Skip to comments.DA: Alleged Duke Rape Took 5-10 Minutes
Posted on 09/22/2006 1:20:40 PM PDT by Howlin
click here to read article
if these were 3 black BB players, this case would have been thrown out and the DA facing contempt charges .......
such a farce, and the sad thing is, I haven't a clue if FOG and his cohort will ever come to justice for this.....
I think it was Reagan who pardoned Patty Hearst.
people seem to forget that three young men and their families are paying a cruel price for this while the NC legal community and the entire power sturcture I might add, sits and twiddles their thumbs.....
I hope the rest of NC outside of Durham kicks the Demonrat butt but good come election.....
No, I'm positive that Jimmy Carter pardoned Patty Hearst. The date was Feb. 1st 1979. My source is Patty Hearst's book. No one would know better than her.
Attorney F. Lee Bailey defended Patty Hearst. Legal analysts and Hearst herself later said the famed attorney did a poor job defending her. He gave very short and weak closing arguments. Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on March 20, 1976. Her seven-year prison term was eventually commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and Hearst was released from prison on February 1, 1979, having served only twenty-two months. She was granted a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, the final day of his presidency.
Key witness in lacrosse case sentenced to up to 120 days house arrest
By John Stevenson, The Herald-Sun
September 25, 2006 10:25 pm
DURHAM -- A key witness in the Duke University lacrosse rape case admitted Monday to committing five probation violations and was sentenced to up to 120 days of electronic house arrest.
In addition, the overall probationary period for Kim Roberts Pittman was extended for three years. It now is scheduled to end on Dec. 10, 2009, instead of this December.
Pittman was performing exotic dances at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. in mid-march when another dancer allegedly was raped, sodomized and beaten by three Duke lacrosse players. Since then, Pittman has been quoted as saying the other dancer's rape accusation was "a crock."
The suspects in the Duke case are Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans. Each is free under $100,000 bond as they await a trial that is expected to begin next year.
Pittman is on probation for embezzling just under $25,000 from Qualex, a photo-processing company where she worked in 2000.
During Monday's brief court hearing, she admitted she had violated court orders in five ways: by changing her address without notifying her probation officer; by falling behind in restitution payments; by temporarily leaving the state without permission; by quitting a job and by missing two appointments with her probation officer.
By prearranged agreement with Chief Probation Officer Terrence Eason, Judge Robert Hobgood ordered that Pittman submit to electronic house arrest for at least 60 days and as long as 120 days. The sooner she catches up on $1,400 in financial payment arrearages, the sooner the house arrest will end.
Pittman also may be switched from supervised to unsupervised probation after she pays up, Hobgood ruled.
While under house arrest, Pittman must wear a high-tech ankle bracelet that will allow supervising authorities to track her every move.
A suspended prison sentence of five to six months continues to hang over her head. It could be activated if she violates probation again.
The judge inquired Monday about Pittman's ability to pay the $23,373 she still owes Qualex.
"This is a tremendous amount of restitution," said Hobgood. "What are her employment prospects?"
Defense lawyer Mark Simeon replied that Pittman had completed two years of college and was "looking for better employment. Her prospects have brightened."
He did not elaborate.
Pittman appeared in court wearing a black and white dress and with a polite demeanor, saying little on her own behalf.
When reporters asked how she felt before the court hearing, she said she was nervous. She scuttled down a back stairway to avoid reporters afterward.
In contrast to her conduct Monday, Pittman made an obscene gesture toward two members of a WRAL television crew and stuck out her tongue at them when they attempted to ask her a question in the courthouse four months ago.
URL for this article: http://www.heraldsun.com/durham/4-773023.html
Judge delays hearing for ex-police officers
By Ray Gronberg, The Herald-Sun
September 25, 2006 7:35 pm
DURHAM -- A court hearing for two former Durham Police Department officers accused of assaulting a man outside a Raleigh sports bar this summer has been postponed until Oct. 30.
The postponement occurred Monday and came after Wake County Assistant District Attorney Matt Godwin told a judge he wasn't ready to go ahead with the case against former officers Gary. P. Lee and Scott C. Tanner.
