Skip to comments.The Duke Lacrosse Accuser Stands by Her Story
Posted on 04/02/2014 6:13:44 PM PDT by abb
In March 2006, Crystal Gail Mangum, a student at North Carolina Central University, who worked as a stripper and an escort, accused three members of the Duke lacrosse team Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans of raping her at an off-campus party. The case captivated the country, with the media breathlessly reporting the statements of prosecutor Mike Nifong, who was later fired, disbarred and imprisoned for 24 hours, and then those of the players' defense attorneys in a seemingly endless loop of contradictions. In April 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said there was "no credible evidence that an attack occurred at that house on that night, dropped the charges against the athletes and declared them innocent. Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans have since reached a confidential settlement with the university, which was said to pay them as much as $20 million each. Mangum is serving a prison sentence of up to 18 years for the 2011 murder of her boyfriend.
I visited with Crystal Mangum in November 2012, nearly seven years after the alleged incident at 610 North Buchanan. She was in Durham County Jail awaiting a November 2013 trial for the alleged murder of her then boyfriend, Reginald Daye, whom Mangum stabbed on April 3, 2011, in what she claimed was self-defense after an argument at their Durham apartment. In the warrant for her arrest, Durham police wrote that there was probable cause to believe that Mangum unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did assault Daye with a KITCHEN KNIFE, a deadly weapon, with the intent to kill and [inflict] serious injury. In a 911 call from Dayes nephew to police, after Daye had been stabbed, the nephew said to the dispatcher, Its Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum! I told him she was trouble from the damn beginning. Daye died 11 days later at Duke Hospital. His death was a result of medical malpractice at Duke Hospital, Mangum told me from jail. Everything was fine. He was getting ready to be discharged. All of a sudden they put that endotracheal tube instead of putting it in his trachea, they put it in his esophagus." A Durham County jury disagreed with her explanation, and in November 2013 convicted Mangum of Daye's murder. She has been sentenced to up to 18 years in prison.
During my visit with her in jail, Mangum was dressed in a standard-issue orange jumpsuit and had orange Crocs on her feet. She was on the inside of a closed visiting room on a high floor; I sat on a stool on the outside of the room. We were separated by thick Plexiglas. She seemed nervous but more petite and attractive than I expected after seeing one mug shot after another of her. She seemed sad but also, on occasion, smiled warmly. We had had one previous communication, by letter, dated June 17, 2012, after I had asked to interview her. I, as you probably have guessed, have been here for quite some time (fourteen months) and I am anxious to reunite with my angels (children) ages five, twelve and thirteen, she wrote. If we could come to some sort of arrangement concerning my release, that would be a plus. If not, I dont feel that I would be interested. My bond is currently placed where I may be released with eight thousand cash, or property/land. Im being very upfront because I do not want to waste your time or resources.
She agreed to speak with me at the jail, even though I made it clear I would not help her post bail. (For what its worth, an unidentified person posted Mangums $200,000 bail on February 20, 2013, far more than the $8,000 she suggested would spring her.) Mangum said her emotional issues had begun at an early age. Theres been a lot of abuse in my life, she said. And it all began when I was young when I was quite young. And it started off with family members touching me and me not saying anything about it, which led to me being attracted to older men cause I always felt like I was safe with an older man." She got into exotic dancing. "A lot of it had a lot to do with emotional issues," she said. "I was seeking validation from the wrong sources. Also, I found out that exotic dancing carried a substantial income as well about $1,500 a week, she said, for dancing and escorting. And she enjoyed the work. Well, Im a people pleaser anyway, she said. And I love guys. So it fit. It fit with everything else. And I love music. I love to dance. There was some degrading things about it that I didnt like, but the good outweighed the bad up until that point.
