AM — A photo shows the woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car with the door open.

12:45 AM-1:00 AM — Bissey said he saw the two dancers leave in a car sometime during this time period. He said he saw one man standing adjacent to the East Campus wall, shout "Thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt." He added that he saw the players leave the residence shortly thereafter.

12:46 AM — Seligmann's DukeCard is used to gain access to his Edens dormitory.

12:53 AM — The second dancer calls 911, saying white men who came out of 610 N. Buchanan yelled "nigger" at her from near the East Campus wall. Defense attorneys questioned inconsistencies in the call — the caller first said she was driving, and later said she was walking when the slur was yelled.

12:55 AM — Durham Police Department officers arrive at a quiet 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. They saw there was evidence of a party, but nobody answered the door when the officers arrived.

1:22 AM — A female grocery clerk at a Kroger located on Hillsborough Road calls 911, saying "There's a lady in someone else's car, and she will not get out...She's like, intoxicated, drunk or something."

1:30 AM — The police officer who came to respond to the Kroger call tells a dispatcher that Mangum does not need medical attention, adding, "She's not in distress. She's just passed-out drunk."

1:58 AM — An e-mail sent from the Duke account of sophomore lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen discusses hiring strippers and "killing the bitches."

The timeline was compiled by Jared Mueller and Tiffany Webber using information provided by ABC News, NBC 17 News, the Durham Herald-Sun, The Raleigh News & Observer and The New York Times.


 

Investigation and prosecution

DNA tests

Top

Shortly after the party, the prosecution ordered 46 of the 47 team members to provide DNA samples (the only black member of the team was exempt since Mangum had stated that her attackers were white), though some members had been absent from the party. The players gave cheek swabs and statements to the police the day after the party. They also offered to take polygraph tests, but the police turned them down.

About a month later, on Monday, April 10, 2006, it was revealed that DNA testing had failed to connect any of the 46 tested members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team. After the initial rounds of testing done by the state crime lab were completed, the district attorney sought the services of a private laboratory (DNA Security of Burlington) to conduct additional tests. DNA from multiple males was found inside Crystal Mangum's vagina and upon the rape kit items that had been tested. However, district attorney Mike Nifong falsely represented to the public and to the court that DNA had only been found from a single male source, her boyfriend.

On December 13, 2006, defense attorneys filed court papers stating that the private lab had found DNA from multiple males in Mangum's body— but none that belonged to the accused players.

On December 15, 2006, defense attorneys argued in a motion that the DNA report given to Nifong's office (and thus what the defense attorneys received) was incomplete, omitting information that showed DNA samples from several men in and on Crystal Mangum and her underwear, but that none of the genetic material matched any of the players. The director of the DNA lab, Brian Meehan, acknowledged that the decision violated the lab's policies, but stated that his lab did not try to withhold information. Rather, Meehan claimed, he decided to withhold the exculpatory DNA evidence after discussing it with Nifong in an attempt to not drag anyone else through the mud.

DNA taken from all surfaces of three false fingernails belonging to Mangum which were retrieved from the trash in the bathroom to which Mangum and Roberts had retreated (widely but falsely reported as DNA taken from the underside only of a single fingernail) showed some characteristics similar to David Evans' DNA, according to the private laboratory, but the match was not conclusive. Defense attorneys suggested that any DNA present may have come from the tissue paper, cotton swabs, or other hygiene-related trash that had been in the bathroom trash can along with the fingernail, since David Evans lived in the house. This was confirmed later by Attorney General Cooper's investigation: "... to the extent that Evans's DNA could not be excluded, the SBI experts confirmed that the DNA could easily have been transferred to the fingernails from other materials in the trash can."

District Attorney Nifong claimed that the lack of DNA is not unusual and that 75–80% of all sexual assault cases lack DNA evidence. Rape victims often delay reporting by days or weeks, inadvertently destroying DNA evidence. In this case, Mangum had a rape-kit exam administered only hours after the end of the party, and the absence of DNA is quite unlikely after a multiple rape.

Later, during Michael Nifong's ethics trial on June 14, 2007, the complete DNA findings were revealed during Brad Bannon's testimony. It revealed, according to conservative estimates, that the lab had discovered at least two unidentified males' DNA in Mangum's pubic region; at least two unidentified males' DNA in her rectum; at least four to five unidentified males' DNA on her panties; and at least one identified male's DNA in her vagina.