Prosecutors had already said the same thing to lawyers working for Lee and Tanner, so there were no surprises on either side of the case when Wake County District Judge James Fullwood continued it to Oct. 30.
Tanner's lawyer, Duncan McMillan, declined to say whether he expects the case to be settled by a trial or a plea-bargain. "We'll have to wait and see," he said after Monday's brief court proceeding.
Lee and Tanner are accused of assaulting Rene Dennis Thomas, a cook at Blinco's Sports Restaurant and Bar, 6711 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, the night of July 30. They were there with five other current and former Durham Police Department officers for a colleague's going-away party.
Thomas, who is black, has alleged that a group of men confronted him after he and one of the occupants of a pickup truck that was speeding out of the bar's parking lot traded racial epithets. Raleigh police charged Lee with trying to strike and tackle the cook, and Tanner with kicking him after Thomas fell to the ground.
The misdemeanor case has drawn notoriety both for the allegation that Durham officers were involved in an off-duty incident that had racial overtones, and for the fact that two of the other officers present that night, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Officer Richard Clayton, are involved in the investigation of the Duke lacrosse rape case.
Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers responded to a parallel investigation of the incident by his department's Internal Affairs Unit by firing Lee and Tanner on Sept. 14. He alleged that Tanner was the officer who in Thomas' account initiated the confrontation, and that Lee was the man who came to the aid of the first assailant.
Thomas -- who has essentially stopped granting media interviews -- questioned the Raleigh Police Department's identification of the assailants in a brief conversation with The Herald-Sun shortly after the misdemeanor charges against the two officers were filed. On Monday, McMillan passed up an opportunity to clear up that matter.
Asked whether there was a case of mistaken identity, McMillan said he'd "seen some things in the newspaper to that effect" but hasn't yet had a chance to question Thomas. "It remains to be seen what his testimony will be," McMillan said, maintaining silence about the defense's version of events.
Lee and Tanner were both present in court Monday. They arrived at about 8:55 a.m., shortly before Fullwood opened the day's session, and sat together chatting on a bench toward the back of the room. They later left the courtroom after television crews began shooting video of them.
They returned -- reportedly after going to some lengths to avoid a TV crew that pursued them -- just before McMillan and Godwin asked the judge for the continuance, and left for good as soon as Fullwood granted it. Neither stopped to answer questions from reporters.
Lee was represented Monday by Raleigh lawyer James Crouch, a stand-in, McMillan said, for attorney Thomas Manning, who was tied up handling a federal court hearing.
McMillan said Tanner has filed a grievance appealing his firing by the city. The Raleigh lawyer who's handling the appeal for Tanner, Heydt Philbeck, didn't return a phone call seeking comment.
There was no word Monday, from lawyers or city officials, on whether Lee had also appealed. Deputy City Manager Wanda Page, in charge while City Manager Patrick Baker is on vacation, invoked the state's personnel-privacy laws before declining comment one way or the other.
A city human resources manager, Virginia Jones, said employees who appeal termination or disciplinary actions can have their cases reviewed by a single hearing officer who works for the city, by a hearing panel that includes three city employees or -- with Baker's permission -- by a single hearing officer who works for a city consultant.
Most who go through the grievance process choose the three-member panel, which includes one member approved by the appealing employee, one approved by his or her department, and one approved by the other two panel members, Jones said.
The panel's findings then can be appealed to the city manager's office. In a case involving the police department, which reports directly to Baker, either Page or Deputy City Manager Ted Voorhees would review the appeal finding. Baker in theory could reverse whatever ruling Page or Voorhees make, but so far in his administration hasn't done so, Jones said.
Terminations decisions are rarely overturned. Of the 17 firing cases appealed in fiscal 2005-06, a hearing panel favored overturning only one. The city manager's office didn't go along with that ruling, so all 17 fired employees who went through the grievance process last year wound up leaving the payroll, Jones said.
URL for this article: http://www.heraldsun.com/durham/4-772974.html
Sick of the lacrosse case
Once again I pick up the paper this morning and there is a picture of the three young men accused in the Duke lacrosse rape case. Why? What happens in court could be covered in a short column in the second section of the newspaper.
