Last week the member of the Duke University lacrosse program were presumed to be guilty of gang rape of a stripper. This week it’s looking like a much more complex story.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong said he plans to move forward with his case against three members of Duke University’s men’s lacrosse team despite DNA results that do not match evidence collected from a woman who says the athletes raped her.
“I intend on doing exactly what I’ve been doing the whole time,” Nifong told a CBS News reporter Monday night who asked if he intended to move forward with the case. “If that’s what you define as moving forward, then yes.”
The State Bureau of Investigation delivered the long-awaited DNA results to Nifong Monday afternoon. Less than two hours later, Raleigh defense attorney Wade Smith, after reviewing the results, said he hoped Nifong would consider dropping the case.
“No DNA material from any young man tested was present on the body of this complaining woman, not present within her body, not present on the surface of her body and not present on any of her belongings,” Smith said in a prepared statement.
The alleged victim told Durham police that on the night of March 13, she was gang-raped, beaten and sodomized for 30 minutes.
No one has been charged yet in connection with the rape allegations, but Nifong has said previously that charges could come this week, despite what DNA test results reveal.
Here’s how TalkLeft’s Jeralyn Merritt sums up the developments in the case:
They say the findings show there is no evidence that any sexual activity occurred in that house on that night. If you re-read what she said happened, it is an impossibility. Not to mention, the defense say they have photos showing she had injuries when she arrived. Even more, the defense says they have interviewed the other dancer who said the accuser never mentioned being raped to her.
The accusers story is falling apart not because of her race or gender, but because the supposed facts of her story are crumbling. District Attorney Nifong is up for re-election and is between a rock and a hard place. If he files charges it now appears that the case will continue to implode, and if he doesn’t file charges he’ll be vilified by those already convinced of the guilt of the, as yet, unidentified Duke athletes. If he catches a break the defendants story will continue crumbling until it resembles Tawana Brawley‘s and he can be done with it – or file charges against her…
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