She said that the Duke lacrosse players had paid her and Kim Roberts $400 each, and then another $400 each for a total of $800 each when they decided to go back into 610 North Buchanan the second time. (If true, this was new, as previous reports had the dancers pay at $400 each.) Im just trying to get it over with, she said about going back into the house. Mangum said the players started to get riled up again, so Roberts left for good. She was smart enough to leave, Mangum said. I was obviously intoxicated. She said she believes the lacrosse players slipped her a Mickey Finn. I honestly believe there was something in my drink because to this day I never felt that way before, she continued. It felt like my heart rate had dropped really quickly. I was dizzy. I couldnt maintain my balance." Mangum went back into the house; Roberts was behind her. "Then one of the guys, when we go inside, they were like, Youre gonna finish your job. Youre not leaving until you finish.
Then she and Roberts got separated. I ended up in the bathroom, Mangum continued. And I could hear Kim outside ... In the bathroom theres like a door before you get to the bathroom. The guy named Dan, or that calls himself Dan, closed the door. And he looked at me. Hes like, Sweetheart, youre not leaving. And I got this chill, like this weird feeling, like, Oh no, this is not good kind of feeling. And they took me in the bathroom. And I kept hearing all these people yelling like, Yeah, yeah. Give it, black bitch. And they were just yelling like different things. And I could hear people banging on stuff. It was like really loud. She said the door to the bathroom remained half open. But as soon as she was in there, the three guys just started taking my clothes off. And next thing I know, I feel this excruciating pain in my anal area, and I started crying and telling them to stop. But they wouldnt stop. They just kept doing it. And when I got to the hospital and they took the samples, it was like my skin was coming out like from the inside in my vaginal area and my anal area. And they found, like, wooden pieces. Like, I guess they used a broomstick.
None of the records of the medical exams mentioned the discovery of wooden shards in Mangums vagina or anus. They used a broomstick? I asked. The broom did it, she said. She was sure. I felt like I was gonna die, Mangum continued, like my stomach was cramping really bad. Like I felt like I was having a baby. My stomach was hurting really bad. And the guy that was in front of me, he kept telling the other guys to stop, like he didnt want them to he was like, Man, youre gonna kill her. Stop. He was like telling him to stop. And the other guy was like, Were not gonna kill her. We just wanna make her feel good. And they were laughing at me and stuff. And they were like, Are you in pain? Are you hurting? And it was like, I thought black girls liked it like this. And I was crying and telling them to stop, but they just kept doing it. She said she thought to herself that while she had flirted with the players when she first arrived at the house, she could not understand why they were attacking her. I kept asking them, why are you doing this to me? she continued. Why? And they just kept saying that, I thought black girls liked it rough. Thought they liked it like this."
She said the man standing in front of her was David Evans. The other guys were behind her shoving the broomstick up her anus. She said Evans forced her to give him oral sex by trying to put his penis in her mouth, and then he ejaculated. I know for a fact that it happened, she said. Ive been carrying a lot of guilt because I was drinking and I was flirting. And I went back in the house. And my memory is kinda fuzzy. So its a possibility that I may have picked the wrong people. She said the attack went on for 15 to 30 minutes but she was not sure how or why it stopped. All I know is that a door opened, and I was so happy cause I thought I was gonna die, she said. All I know is, that door opened. I thought they were gonna kill me. Yeah, because like seconds earlier or minutes earlier, they were nice. I mean, they were sweet. It seemed like they turned into a different person, and I just couldnt understand how they changed so fast. So Im figuring, if they changed in that manner, then maybe theyll try to kill me next. All I know is they picked me up and put my clothes back. They picked me up and take me outside and just dumped me on the porch. They just threw me outside on the porch and closed the door. And then, like, one of the guys picked me up and puts my arm around his neck. And I kinda felt like he kinda felt bad about what had happened. And he placed me in the back of Kims car.
She said she thought Reade Seligmann was the one who felt guilty and carried her to the car. What about his alibi? She said she never saw the evidence of his alibi. My problem with that is none of the evidence was actually verified in court, she said. ...Anybody can stand on television and say, I have an alibi. She said she had asked the Attorney Generals Office for access to the evidence. I was told all the evidence was destroyed for my case, she said. I cant even get access to my own hospital records."