We had the space shuttle return home yesterday after a flawless mission.
Wouldn't that have been something more appropriate for the front page? Are we going to have this coverage all the way until the end of the trial? We don't even have trial coverage like this when a murder is committed. For crying out loud these are pretrial motions.
Please rethink your coverage. This is not news we need on a daily basis or even weekly.
September 26, 2006
A loss of trust
I have been reading the on-line version of your paper since the Duke scandal broke back in March. I am curious as to where you get the blatant misstatements and outright lies you print? It makes me wonder if the Durham Police Department and District Attorney Michael Nifong's office send you cue cards at the beginning of every week for you to work with.
The editor should be the most shamed. By allowing this to happen, you knowingly deceive the public that puts its trust in you to report fairly and accurately. No wonder your circulation has plummeted. No one trusts you anymore.
September 25, 2006
Ping. Colin's Dad Speaks.
Durham DA's stand draws fire
Lawyers' out-of-court comments are at the center of the storm
Collin Finnerty faces charges.
Joseph Neff, Anne Blythe and Benjamin Niolet, Staff Writers
The father of an indicted Duke lacrosse player said he was outraged when District Attorney Mike Nifong asserted that lawyers should be punished for violating the prohibition on out-of-court comments.
"I was outraged he would say that, given his prior statements," Kevin Finnerty said Monday. "When he first got involved in this case, he inflamed the story locally and nationally with his opinions, before doing the investigation."
Finnerty's son Collin is one of three Duke lacrosse players charged with the gang rape of an escort service dancer at a party in the early morning hours of March 14.
At a court hearing Friday, Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III modified an order that had prevented players and their families from speaking in public.
Smith reminded lawyers that they must abide by North Carolina's Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibit lawyers from making out-of-court statements that could prejudice the outcome of a case. Prosecutors have added responsibilities: The rules prohibit them from saying things outside court that could heighten public condemnation of the accused.
Nifong responded that revocation of law licenses should be the penalty for violating the rules.
"No attorney should have any objection whatsoever to complying with the bar rules," Nifong said.
Nifong then downplayed the extent of his public comments early in the case. He disagreed with reports that he had given 50 to 70 interviews, saying he had "15 listed on my desk calendar that I actually gave."
In an interview with The News & Observer on March 31, Nifong said he had given "in excess of 50" interviews. In an April 3 statement, Nifong said the interviews took in excess of 40 hours.
Finnerty said he was more concerned about the substance of Nifong's remarks than the frequency.
In March and April, Nifong called the lacrosse players "hooligans" and labeled their behavior "reprehensible." He said DNA tests would exonerate the innocent, yet brought charges when no DNA from any player was found in or on the accuser or on her clothes.
"I'm not going to allow Durham's view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke raping a black girl from Durham," Nifong said at a televised campaign forum in April.
"Every comment he made was out of line, baseless and inappropriate," Finnerty said. "He certainly seems to be running a campaign for his own personal gain at the expense of everything else."
Nifong did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
Three players have been charged with first-degree rape, sexual offense and kidnapping: Finnerty, 20, of Garden City, N.Y.; Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and David Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md.
Staff writer Joseph Neff can be reached at 829-4516 or email@example.com.
Commiserating With Robert Novak, Thanks To The Duke Case
Probation violations trip second dancer
Kim Roberts could spend two months on electronic house arrest.
Benjamin Niolet, Staff Writer
DURHAM - The second dancer hired for a Duke University lacrosse team party in March admitted a handful of probation violations Monday and agreed to spend up to two months on electronic house arrest.
The deal allows Kim Roberts, also known as Kim Pittman, to avoid a six-month jail sentence that was imposed when she was convicted in 2001 of embezzling $25,000 from a Durham photofinishing company. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood extended her probation -- which was to expire this year -- until 2009 while Roberts pays off more than $23,000 in restitution that she still owes.
Roberts has emerged as an important witness in the investigation of a reported rape at a Duke University lacrosse team party. Other than members of the team and the accuser, she is the only person who can account for events in the house that night, although Roberts was not inside when authorities say another dancer was raped.
After Roberts gave police a statement, they arrested her on probation violations. Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, who is prosecuting the rape case, later reduced Roberts' bail payment.
