Remaining charges in Duke lacrosse rape case to be dropped

**Bumping to the top**

Huge news from ABC:

April 10, 2007 — The office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will announce that he is dismissing all charges against three Duke Lacrosse players, ABC News has learned from sources close to the case.


Special prosecutors from the Attorney General’s office took over the case after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong recused himself in January, citing charges of unethical conduct filed against him by the North Carolina Bar. Since then, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead have examined the case from scratch, interviewing key witnesses and working through reams of evidence.

The reasons that will be cited for the dismissal are not yet known, though the case has been riddled with criticism and colored by controversy since its early months. Defense attorneys released documents showing the accuser changed key details of her story in the weeks and months after the alleged assault.

Legal analysts and forensic experts have criticized what they call a critically flawed photo identification lineup — a lineup that led to the identification and indictment of Evans, Finnerty, Seligmann. No DNA evidence was found matching any lacrosse players with samples from the rape kit, while DNA from unidentified men was found on the accuser’s body and clothing.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General confirmed to ABC News that his office had completed its investigation into the Duke lacrosse case. A press conference on the outcome of their inquiry is widely expected sometime this week, though members of that office have not yet revealed a date and time.

La Shawn Barber:

I hope Crystal Gail Mangum, the now-named stripper who lied/cried rape, pays for what she’s done. And gets some help.

Yep, and I’m hoping that the three accused players will sue the state and/or Mike Nifong for the hardships they’ve suffered since being falsely accused and made out to be guilty by Nifong himself in the early days of the ‘investigation.’ Because it’s my feeling that in this case, justice has not been served – for the real victims here: the three lacrosse players, whose names were dragged through the mud thanks to a lying stripper and a deceptive attorney who wanted to get re-elected even if it meant ruining three young lives in the process.

And speaking of Nifong, KC Johnson brings us up to speed on his ethics problems, those who naively stood by him, and some commentary from the family of one of the accused.

More: According to the gents at Powerline, the three accused have only raised money to pay for about 1/3rd of their $3 million in legal fees. If you’d like to help out, click here to find out how you can.

Update: Multiple news outlets are reporting that the NC Attorney General has announced he will hold a presser at 2:30 today.

PM Update I: The presser is ongoing now. Roy Cooper (the NC AG) says the state is dropping charges, and is condemning Nifong, saying there is no proof that a crime was committed. “Case shows consequences of enormous overreach by a prosecutor” …

Next week a ‘fact summary’ sheet will be listed detailing the contradictions in the accuser’s story and Nifong’s statements, essentially explaining in detail why the charges were dropped.

It’s hard for me to hear him right now on the MSNBC feed, but I think Cooper has proposed a new law that would allow an attorney to be removed from a case if it’s determined he/she have overstepped their bounds.

Cooper says that some of the attorneys who have worked on the case think that Mangum may actually really believe her various stories about what she alleges happened the night of the alleged ‘attack.’

Stand by from video of the presser from Hot Air.


Here’s the official statement issued by the NC AG.

Here’s a profile of the accuser, Crystal Mangum, and more on her via The Smoking Gun.

PM Update II: KC Johnson has posted the statements of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty.

(Originally posted at 8:21 a.m.)

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