She said her life did not turn out as she had planned. She never expected to be in jail for supposedly killing her boyfriend. She never thought she would be reviled for accusing the three lacrosse players of attacking her. Its very frustrating when you know something is true but you cant prove it, she said. And then you have people that hate you, and you dont even know why. I have like millions of people around the country that hate me, and theyve never met me. I guess they feel like Im a vindictive person. And so thats their reaction or retaliation. I guess because my case never made it to trial [and] that the actual truth never came out. And the way the media makes it sound is that I just went to the police station and said, These guys raped me, get em. Thats the way they make it sound. But thats not the way it happened. I never even pressed charges. I went to the hospital for help. I mean, if it really had been up to me, I probably woulda just said leave it alone and went on with my life. I probably woulda kept it to myself. And a lot of times I wished I had. I used to think that the judicial system was so straightforward. If its true, itll come out and everything will be fine. Now I have a completely different view. Its not even a matter of innocence or guilt. Its a matter of whos more powerful or who has the most resources or who can persuade public opinion. And its very frustrating. I think that our system needs to be built on something stronger than public opinion. And basically thats what my case came out to, popular opinion. As I got up to leave, Mangum stood up and put her hand against the Plexiglas. Get me outta here, she said.
Adapted from The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities by William D. Cohan, to be published April 8, 2014 by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Printed with permission.
How the Duke Lacrosse Case Spun Out of Control
Heather Wood Rudulph
April 2, 2014
A new book investigates the scandal that consumed the university and the aftermath that still persists.
On March 13, 2006, two female strippers arrived at an off-campus party attended mainly by members of the Duke University mens lacrosse team. What ensued over just two hours created a firestorm, with one of the women, Crystal Mangum, accusing three of the players of assault. Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans were indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping. Her claim: She was held against her will in a bathroom, gang-raped, strangled and sodomized.
Because Mangum and the other stripper that evening are African-American and there is undisputed testimony to racial slurs being yelled that night the case was labeled a hate crime by the Durham Police Department. The national media ran with it, making this one of the most explosive cases of the decade.
By April 2007, the case had been dismissed without ever going to trial. Magnum was labeled a liar. The prosecutor, District Attorney Mike Nifong, was disbarred, fired and put in jail for one day for contempt of court. Duke lacrosse head coach Mike Pressler, who had resigned less than a month after the allegations came out, reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the university. Each of the men accused in the case was reportedly given up to $20 million from Duke. Mangum is currently serving a 14- to 18-year sentence for murdering her boyfriend.
In his new book The Price of Silence, William D. Cohan, a Duke alumnus, investigates the scandal. Cohan spoke to Cosmopolitan.com about how he thinks campus culture, a voracious media and the issues of sex and race turned justice on his head.
When initial allegations came out, Mangum was heralded as a brave victim, spawning rallies, fierce media analysis and public outcry. By the time the case was over, everyone considered Mangum a fraud. How did things go so far and then shift so dramatically?
I think the first thing that went wrong is that the Durham police who first investigated didnt take Crystal Mangums allegations seriously. They thought she was out of her mind, just non-credible. Then they didnt search the house for three days. Once a new set of Durham officers got involved in the case which some argued had it in for Duke students because of all the bad behavior happening in the neighborhoods for years these officers took the other extreme. They believed everything that Crystal was telling them. And more importantly, they wrote it up that way in search warrants and documents that became public.
The lacrosse players started telling their side of the story, emphasizing how they felt victimized. How much did this influence the shift in public sympathy?
The defense was very skillful in finding procedural errors in the prosecutions case and they were masters at manipulating the media. Suddenly, nothing Mangum said was considered believable by the prosecutors or the media and the media, of course, has a way of swaying public opinion. When the media stopped referring to her as the victim and started referring to her as the accuser, the whole narrative changed.