Roberts was charged with five violations, including not keeping up with payments, missing appointments with her probation officer, leaving the state without permission and quitting a job and moving without notifying probation officials, said Terrence Eason, chief probation officer.
Roberts must serve at least 60 days of her electronic house arrest. If she pays back $1,400 of missed restitution payments, she can get off house arrest early.
Hobgood told Roberts and her attorney, Mark Simeon, that she has a "tremendous amount" of restitution to pay off. Simeon said Roberts was looking for a new job that would allow her to pay more money. Simeon said Roberts hasn't danced for an escort service since the March lacrosse party.
Staff writer Benjamin Niolet can be reached at 956-2404 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay Then, Maybe It Only Took 5 Minutes (Bill Bickel's Crimeweek, September 25, 2006)
You're a racist." She spat out the words with a loud, gleeful disdain, making sure everyone around was aware of her discovery. "I am?" I wasn't surprised by her accusation. It had already come to my attention that this had been a favorite topic of hers. This was just the first time she gave me the courtesy of saying it to my face.
"Yes. You hate black people." This should get interesting, I thought.
"Really? I hate black people? What would ever give you that idea?" In similar encounters, I've found this simple question was often enough to render friendly slanderers incoherent.
"I've read your columns." Oh no, she'd found me out.
"Is there anything in particular I've written that is racist?" Perhaps my column about Christmas?
"Most of your columns have been racist." And to think I still have a job.
"I see. So it's your opinion that The Chronicle felt it needed to fill the racist niche on their editorial pages and that's why they hired me?" Maybe we should take it to the next level and host an annual Aryan-Socialist mixer.
"You just think you're better than everyone else don't you?" I can certainly think of someone I've got beat.
"I can certainly think of someone I've got beat." Like I said.
Now my skin, in addition to being somewhat pasty, is also very thick. I wasn't personally wounded by these remarks. On a moral level, I was disturbed by the private and public slander, by an accusation that was so grotesquely false and baseless; but sadly, it was far from the first time someone had created this paranoid illusion out of the simple fact that I'm a conservative. And, as in every case, the person couldn't, for obvious reasons, produce a single example of anything to offer even the remotest support for their fantasy.
In this case, however, I wanted to address a larger problem at Duke-the fact that people like this can, with relative impunity, accuse conservatives of racism and that secondly, their friends or classmates won't call them out on it. Usually, I'd be happy just making the slanderer look like a fool, which I can promise you, doesn't require much effort. But this time I wanted to address head-on this sort of racially delusional behavior which strikes all too many of our peers. Plus, she'd apparently already spread this dangerous fiction around to anyone she could somehow get to listen. So I explained to her:
"You've got a mental disease." In fairness, it was more of a condition than a disease.
"Excuse me?" What an amazing switch from defamatory to indignant.
"That's right, you have a mental disease. You're obsessed with race. You see everything in terms of race, and you see everyone who disagrees with your worldviews as a racist. And guess what? Almost everybody you've been talking to thinks something is wrong with you. They've come up to me and told me. They're just afraid to tell you what they think because they're worried you'll call them a racist." That should give her pause.
She then started asking other people in the class if they shared my view of her. They were tellingly silent.
Again, I share this story to call attention to a serious problem on our campus. I'm sure everyone's heard a friend or a classmate or a peer make the bizarre leap from knowing someone is a conservative to claiming he or she is a racist. Next time this happens, ask the person to support his or her position. They'll usually turn into a stammering mess.
We live in a society where a single accusation can lead to ruin. Indeed, we've seen on Duke's own campus, with the lacrosse scandal, how truly dangerous an environment of racial paranoia is. When people adopt the outrageous assumption that conservatives, or wealthy white people or successful white people have it in for blacks and other minorities, and we let that assumption stand, we not only do a tremendous disservice to our society in general but also very particularly to these minorities themselves.
If, say, a young black kid thinks that no matter how hard they work wealthy white people are going to hold them back, (which could not be more false; companies in fact often go out of their way to achieve diversity) it saps their motivation and has devastating results on their potential for success.
