Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Duke Rape Case Accuser

Source: NPR News

An National Public Radio (NPR) news item mentions that a Raleigh, North Carolina newspaper published the name of the accuser in the Duke Rape Case. At this point, NPR refuses to publish her name. The editor's note on that webpage explains why.

I found this part particularly compelling - and not just because of the mental health implications:
"In this case, the attorney general specifically decided not to charge the accuser with perjury, or filing a false police report. He went so far as to say that his investigators told him that the woman may believe some of the stories she has been telling. He said the decision not to charge her with making false accusations was also based on a review of sealed court files, including records of the woman's mental health history."
The fact that there are no charges of perjury or filing a false police report, combined with the fact that the Duke LaCrosse players collectively refused to cooperate with the investigation, has left me suspicious of those players. While I'm not prepared to say that they're guilty, I'm certainly not prepared to go so far as to say they're innocent.

As far as I'm concerned, there's something fishy about this case and it's not just on the accuser's (or her supporters') side.

At various points it's been about assault, race, and class. Right now, I'm thinking it may be about power and class.

I freely admit, though, that I don't know that these young men broke the law. In fact, as far as the law is concerned, they are not guilty of this crime.

Questions? Comments?


B. Good said...

This whole case is just so random. I'm wondering if her mental capacity ever came into question during the initial filing of the rape report, and if not, then why would they bring it up now. Sounds like a cop out, to cover the underlying "power" issue you suspect.

Bashir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bashir said...

Not sure what you mean. How did the Duke LAX Players "collectively refuse to cooperate with the investigation?" They were accused of "keeping silent about what happened" because they denied an event that never happened. I hope that's not "being uncooperative." Indeed, they were overly cooperative. They went down for photographing, without a lawyer, which is more than I would do if I was accused of a crime I did not commit.

West said...

Welcome, bashir.

I think there's a difference between denial and silence. The latter is being uncooperative.

"Nothing happened," would be inaccurate and insufficient.

Eudaimo said...

I've posted here several times before. but Bloggers seems to have changed its settings so its showing another name.

I think you may have been given some incorrect information about this case.

1) The day after the party, 3 team captain gave statements to the police denying the allegations.

2) The players offered to take a polygraph test but were ignored by the police.

3) All 47 white players gave DNA Swabs to verify their claims.

All of that happened before any arrests were made or search warrants issued. I'm not sure what level of further cooperation would or should be required.

West said...

Welcome back, Eudaimo (or whatever your other name may have been).

As far as incorrect information, what I mentioned was what was reported in the news outlets, early on. So, either they reported correct information or they didn't.

If they did, then these players responded in a very strange manner, early on in the investigation process. If the information is flawed, then journalistic standards have fallen farther than even I thought.

Eudaimo said...

I'm both Eudaimo and Bashir. I hope that clarifies the confusion.

The news outlets did misrepresent the facts or at least report them in a misleading manner. That was my point about the "Wall of Silence."

The players were asked what happened. They told the truth. This was deemed by the prosecutors and the media to be a "wall of silence" and "being uncooperative" because no one would admit that a rape happened.

Now we know that there was no rape so any purported "wall of silence" was simply a refusal to admit to crimes that were not committed.

chele said...

Something happened. I don't know what and I guess we never will. I have to question why her mental capacity wasn't an issue when she made the accusations. Also, if I was accused of something that was later found out to be false I would take every action necessary to make the accuser pay for tarnishing my rep. Yet it seems these boys are willing to let bygones be bygones. Makes me think.

West said...

Bashirdaimo, :p
I kinda feel you, except that the descriptions I recall seemed to be more along the lines of the players semi-openly having made a pact to remain silent.

While I hesitate to defend today's journalistic practices too passionately, there seems to be quite a gulf between "No one raped her" and "We've collectively agreed not to answer any more questions about ANYthing that happened that night."

To be clear, neither of these is an actual researched quote of mine. I'm just trying to highlight the distinction.

Thanks for the feedback, Eudaishir. ;)

JustMeWriting said...

I actually believe they are guilty and either paid her off or threatened her and or her family...the whole case was just so bogus, but that's NOTHING NEW HERE... what a shame...good post.

Son of Blog-El said...

Good post indeed. Until more info is released I really couldn't offer any speculation different than you and Edaimshir.

DJ Black Adam said...

I doesn’t make me suspicious at all, pure politics. They didn’t charge that “runaway” bride lady with much (if anything), if they charge this woman, a Black Woman, whom some feminist and black racist have put out as the poster child, all political hell would break lose.

She may be schizophrenic, but I’m sorry, the only victims here are these student athletes, people seem to only want to punish them because they were affluent and white, and as a black man who has dealt with people with a grudge against me because of what group I belong to, I say that its equally wrong to do the same with these guys.

Eudaimo said...

Thanks, West. Good discussions here as always. Let me know if you have a link to somewhere where the LAX players refused to give details about that night.

justmewriting "I actually believe they are guilty and either paid her off or threatened her and or her family.[...]"

1. Untrue: Mangum did NOT drop the charges or recant her story. The DA's office dropped them because every shred of evidence contradicted her story. She and her family had nothing to do with the charges being dropped.

2. Unjust: Wow. I'm trying to imagine the racially opposite situation. If rape charges were dropped against a black man, would you speculate that his family probably threatened the victim? I'm not suggesting that you need to accept everything you're told, but what evidence do you have to lead you to believe such a terrible thing?

I'll be plain: I went to Duke. I was assigned to livewith Duke LAX players. There was not a lot of love lost between us.

With that said, this case has revealed a lot more to me about resentment towards the affluent and whites than it has about these or any other student athletes. (What dj Black Adam is talking about). This case has gone from "Woman was brutally raped by dozens of men " to "Women was raped by 3 men at a party" to "Woman was sexually assaulted by 3 men at a party" to "Well, none of us will ever know what happened, but SOMETHING did."

These men were accused of a crime that every single shred of credible evidence refutes. AND she has apparently done this before. Very basic investigatory procedure was broken to create these charges.

She lied. She indisputably and demonstrably lied. It completely bewilders me that people give a proven serial liar a preponderance of credibility.

DJ Black Adam said...

@ Euidamo:

I'm with you on the "if this were the opposite" set up. I wrote a post about it here: http://djblackadam.typepad.com/damnitq/2007/04/black_people_ya.html

Not saying that West wouldn't feel the same way, but I am am baffled by why these guys "must be guilty of something" as opposed to the "this chick is either crazy or lying" theory.

West said...

I'm baffled by your collective bafflednessnessnessnesses.

DJ Black Adam said...

Oh come on West, why do these guys "have" to be guilty of something? Why can't it be she just lied? She has shown to have lied about the same thing before, they have not been shown to have raped anyone before, to quote Harv Keitel:

"I'm just saying!"

West said...

I've given my reasons. They're not going to get any clearer. If you think I've been saying these guys "have" to be guilty of something, that's unfortunate.

DJ Black Adam said...


"The fact that there are no charges of perjury or filing a false police report, combined with the fact that the Duke LaCrosse players collectively refused to cooperate with the investigation, has left me suspicious of those players. While I'm not prepared to say that they're guilty, I'm certainly not prepared to go so far as to say they're innocent."

OK, then what does that mean, maybe I'm reading it wrong...

West said...

I'll tell you what it doesn't mean. It doesn't mean "these guys *have* to be guilty of something... and certainly not just because they're rich and white.

I don't see any great potential in trying to break it down any further. You see it how you see it, which is fine.