How do we balance our outrage over allegations such as these and a desire to support the victim with the fact that someone hasnt been convicted?
The justice system is supposed to sort these things out. The vast majority of cases remain hidden from the public. This became incredibly high stakes for Dukes reputation, obviously for the kids whose lives were at risk of being ruined, for Crystal who made these allegations, and for the district attorney who had believed her and who was running for re-election in the middle of this case. The irony is that the justice system was never allowed to sort this out because there was never a trial.
The truth is, apart from whats in my book, well never know anything more. Records are sealed, there was no trial, the attorney general of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, who conducted the investigation refused to grant me an interview, refused to let me see his investigative files. My question is, if hes so sure theyre innocent, why is he not allowing me to view his documentary evidence? Id think he would be throwing it at me.
When the term hate crime is introduced, its pretty hard to shake, no matter the facts that are presented in the case. Whether or not sexual assault actually happened, do you believe a race-related crime took place?
That got out in the 911 call. It placed a stereotype immediately. Pretty much every fact of this story has been questioned, but one fact that has never been disputed is that these kids were hurling racial epithets at the women. There are racial and anti-Semitic elements that still exist in Southern culture. When you add binge drinking, these types of things come out.
What is it about the culture of an elite university such as Duke that fosters this type of behavior?
This is certainly a problem that persists at more places than Duke. But I can speak firsthand as a Duke alum that theres this work hard, play hard element to the Duke culture. Athletes and certainly the lacrosse players were in a very exalted position. They had been allowed to get away with a lot of very bad behavior over the years. Not criminal behavior, but cocky, bad-boy behavior that people were aware of but they didnt really do anything or challenge them on it. It was accepted.
After reporting this book, what have you learned about the culture of sexual assault and the related culture of silence on campuses?
I think certainly the awareness level of what constitutes sexual assault on campus has gone up exponentially in the last generation. Its clear the number of [reported] sexual assaults on campuses across the country has risen exponentially. Part of that is awareness of what constitutes sexual assault. Part of it is a greater willingness of women to bring this behavior to the authorities. But there are constantly cases of women who bring charges and they are quickly declared responsible its their fault, theyre too drunk to remember a lot of victim blaming. By no means have we figured this one out. I think binge drinking really adds to it. Its extreme alcohol consumption, which leads to extreme behavior. And when you have binge drinking and hookup culture together, youre asking for trouble.
You make a strong argument in the book that drinking particularly binge drinking is largely to blame for the whole incident. Binge drinking is one of the biggest problems on college campuses. Is there any way to curb it?
The work hard, play hard idea applies to partying too. With it comes a lot of binge drinking. When the drinking age got raised to 21 in the late 1980s, it became a fundamental part of the problem. You can go to war, you can vote, you can smoke, but you cant drink? Its ridiculous. It turns drinking into a taboo. Since they cant do it on campus, the parties and the drinking gets pushed into houses that have been rented off campus. Thats where this lacrosse party took place. I honestly believe that if we had kept the drinking age at 18, there would be no Duke lacrosse scandal, no case. There wouldnt be all these parties in the neighborhoods. It just wouldnt have happened.
What dont we know about Crystal Mangum?
After reading all the news coverage about her, I thought that she was basically a moronic and deranged individual. But in fact, shes quite poised, quite intelligent, quite articulate and quite clear thinking.
Crystal had some of the worst personal backstory that is imaginable she was abused her whole life, one horrible thing after another but despite all of that she tried to pull herself up by her bootstraps. She was dancing because she had three kids. She was a single mother. She was trying to put herself through North Carolina Central University the predominantly black college in Durham and she successfully graduated. Shes not an idiot, but she gets treated like an idiot.
Shes now serving a sentence for murder. You talked to her at the prison. What does she say about the case today?