Arrests and investigation timeline

Top

On April 10, 2006, defense attorneys stated that time-stamped photographs exist that show the dancer was injured upon arrival and very impaired.

On April 18, 2006, two members of the lacrosse team, Collin Finnerty, 19, and Reade Seligmann, 20, were arrested and indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping.

Collin Finnerty had previously been charged with assaulting a man in Washington, D.C. and shouting anti-gay epithets at him. That Washington D.C. incident had not been cited as a hate crime. He pled guilty and agreed to community service in November 2005 as part of a diversion program. On January 10, 2007, the matter was cleared on Finnerty's record by a judge after monitoring Finnerty for several months and learning more about his character.

Seligmann reportedly told teammates that he was glad at being indicted, alluding to a solid alibi in the form of ATM records, photographs, cell phone records, an affidavit from a taxi driver, and a record of his DukeCard being swiped at his dorm.

• On April 18, search warrants were executed on Finnerty and Seligmann's dorm rooms.

• On May 15, 2006, a third Duke lacrosse team player, former team captain and 2006 Duke graduate David Evans, was indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, sexual offense and kidnapping.

• On June 8, 2006, court documents revealed that KIm Roberts, in her initial statement, said she was with Crystal Mangum the entire evening except for a period of less than five minutes. Additionally, after hearing Mangum saying she was sexually assaulted, she was incredulous.

• On December 22, 2006, District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped the rape charges against all three lacrosse players. The kidnapping and sexual offense charges were left pending against all three players.

• On December 28, 2006, the North Carolina bar filed ethics charges against Nifong over his conduct in the case, accusing him of making public statements that were prejudicial to the administration of justice and of engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. The 17-page document accuses Michael Nifong of violating four rules of professional conduct, listing more than 100 examples of statements he made to the media.

• On January 12, 2007, Nifong sent a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asking to be taken off the case, giving the responsibility of the case to the Attorney General's office.

• On January 13, 2007 Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that his office would take over the case.

• On January 24, 2007, the North Carolina State Bar filed a second round of ethics charges against Nifong for a systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion that was prejudicial to the administration of justice when he withheld DNA evidence to mislead the court.

• On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced at a press conference that he had dismissed all charges against the three lacrosse players. He not only dismissed the charges but he took the unusual step of declaring the accused players innocent and also called Nifong a "rogue prosecutor." Cooper also announced that Ms. Mangum would not be prosecuted, stating that investigators and attorneys that had interviewed her thought "she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling" and "it's in the best interest of justice not to bring charges."

• Michael Nifong was ordered disbarred on June 16, 2007 after the North Carolina's bar's three-member disciplinary panel unanimously found him guilty of fraud, dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation; of making false statements of material fact before a judge; of making false statements of material fact before bar investigators, and of lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence.

• On August 31, 2007, Michael Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to a single day in jail.


 

Defense and media questioning leading up to the dismissal

Credibility of the accuser

Top

Lawyers for the Duke lacrosse players said that Crystal Mangum was intoxicated with alcohol and possibly other drugs. By the accuser's own admission to police, she had taken both prescription Flexeril and "one or two large-size beers" before the party. It has since been confirmed by the Attorney General's office that Mangum had taken Ambien, methadone, Paxil and amitriptyline, although when she began taking these medications is uncertain. She has a long history of mental problems and has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. She also has taken anti-psychotic medications such as Seroquel.

The Duke defense lawyers or media reports noted that:

Top

• DNA results revealed that the woman had sex with a man who was not a Duke lacrosse player. Attorney Joseph Cheshire said the tests indicated DNA from a single male source came from a vaginal swab taken from Mangum. Media outlets reported that this DNA was from her boyfriend. However, it was later revealed that DNA from multiple males who were neither the lacrosse players or Mangum's boyfriend had been found, but that these findings had been deliberately withheld from the Court and the defense.

• She had been convicted of stealing a car from the patron of a strip club she had given a lap dance to. She was sentenced to 3 weekends in detention for that.

• She had made a similar claim in the past which she did not pursue. On Aug.18, 1996, Crystal Mangum — then 18 years old — told a police officer in Creedmoor she had been raped by three men in June 1993, according to a police document. The officer who took the woman's report at that time asked her to write a detailed timeline of the night's events and bring the account back to the police, but she never returned.