Yet, the Democrats continue to fuel the destructive vision of a powerful, racist white oppressor from which they need to protect black voters in order to keep their lock on that vote. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for instance, speaking to a black audience said that the Republicans ran Congress like a "plantation, and you know what I mean." It's one of a million examples.
Let's each do our own part on Duke's campus to break down this backward lie and not condescend to those who levy the false racist charge by letting it pass.
Anything short of that is a very real racial injustice.
Stephen Miller is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Monday.
Athletic, academic plan receives mixed reviews
If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then consider professor Paul Haagen quite flattered by a recent parody of his proposal to improve the relationship between athletics and academics.
At the Academic Council meeting last Thursday, Haagen, a Duke Law professor who chairs the council, introduced the "Faculty Athletics Associates Program," which calls for faculty representatives to be assigned to each of Duke's 22 varsity teams.
"I was hoping to increase the connection and depth of understanding between faculty and coaches," Haagen said. "The purpose is to have better interaction in terms of each side understanding the other."
The Academic Council's Executive Committee approved the plan, and 80 faculty members have already offered their services to become part of the program, Haagen said.
But some faculty members are not on board with Haagen's proposal, and a version mocking it has circulated among some within the University.
Co-written by Fred Nijhout and Richard Hain, professors of biology and math, respectively, the imitation is entitled "Coaches Academic Associates Program." The parody statement closely mirrors Haagen's original, but coaches are assigned to academic departments instead of faculty members assigned to varsity teams.
"The purpose of the program is to increase understanding among the coaches of academic life at Duke," Nijhout and Hain wrote. "The hope is to establish a mechanism for meaningful interaction among the faculty, coaches and student scholars, to insure that there will be some coaches with an informed understanding of the experience of student scholars at Duke.
"The program is open to all members of the coaching staff of the University, although it is hoped that most of the participating coaches will come from among those who coach pre-professional athletes and winning teams."
Nijhout declined to comment, saying the parody speaks for itself.
At the Academic Council meeting Thursday, Haagen acknowledged the imitation document, joking that he was "considered worthy of a parody."
Haagen dismissed the criticism, saying even he is unsure of how successful the program will end up being, but it is worth a shot.
"It is nothing other than an experiment," Haagen said. "But did 80 people say they were interested enough to try? Yes."
Some have not been so quick to laugh off the parody. Kerstin Kimel, head coach of the women's lacrosse team, said the parody was a "step backwards" in the relationship between athletics and academics.
"Given the circumstances under which we are all examining ourselves, to me, this kind of banter is childish and completely unproductive and totally disrespectful," Kimel said. "From a coach's standpoint, we really want to extend the olive branch to help improve."
Haagen's involvement in the program began in the spring, when questions were raised about the role of athletics at Duke in response to the controversy surrounding the 2005-2006 men's lacrosse team.
Haagen, who teaches sports law and works extensively with the Department of Athletics, became aware of a program at Princeton where faculty members are assigned to teams. He thought a similar plan could work at Duke, with some adjustments to adapt to the "different conditions."
Working with members of the Athletics Department-including Director of Athletics Joe Alleva, Senior Associate Athletic Director Chris Kennedy, Associate Athletic Director Jackie Silar and Kimel-Haagen drafted the proposal.
Duke's plan calls for faculty members to serve as liaisons for no more than three-year periods and to interact with the team without being required to monitor or report.
"Dealing with a variety of people this spring, I started to get a fairly clear sense that some coaches at Duke were relatively isolated from the faculty," Haagen said. "The coaches are very clear they're part of Duke as a centrally educational university, but they were not linked to people and relationships."
The proposal was met with strong support from the athletics department, Haagen said.
"They believe they have a good story to tell and would like to expose more people to it," Haagen said.
Kimel said discussions about such a program had already begun before the tumultuous events of last spring, as similar programs have been successful at other schools such as Princeton, Trinity College and Middlebury.
"I think it will facilitate better understanding of what we do on the athletics side of campus," Kimel said. "There is a propensity to not see the real-world value of participating in athletics at this level."
Meg Bourdillon contributed to this story.
