Friday, December 22, 2006

Rape Charges Dropped in Duke Case

This case has been a sham from the outset, and while now rape charges are being dropped, the spiteful and vindictive DA Nifong continues to drag this out. He is a despicable human being.
Prosecutors dropped rape charges Friday against three Duke University lacrosse players accused of attacking a stripper at a team party, but the three still face kidnapping and sexual offense charges, a defense attorney said.

Joseph Cheshire and attorneys for the other players have said for months the woman told several different versions of the alleged assault.

Cheshire said Friday that the accuser now says she does not know if she was penetrated, which he said led District Attorney Mike Nifong to dismiss the rape charges.

Nifong did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The accuser, a 28-year-old student at North Carolina Central University, has said three men raped her in a bathroom at a March 13 team party where she was hired to perform as a stripper.

The players -- Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann -- all say they are innocent. Their attorneys have consistently said no sex occurred at the party and have cited a lack of DNA evidence in the case as proof of their clients' innocence.

"It's highly coincidental," Cheshire said, that the charges are being dropped a week after the director of a private DNA testing lab acknowledged that he initially, with Nifong's knowledge, withheld from the defense test results showing none of the players' DNA was found on or in the accuser's body.

Others blogging: Michelle Malkin, Stop the ACLU, La Shawn Barber, Hot Air, and Betsy Newmark, who opines:
She doesn't know now if she was penetrated. How can she not be certain as to whether or not she was raped? Especially after she was pretty graphic with her original report to the investigators about being raped both vaginally and anally. Now, she's not so certain. Sure.

But I don't see what Nifong gains by maintaining the charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. She will stay have to take the stand and testify as to what happened and all her former statements will still be fair game. As will the information revealed last week of the multiple men's DNA found inside her, none of which matched the three defendants or her purported boyfriend. Her veracity and her ability to identify the men she's now not certain raped her will still be open to cross-examination. Neither the prosecution nor the defense will be able to depend on the other stripper's story since she has changed her story and been public about her desire to make money off the story. So, it will all come down to this alleged victim's credibility. If these defense lawyers can't raise a reasonable doubt from that, they should turn in their licenses.

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