• The strip club's security officer said that Mangum told co-workers four days after the party that she was going to get money from some boys at a Duke party who had not paid her, mentioning that the boys were white. The security guard did not make a big deal of it because he felt that no one took her seriously.

Inconsistencies in Crystal Mangum's story

Top

Over the course of the scandal police reports, media investigations, and defense attorneys' motions and press conferences brought to light several key inconsistencies in Mangum's story.

Some of the questions about her credibility were:

• Durham police said that Mangum kept changing her story and was not credible, reporting that she initially told them she was raped by 20 white men, later reducing the number to only three.

• Another police report stated that Mangum initially claimed she was only groped, rather than raped, but changed her story before going to the hospital.

• The second stripper who performed at the house, Kim Roberts, said that Mangum was not raped. She stated that Mangum was not obviously hurt. Likewise, she refuted other aspects of Mangum's story including denying that she helped dress Mangum after the party and saying that they were not forcefully separated by players like Mangum had reported.

• Mangum did not consistently choose the same three defendants in the photo lineups. Media reports have disclosed at least two photo lineups that occurred in March and April in which she was asked to recall who she saw at the party and in what capacity. In the March lineup, she did not choose Dave Evans at all. There was only one individual she identified as being at the party with 100% certainty during both procedures — Brad Ross. After being identified, Ross provided to police investigators indisputable evidence that he was with his girlfriend at North Carolina State University before, during, and after the party through cell phone records and a sworn affidavit from a witness.

• A police report released June 23, 2006, said that Mangum initially claimed she was attacked by five men and changed her story several times.

• On December 22, 2006, Nifong dropped the rape charges after Mangum stated that she was penetrated from behind but that she did not know with what. In North Carolina, penetration with an object is considered sexual assault, not rape.

• On January 11, 2007, several more inconsistencies came to light after the defense filed a motion detailing her interview on December 21, 2006. For example, she changed details about when she was attacked, who attacked her, and how they attacked her:

• In the new version from the December 21 interview, Mangum claims she was attacked from 11:35 PM to midnight, much earlier than her previous accusations. This new timing is before the well-documented alibi evidence for Reade Seligmann that places him away from the house. However, the defense revealed that this new timing would suggest Seligmann was on the phone with his girlfriend during the height of the attack. Additionally, she received an incoming call at 11:36 PM and somebody stayed on the line for 3 minutes, which would be during the party according to the new timetable.

• The new statement contradicts time stamped photos that show her dancing between 12:00 and 12:04 AM. It would also mean that they stayed at the party for nearly an hour after the supposed attack since Kim Roberts drove her away at 12:53 AM. In her April statement, Ms. Mangum said they left immediately after the attack.

• Mangum changed the names of her attackers, saying they used multiple pseudonyms.

• The accuser also changed her description of Evans. She previously claimed that she was attacked by man that looked like Evans except with a mustache, but later stated that the assailant just had a five o'clock shadow.

• Mangum claimed that Evans stood in front of her, making her perform oral sex on him. Previously, she stated that Seligmann did this. In the latest statement, she stated that Seligmann did not commit any sex act on her and that he had said that he could not participate because he was getting married. Although he has a girlfriend, there has never been anything to suggest he was engaged or getting married.

• North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said Crystal Mangum told many different accounts of the attack. In one account, Mangum claimed she was suspended in mid-air and was being assaulted by all three of them in the bathroom. Cooper then said this event seemed very implausible due to the small size of the bathroom. According to a 60 Minutes investigation, the accuser gave at least a dozen different stories.

• Mangum, at one point, claimed both Evans and Finnerty helped her into her car upon departure. However, a photo shows her being helped by another player, while electronic records and witnesses reported that Evans and Finnerty had already left. Upon seeing the photo, Mangum claimed that it must have been doctored or that Duke University paid someone off.

• In its own investigation, The News & Observer, North Carolina's second largest newspaper, determined that Mangum gave at least five different versions of the incident to police and medical interviewers by August 2006.


 

Durham Police Department's actions

Top

Lawyers and media have questioned the methods of the photo identification process, and have argued that the police supervisor in the case, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, has unfairly targeted Duke students in the past.