A case for violence
Last spring I attended the annual Take Back the Night speak-out on the Chapel Quadrangle. The last stop on the Night's march between East and West Campuses, and the capstone for Sexual Assault Prevention Week, the speak-out is a remarkable event: Participants step up to a microphone and share their personal experiences with rape and sexual assault, one after another, for hours.
Some stories are decades old, others are incredibly fresh, many are being revealed for the first time ever on that night. It's harrowing, raw and exhausting, but for many of its participants and those in the audience, speaking out seems to be genuinely healing.
Over the course of the evening, several men came forward to air tales of friends or family that had been sexually assaulted, or to pledge their support for efforts to end sexual assault. Although I was impressed by their show of solidarity, I wound up feeling that something was lacking, that the male contribution to the speak-out was more notable for what had not been said than what had.
The majority of rapes and assaults brought up in the speak-out were never reported to the police, but none of the men who spoke expressed a desire to find those responsible and hurt them severely. None of the men displayed the kind of blind rage at the perpetrators that I was feeling at the time. None of them spoke of a willingness to defend his female friends and family with more than his words.
This is no slight on the men who participated in that speak-out; not at all. To be honest, that evening was probably neither the time nor the place for such sentiments.
But in talking about sexual assault on Duke's campus, it's a conversation we never seem to have. As a man, what I am supposed to do about sexual assault? Why do all the solutions offered to me-signing vows never to harm women, protesting the use of sexist language-seem so impotent and lacking?
And most of all, is there a place for my desire for physical confrontation with the perpetrators of these crimes? Is there a case to be made for violent physical retaliation in dealing with sexual assault at Duke?
Go back a few decades, and it seems like my reaction was well within the norm. Men were expected to channel their violent impulses to the defense of the women in their lives. In our grandparents' generation and up until the 1960s, raping or assaulting a woman meant facing the very real threat of being hunted down and beaten or killed by her male relatives. Although I can't and won't advocate this kind of response, I also imagine it would be an enormous disincentive for a would-be rapist.
I don't want to idealize this period of American history any more than it already has been; I know it had its own massive problems, and I'm certainly not arguing for a return to a pre-Sexual Revolution set of cultural mores.
For better or worse, we no longer raise American men to defend women, and we no longer expect them to integrate violence into their lives constructively. We're way past the days when fathers taught their sons the proper way to throw a punch, and in most ways, that's a huge improvement.
But it still leaves me, and, I suspect, much of Duke's male population feeling pretty useless in the face of a tremendous and persistent problem.
In 2004, there were 94,635 incidents of rape in the country as a whole, and although the numbers have consistently fallen since peaking in the 1980s, the Department of Justice still estimates that 61 percent of rapes go completely unreported. It only gets worse on college campuses, with surveys indicating that one in five college-aged women will be raped or sexually assaulted.
I know women who were assaulted here at Duke. You probably do as well. None of them reported it to the police. Their attackers suffered no, or very little, punishment.
Call me bloodthirsty, but I can't help believing that if there were implicit, socially recognized consequences for sexual assault and harassment of women on this campus, beyond chastisement, beyond verbal disapproval, assault and rape would be far less common.
When so many rapists are never brought to trial, there needs to be another mechanism for keeping their behavior in check. To me, one answer may be violent retaliation on the part of the men of this University.
I know that right now many of you are cringing in horror at these proposals, and to be honest I'm not in love with them myself. But at the very least, these ideas-the role of men as the defenders of women, extra-legal consequences for those that commit rape, the use of physical violence against perpetrators of sexual assault-need to enter our ongoing dialogue about rape and sexual assault on this campus.
We need to do a better job of constructing a meaningful male response to sexual assault at Duke if we ever plan on ending it. Until then, I'll be left with two clenched fists and no one to use them on.
Brian Kindle is a Trinity senior. His column runs every Tuesday.
Is this guy still beating this non-existant dead horse?
It ain't dead yet, Laz. There's 3 young men whose lives are on hold while the thing plays out...
Stephen Miller will go far--his observations hit the nail on the head. THIS is why this case continues and Nifong isn't being held to account. Not only are the rich white kids assumed racist, but speaking out against this lie is politically incorrect, especially on college campuses.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.