She still believes something happened. She describes it as somebody shoving a broomstick up her. All I know is that the police believed her, district attorney Mike Nifong believed her, and the rape nurse Tara Levicy believed her. I am convinced something happened.
Isn’t she in jail for murder?
These freaks hate TRUTH and LOGIC.
Isn’t this druggie in jail?
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Cohan Attacks Joe Neff
Author William D. Cohan has issued a strange response to Joe Neffs recent exposé in the N&O. Neffs article, which I wrote about below, corrected the Cohan books inaccurate framing of the innocence declaration. In the book, Neff noted, Cohan implies that the attorney general blindsided his investigators when he issued the innocence declaration. By actually speaking to the senior member of the AGs office in charge of the investigation, Neff demonstrated that the version of events (which relied on the suppositions of a convicted liar, Mike Nifong) presented in Cohans book was untrue. Neff also observed that Cohan passes along Nifongs wordscourtesy of multiple interviewsvirtually unchallenged.
Perhaps channeling the sentiments of his chief source, Nifong, Cohan charges that Neffs article included pathetic mistakes. On the virtually unchallenged point, Cohan writes, Had [Neff] read the book before writing his article, he would have known that much of the book is one challenge to Nifong after another from Duke, from the athletes, from their defense attorneys and from the media, including Neff.
(The index to the book references Neffs name once.)
This is a very strange interpretation of Neffs article, in a couple of respects. First, the article makes clear that Neff has read the book. (So have I: Neffs portrayal of the books treatment of Nifong is, if anything, overly generous to Cohan.) Second, given that none of the figures who wrote or spoke the previously published material from which Cohans book quotes had seen any of Nifongs interviews with Cohan, Im not sure how any of these people could have challenged Nifong. Since Cohan didnt interview anyone on the other side of the case apart from Ryan McFadyen, the only person who could have challenged Nifongs current version of events was Cohan, a task for which the author showed no interest.
Neffs piece was newsworthy in another respect: he actually spoke to Jim Coman, who supervised the investigation. Author Cohan did not do so, for reasons that remain unclear. (Cohan says he did try to speak to Roy Cooper, who declined.)
In his Facebook posting, author Cohan produces an e-mail from his public interest lawyer, in which the lawyer reported that Jim Coman had called to say that the statelike virtually every other state in the countrywould not give Cohan (or any other citizen) access to investigative files. Its not clear how this e-mail is in any way relevant to the points raised by Neffs article; the e-mail contains no indication that the author asked Coman for an interview to discuss the case. Indeed, the e-mail includes a sentence passing along Coman’s phone numberpresumably in case the author wanted to contact himbut also indicating that he was currently involved in a case.
Cohan also has a new piece out in Cosmopolitanat least, unlike in his CNN column, hes dropped the pretense of providing a news commentary, rather than simply promoting the forthcoming bookin which convicted murderer Crystal Mangum offers yet another version of what happened. (This time, wood splinters were driven into her, but former SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy evidently neglected to write this fact down.) Cohan also allows Mangumwithout pointing out the errorto claim that Reade Seligmann carried her out to the car, despite photographic and video evidence that proves otherwise.
Cohan also darkly hints that well never know for sure what happened because North Carolina, like virtually every state, does not publicly release police investigative files. But a significant portion of the discovery fileone never released, and to the best of my knowledge never seen by anyone who covered the case, including by me, because Judge Smith sealed itwas Mangums 800-1000pp. medical file. That file included psychological recordswhich perhaps might explain why shes now offering an even more delusional story.
In his jailhouse interview, Cohan had an opportunity to ask Mangum to publicly release the hundreds of pages in the discovery file over which she possesses personal control. Given his commitment to complete openness of all police files, Im sure that Cohan made the request. Alas, his piece in Cosmopolitan doesnt reveal Mangums response, beyond a bizarre claim that Mangum no longer has access to her own records.
Posted by KC Johnson at 6:02 PM
April Fools was yesterday Mr. Cohan.
Murder in the Second Degree.