Chief investigator

Top

District Attorney Michael Nifong hired Linwood E. Wilson as his chief investigator. During Wilson's private detective career, at least seven formal inquiries into his conduct were performed, and, in 1997, he was reprimanded by the state commission. After his appeal of the decision was rejected, he allowed his detective license to expire. In response to criticism, Wilson stated that he never had anybody question his integrity. Shortly after Nifong's disbarment, it was reported on June 25, 2007, that interim district attorney Jim Hardin Jr. fired Wilson from his post.

Photo identification

Top

Lawyers and media reports alike suggest that the photo identification process was severely flawed. During the photo identifications, Mangum was told that she would be viewing Duke University lacrosse players who attended the party, and was asked if she remembered seeing them at the party and in what capacity. Defense attorneys claimed this was essentially a "multiple-choice test in which there were no wrong answers," while Duke law professor James Coleman posits that "the officer was telling the witness that all are suspects, and say, in effect, 'Pick three.' It's so wrong." U.S. Department of Justice guidelines suggest to include at least five non-suspect filler photos for each suspect included, as did the Durham Police Department's own General Order 4077, adopted in February 2006.

At least two photo lineups have been reported by the media. In the March identification process, Mangum selected at least five different individuals, one of whom was Reade Seligmann (whom she identified with 70% certainty). During the April identification process, Mangum identified at least 16 lacrosse players. She identified Seligmann and Finnerty with 100% certainty and Dave Evans with 90% certainty during the April identification procedure. In the disclosed report, there were only two individuals that she identified during both the March and April lineups — Brad Ross and Reade Seligmann.

Ross (the only player she identified as attending the party with 100% certainty during both procedures) provided to police investigators indisputable evidence that he was with his girlfriend at North Carolina State University before, during, and after the party through cell phone records and a sworn affidavit from a witness. Another person she identified in April also provided police with evidence that he did not attend the party at all. In regards to Seligmann's identification, Mangum's confidence increased from 70% in March to 100% in April. Gary Wells, an Iowa State University professor and expert on police identification procedures replied that memory does not get better with time.

According to the transcript of the photo identification released on The Abrams Report, Mangum also stated that David Evans had a mustache on the night of the attack. Evans' lawyer stated that his client never has had a mustache and that photos as well as eyewitness testimony would reveal that Evans has never had a mustache.

Accusations of intimidation tactics

Top

Defense lawyers also suggest that police have used intimidation tactics on witnesses. On May 11, Moezeldin Elmostafa, a black taxi driver who signed a sworn statement about Seligmann's whereabouts that defense lawyers say provides a solid alibi, was arrested on a 2?-year-old shoplifting charge. He was not the accused shoplifter, but had driven them in his cab.

Mr. Elmostafa was subsequently tried on the shoplifting charge and was found not guilty.

Supervisor

Top

The News & Observer has suggested that the supervisor of the lacrosse investigation, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, has unfairly targeted Duke students in the past, putting some of his investigational tactics into question. Gottlieb has made a disproportionate number of arrests of Duke students for misdemeanor violations, such as carrying an open container of alcohol. Normally, these violations earn offenders a pink ticket similar to a traffic ticket. From May 2005 to February 2006, when Sgt. Gottlieb was a patrol officer in District 2, he made 28 total arrests. Twenty of those arrests were Duke students, and at least 15 were handcuffed and taken to jail. This is in stark contrast to the other two officers on duty in the same district during that same 10-month period. They made 64 total arrests, only two of which were Duke students. Similarly, The News & Observer charges that Gottlieb treated nonstudents very differently. For example, he wrote up a young man for illegally carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possession of marijuana (crimes far more severe than the Duke students who were taken to jail committed), but did not take him to jail.

Duke's student newspaper, The Chronicle, depicted other examples of violence and dishonesty from Sgt. Gottlieb. It published that one student threw a party at his rental home off-East Campus before the Rolling Stones concert in October 2005. The morning after the concert, at 3 AM, Sgt. Gottlieb led a raid on the home with nine other officers while the students were half asleep. It reported that one student was dragged out of bed and then dragged down the stairs. It reported that all seven housemates were put in handcuffs, arrested, and taken into custody for violating a noise ordinance and open container of alcohol violations. Sgt. Gottlieb reportedly told one student, who was a U.S. citizen of Serbian descent, that the student could be deported. Other stories include the throwing of a 130pound male against his car for an open container of alcohol violation, refusing the ID of a student since he was international, searching through a purse without a warrant, refusing to tell a student her rights, and accusations of perjury.


