The Latest Developments In The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

There’s now a third innocent Duke player, David Evans, who has been smeared as a potential rapist. As per usual with this case, this new development, like most of the other new developments, has undercut the accuser’s credibility.

Here’s a May 10th, WRAL post, about what the accuser said when she picked Evans out of a lineup that seems quite relevant:

“A fourth photo in the lineup also catches the alleged victim’s attention.

“He looks just like him without the mustache,” she says, going on to say that she is only 90 percent certain.”

Yet, his lawyer said this yesterday:

“Evans’ attorney, Joe Cheshire, also said Monday that the alleged victim identified Evans in a photo lineup with “90 percent certainty,” but that she was not 100 percent sure because he did not have a mustache.

“Mr. Nifong knows David Evans has never had a mustache,” Cheshire said. “We have pictures of David Evans the day before, the day after and almost every other day, along with scores and scores of people’s testimony that he never had a mustache.”

So, she picked Mr. “no mustache guy” out of a lineup. She also identified Reade Seligmann as a one of the rapists with 100% certainty. However, during the time she would have had to have been raped, Seligmann was making “six calls to a friend” and sitting in the back of a taxi cab.

Then how did she end up picking those two guys out of a lineup? Well, they only showed her photos of Duke lacrosse players, so even if she was just picking out random people, she still would have had to pick out people at the party.

Of course, the prosecutor also struck out on DNA. A vaginal swab produced “no conclusive match” “to any lacrosse players,” but they were able to match it back to her boyfriend.

They did find some DNA that was “consistent” (but not a conclusive match) with Evans’ DNA on a fingernail that was found in the trash. But even if it had been a conclusive match, I’m not sure it would have been relevant since Evans lives at the house and it’s entirely possible the fingernail and something with his DNA on it could have gotten mixed together in the garbage.

We also have to consider the fact that even if the accuser had injuries consistent with rape, she had visible cuts and bruises on her when she arrived at the party. That means the injuries could have occurred beforehand. On top of all that, there’s this disputed report that makes you raise an eyebrow:

“The Bowen-Chambers report — commissioned by Duke President Richard Brodhead — hit like a small bomb at City Hall last week. It alleged that Durham police had told their counterparts at Duke that the case would blow over because the accuser kept changing her story during the early stages of the investigation on March 14.

The report, alluding to a Duke police document, claimed that the accuser initially told Durham police she’d been raped by about 20 men.”

How will this whole travesty of justice finally end? Thomas Sowell has a theory:

“The announcement that the trial of the Duke lacrosse players has been postponed until the spring of 2007 may be District Attorney Nifong’s way of beginning the process of “telling the truth slowly.”

At some point, this case will have to be either prosecuted or dropped. If it is going to be prosecuted, there is no reason not to go full speed ahead right now. But if it is going to be dropped, or if Nifong knows that a judge is likely to throw it out of court, then the time at which that happens is crucial.

It was out of the question for Nifong to drop the case before the recent election, no matter how flimsy the evidence might be or how much of that evidence exonerates the accused instead of showing them to be guilty.

Even after being re-elected, the district attorney cannot let his indictment collapse in public while there is nationwide attention focussed on this case 24-7.

What will be different next year? The public will have either forgotten the case or be tired of hearing about it. The D.A. can even turn the case over to some lawyer on his staff to take into court and see it either get thrown out by the judge or fail to convince a jury.

We will all be tired of hearing about it by then.”

It wouldn’t be a surprise if it plays out just as Sowell speculates that it will.

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