Cosmo must think that the War on Women meme needs more stoking again...
When do they execute the culprits?
I rest my case....
I’m not sure I’m allowed to say what I think of Cohan, Mangum, and Nifong. It isn’t good.
St. Tray stands by his story too.
“I think the first thing that went wrong is that the Durham police who first investigated didnt take Crystal Mangums allegations seriously. They thought she was out of her mind, just non-credible. Then they didnt search the house for three days. Once a new set of Durham officers got involved in the case ... these officers took the other extreme.”
Really not impressed with his ‘research’ - the first investigation was by *Duke* PD, who handed it off to DPD as a property theft case (Duke PD did not consider her credible).
It was the Durham PD who took 3 days to search the house.
Mangum convicted of murder
Sentenced to 14-18 years in prison
Nov. 22, 2013 @ 06:37 PM
The Herald-Sun | Keith Upchurch
Crystal Mangum was convicted Friday of second-degree murder in the death of boyfriend Reginald Daye and sentenced to 14-18 years in prison.
After the verdict, members of Dayes family wept, but most said they were satisfied.
Mangum was charged with first-degree murder in the April 2011 stabbing death of Daye, and could have drawn a life sentence if convicted of that charge.
The jury of five women and seven men also could have convicted her of manslaughter.
Security was heavy as the verdict was read about 12:30 p.m. to a packed, hushed courtroom.
Durham County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway sentenced Mangum about 15 minutes later.
Mangum’s attorney, Daniel Meier, said an appeal was filed Friday.
That’s the jury’s vote, Meier said. At least it wasnt first-degree. I still thought it was self-defense or, in the worst case, manslaughter. But the jury must have found malice.
Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks said the prosecution was satisfied with the verdict.
It’s up to the jury, and we’re satisfied with what the jury did, she said. They felt that justice was required in this case.
Dayes family from Durham, Winston-Salem and Philadelphia showed up every day for the two-week trial, sitting quietly in two front rows.
His cousin, Ashley Evans, struggled to compose herself as she recalled how much Daye had meant to her.
When the verdict came in, she said, I felt like we buried Reggie all over again. Im glad that justice was served.
Evans said Daye never met a stranger and helped everybody. When he saw a child who was without, his main focus was to make sure he gave them something.
Dayes older sister, Cynthia Wilson, said her brother loved people.
He was an outgoing person, she said. He loved to fish, and would fish at nighttime or five in the morning. And he loved his Budweiser.
Wilson said Daye was a painter on the maintenance crew at N.C. Central University and a hard worker.
She said Friday’s verdict, though not a first-degree murder conviction, has given the family a measure of peace.
Were just glad justice was served for Reginald and his family and friends, she said. I believe in the justice system and in God. He made a way for [Mangum] to get some time. We can’t always get what we want, but we got some justice. Now, there is some peace for our family and for Reginald.
Mangum drew national headlines in 2006 when she falsely accused three members of the Duke University lacrosse team of raping her at a party near East Campus.
Four years later, she was in court on an arson charge, accused of setting fire to her boyfriends clothes in a bathtub. A jury deadlocked on the arson charge, but convicted her of related misdemeanors.
At the murder trial, Mangum claimed self-defense, testifying she stabbed Daye as he held her down and choked her on their apartment floor.
But Daye, who died 10 days after the April 3, 2011, stabbing, was interviewed by police at Duke University Hospital, and said Mangum stabbed him as he tried to leave their apartment after an argument.
The jury found Mangum not guilty Friday on two related larceny charges. She was accused of stealing two cashiers rent checks from Daye totaling $700.
Stripper, escort, convicted murderer.
What Credibility issues?
Well, let’s be honest here. She was only stripping and doing the escort thingy so that she could afford crack.
Sounds like Crystal had some issues with the Finnish.
I challenge anyone to read her bio:
I read it. Contains a lot of stuff I'd forgotten about.
What a piece of work.