 

Effects of these false allegations and corrupt justice system on the community

Effects on Duke faculty

Top

Mike Pressler, the coach of the lacrosse team, received threatening emails and hate calls, had castigating signs placed on his property, and was the frequent victim of vandalism in the aftermath of the accusations.

On April 5, 2006, he was forced to resign shortly after the McFadyen email became public. On the same day, Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, suspended the remainder of the lacrosse season.

Feminist faculty members (sometimes referred to as the Group of 88, or as the "Gang of 88" ) unleashed a sickening torrent of vitriol on the innocent male students. They have subsequently been criticized for their "Social Disaster" letter as well as individual comments and reactions which continue to create a perception of prejudgment.

Effect on Duke students

Top

Shortly after the party, the President of the University warned in a school-wide email of threats of gang violence against Duke students. Other Duke students claimed they were threatened.

Lacrosse team members had their photographs posted prominently around Durham and on the Duke University campus with accompanying captions requesting that they come forward with information about the incident.

Effect on community relations

Top

The false rape allegations inflamed already strained relations between Duke University and its host city of Durham, with members of the Duke lacrosse team being vilified in the press and defamed on and off campus. On May 1, 2006, the New Black Panthers held a protest outside Duke University.

The case drew national attention and highlighted racial tensions within the Durham area.


 

Aftermath

Top

On December 15, 2006, it was reported that Mangum was pregnant and the judge in the case ordered a paternity test.

In January 2007, lacrosse team member Kyle Dowd filed a lawsuit against Duke University and visiting associate professor and member of the Group of 88 (sometimes referred to as the "Gang of 88"), Kim Curtis, claiming that he and another teammate were given failing grades on their final paper as a form of retaliation after the scandal broke. The case has been settled with the terms undisclosed except that Dowd's grade was altered to a Pass.

Dowd's mother emailed another member of the 88, Houston Baker, who continued to accuse her son and the others of being "hooligans, rapists" and called her "the mother of a farm animal."

The lacrosse team, reinstated for the 2007 season, reached the NCAA Finals as the #1 seed. The Blue Devils lost to the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays in the championship, 12–11.

In May 2007, Duke requested that the NCAA restore a year's eligibility to the players on the 2006 men's team, part of whose season was canceled. The NCAA granted the team's request for another year of eligibility, which applies to the 33 members of the 2006 team who were underclassmen in 2006 and who remained at Duke in 2007. Four of the seniors from 2006 attended graduate school at Duke in 2007 and played for the team. In 2010, the final year in which the team included fifth-year seniors (freshmen in 2006), Duke won the NCAA Lacrosse Championship beating Notre Dame, 6–5 in overtime, to give the school its first lacrosse championship.

Seligmann enrolled as a student at Brown University in the fall of 2007, while Finnerty enrolled at Loyola College in Maryland.

On June 7, 2007, it was announced that lacrosse coach Mike Pressler and Duke had reached an amicable and fair financial settlement. Pressler was later hired as coach by Division II (now Division I) Bryant University in Rhode Island. In October 2007, Pressler filed suit seeking to undo the settlement and hold a trial on his wrongful termination claim on the grounds that Duke spokesman John Burness had made disparaging comments about him. After Duke failed in an attempt to have the case dismissed, the matter was settled in 2010 after Duke apologized in a press release.

On June 18, 2007, the families of the three players announced that they reached an agreement with Duke. No details of the settlement were disclosed.

On August 25, 2007, multiple sources reported that the players would file a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city of Durham.

On August 31, 2007, Michael Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to a single day in jail, which he subsequently served.

On September 29, 2007, Duke President Brodhead, speaking at a two-day conference at Duke Law School on the practice and ethics of trying cases in the media, apologized for "causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support."

Crystal Mangum graduated from North Carolina Central University in May 2008, with a degree in police psychology. On August 22, 2008, a press release announced the planned publication in October 2008 of a memoir by Mangum, The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story. The press release says the book "can't and doesn't deal with the complex legal aspects of the case" but nevertheless asserts that "the muddling of facts about Crystal's life, along with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's desire to settle the dispute over open file discovery, swallowed the case whole." Attorney Cheshire responded to the news by saying that if the book was truthful, "I think it would be fabulous, and I don't think anybody would think badly about her in any way, shape or form," but that if the memoir did not acknowledge the falsity of her allegations against the players, that he would advise them to initiate civil action against her.

