Breaking: Durham D.A. drops rape charges against Duke lacrosse players; Update: Press conference video added

posted at 12:55 pm on December 22, 2006 by Allahpundit

But the kidnapping and sexual offense charges remain.

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.

I haven’t followed the case at all and was planning to ignore the news, but then I got an e-mail from the boss reminding me that the story was breaking. Hint hint.

And so here we are.

Have any of you followed this closely? All I know is that apparently DNA from a number of men was found inside the accuser after the attack; that none of it matches the defendants’; and that D.A. Nifong allegedly conspired to cover up that fact. Susan Estrich calls it an “extreme case of lawlessness by the prosecutors” that warrants Nifong being replaced by the court.

In other words, they’re being railroaded. Anything else I need to know?

Update: Wikipedia to the rescue. Start here and keep scrolling.

Update: In the comments, Slublog questions the timing. Me too.

Update: Betsy Newmark asks a good question — after all that’s happened, how does Nifong expect to prove the remaining charges beyond a reasonable doubt? Does he have smoking-gun evidence of kidnapping and sexual battery? If not, they’ll walk for sure.

Durham native Mary K thinks it’s all about the politics:

It’s Durham. It’s full of a bunch of liberal white people who love to get yelled at by black people and a bunch of liberal black people who are happy to oblige them. This story scratched that white guilt itch soooo good, they just couldn’t let it go, even though it was pretty clear from the beginning that the story was a little off.

The national media liked the white, privileged lax boys rape hard-working exotic dancer single mom story, and they ran with it, too. As a result, many lives, seasons, careers, and a successful sports program have been seriously messed with by a D.A. who couldn’t back off on the narrative, either, lest he feel the wrath at the ballot box from those whom he denied their white guilt orgy.

Slublog says Duke’s president is finished.

Update: The defendants’ lawyers held a press conference late this afternoon. One of them addressed Nifong directly.

Update: The video’s not working as I write this. I apologize for that. It’s because our hosting company is unreliable. The problem should resolve itself in a few minutes.

Update: The heat is on and Duke’s president is getting out of the kitchen: he’s called for Nifong’s resignation.

Breaking on Hot Air



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Hey georgej….good research……could a civil rights violation have ocurred against the Duke students also??

That way additional charges against Nifong could be brought…this guy has got to go away.

robo on December 23, 2006 at 10:03 AM

What say You, Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton??? Oh, I forgot, poor Al (former presidential contender) has not
yet apologized for the last fabricated rape story he supported.

gary on December 23, 2006 at 11:55 AM

Defector01: This took place in DURHAM…not Raleigh. The City of Raleigh has nothing to do with this idiocy – aside from being the capital city of the state.

tickleddragon on December 23, 2006 at 12:03 PM

In Raleigh…Our DA would be strung up for this…we’re not anywhere close to the Liberal idiocy that infests Durham.

tickleddragon on December 23, 2006 at 12:05 PM

I’d give my left testicle for an autographed copy of the April 5 letter by Brodhead. So much pandering, so little substance. And to then call for Nifong’s resignation after supporting this charade; too freakin’ beautiful.

Sanctimonious assholes, the lot of them.

HerrMorgenholz on December 23, 2006 at 1:07 PM

The only reason this case became a national issue was the media’s desire for another race riot. Like the Rodney King video night after night the media would have shoved this one down our throats until the students were found innocent. Then the super bowl of all media events, a full blown race riot along with the ratings that generate millions in advetising dollars. Unfortunately for the media this story seems to be fizzeling out. CNN didn’t give yesterday’s news about the rape charge being dropped half the time FOX did.

I am a little disappointed though. Now that I have a huge flat screen with surround sound I was all set to watch the murder, rape and looting from my couch. Maybe next year…

repvoter on December 23, 2006 at 3:19 PM

One more…It’s not that far fetched of a scenario for Nifong to come out a hero in all of this. A conviction is still a possibility and as I see it his only chance at any kind of redemption. If you don’t think a conviction is possible guess again. A black jury worked for OJ and it will work for Nifong. Is this a great country or what?

repvoter on December 23, 2006 at 4:24 PM

I mentioned earlier today, two private men’s colleges that are holding up just fine: Hampden-Sydney and Wabash.


I’ve had the privilege of working with some Wabash guys, and have to agree.

mikeyboss on December 23, 2006 at 5:34 PM

Isn’t Nifong obligated to bring charges against the stripper at this point for the false rape accusations or is it legal in North Carolina to make false rape accusations?

Perchant on December 23, 2006 at 6:33 PM

This case was, is and always will be a cause celebre for Liberals. First is the charade of”fairness”. What is fair about hiding the name of the accuser, whom everybody except Wendy Murphy thinks is lying, especially since everyone with a computer can punch up her name in Google within a split second. Concurrently three innocent boys, whom everybody except Wendy Murphy (who has an obvious psychological problem ) thinks is telling the truth, have their names plastered publicly everywhere like grafitti on a wall.

All you need to know about this case is 1 A corrupt Democratic DA running for re-election needed black votes .2 A black WOMAN from the wrong side of the tracks makes an unsubstantiated charge against 3 three white MALES whose families pretty much own the tracks. In summary if it weren’t for black-white, woman-men, rich-poor and, above all, a crooked Democrat running for re-election, this case would have dissolved long ago. It’s called REVERSE DISCRIMINATION.

MaiDee on December 24, 2006 at 8:22 AM

Being a resident of the great state of NC, I have been so ashamed of the Durham DA. Ashamed only in the sense that he brings shame and bad pub to our state on the national level. But more than anything, I’m pissed at Nifong for being the over-zealous, pandering, liberal kool-aid drinker with no regard for the rule of law ass that he is. From the first few days of this incident I knew exactly what this was all about. Durham is a halfsy city racially, meaning split almost equally black and white. It is also a two university town, Duke and North Carolina Central. For Duke, read white and privileged. For Central, read black and disadvantaged. This, in a nutshell, was what this was all about. The facts of the case were irrelevant, in fact they only stood in the way of the greater purpose. Nifong was in the midst of a primary, what better way to seal the black vote than to throw some red meat at the activist/race-baiting base of his party. Throw in a little Jesse and Al and BAM, we just went national. The suspects? White, and add in the private school/privilege mixed with athlete, and of course the south, and you’ve got yourself a front seat to a white vs black event of national importance. There’s just one problem with cases like these, as Al found out in the Tawana Brawley(whatever the spelling)case; the truth and the facts do matter and eventually come to light. I said at the time that this woman may have indeed been raped, but not by members of this team. If she were raped or assaulted it more than likely occured before she arrived at the party. As we now know, DNA shows that she was sexually active with possibly more than two people during this time, but none of these were the players charged. Was it rape? We don’t know. What we do know is that it wasn’t a rape commited by those charged. Nifong until just a few days ago hadn’t even spoken with the accuser. The police line-up included only team members. The second dancer changed her story and said nothing happened at the party. The accuser had lodged the same complaint many years earlier in another NC town to which nothing was to come out of it. Was she raped? Anything is possible, but the probability that it was rape on the part of these three young men is almost entirely zero. What we do know is Nifong needs to be held accountable for this legal mis-carriage and punished accordingly…….

ritethinker on December 24, 2006 at 11:16 AM

Hampden-Sydney and Wabash.

naliaka on December 23, 2006 at 12:19 AM

Nalika, Don’t know much about Wabash, but Hampden-Sydney is a great school. I work with several HS grads and they are gentlemen to the core.

BacaDog on December 24, 2006 at 11:16 AM