On July 12, 2010, Duke University demolished the house at which the party took place, 610 North Buchanan Boulevard, after it had sat unoccupied for the four years following the Duke lacrosse case.


 

Crystal Mangum arrested for attempted murder, assault and arson

Top

On 17 February 2010, police were called to Crystal Mangum's residence by her nine-year old daughter. When they arrived, they found a fight was in progress between Crystal and her live-in boy friend. She also set fire to some of his clothing in a bathtub in their presence. The building suffered heavy smoke damage. She was arrested on charges of attempted murder, first-degree arson, assault and battery, identity theft, communicating threats, damage to property, resisting an officer and misdemeanor child abuse.

Ms. Mangum was ordered to remain in jail on $1 million bond. Her bond was lowered to $100,000 in May and she was released from jail to live in a friends house. She was required to wear an electronic monitoring device. On 12 July 2010, she was released from house arrest and required to move in with her mother. She was then allowed to visit her three children but only under supervision of social services. On 25 August 2010 Mangum was rearrested and held on $150,000 bond for failure to comply with restrictions on her child visitation order.

Crystal Gayle Mangum was found guilty of child abuse and damaging property on December 17, 2010.

A 12-member jury found Mangum guilty of child abuse, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer, all misdemeanors. After the verdict, Judge Abe Jones sentenced Mangum to the 88 days in jail which she had already served. Under state sentencing guidelines, 90 days was the maximum sentence Jones could have ordered, but he decided she'd paid enough for her crimes.

All of the charges she was convicted of are misdemeanors. A mistrial was declared by Superior Court Judge Abraham Jones on the felony arson charge because the jury deadlocked 9-3. Prosecutor Mark McCullough will decide in January 2011 whether or not to retry Mangum on the arson charge.

So, after putting her children and others in danger, once again Crystal Mangum receives a slight slap on the hand. She was sentenced to time served —- a mere 88 days.

Astoundingly, after being convicted of child abuse Crystal Mangum was also awarded custody of her three children. She had lost custody in August 2009.


 

Crystal Mangum charged with first-degree murder in boyfriend's death

Top

CrimeSider and Wikipedia

April 3, 2011 —Crystal Mangum stabbed 46-year-old Reginald Daye apparently during an argument in Daye's apartment. Police said he was repeatedly stabbed in the torso with a kitchen knife during an argument.

At the time of the stabbing a man who said he was Daye's nephew called 911 to report the stabbing, saying it occurred while Daye and his girlfriend were arguing about rent money.

When asked for a description of the girlfriend, the caller said, "It's Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum."

Daye and Ms. Mangum had reportedly been dating for about a month, but his family members said they weren't a couple. They said Daye was only trying to help Ms. Mangum get back on her feet and had provided her a place to stay.

The 32-year-old Ms. Mangum was initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in the April 3 rd stabbing. However, Reginald Daye died in the hospital on April 13 th from his injuries. Following his death the grand jury indicted Ms. Mangum of first-degree murder and two charges of theft. She was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious bodily injury, a class C felony in North Carolina. Ms. Mangum was held in jail under a $300,000 secured bail bond, which was set prior to her boyfriend's death.

Tried and convicted

Top

In November 2011 Mangum was deemed competent to stand trial for murder. On May 1, 2012, Mangum's attorney withdrew citing the release by Crystal Mangum of confidential information regarding her case to her supporters. On February 20, 2013, Crystal Mangum was released on bail until her trial in November.

At the trial, Ms. Mangum argued that she stabbed Daye in self-defense, saying Daye was beating her in a jealous rage when she grabbed a knife and "poked him in the side." [The abuse excuse.]

However, the prosecution successfully argued that the forensic evidence supported Reginald Daye's dying statement that he was attempting to get away from Ms. Mangum when he was stabbed.

On November 22, 2013, Crystal Mangum was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury of seven men and five women. Judge Paul Ridgeway sentenced her to serve a minimum of 14 years 2 months and a maximum of 18 years in prison.

Top


 

| EJF Home | Join the EJF | Comments? | Get EJF newsletter | EJF Newsletters |

| Courts, Veteran Courts, And Civil Liberties | Contents | Index |

 

| Chapter 2 — Perjury And False Allegations |

| Next — Chapter 3 — What Happened To Civil Rights? |

| Back — Is It Reasonable? by Erik Pistol |


 

This site is supported and maintained by the Equal Justice Foundation.

Last modified 3/2/15