Skip to comments.Report depicts dazed accuser [Duke LAX Rape Hoax]
Posted on 04/28/2007 8:19:17 AM PDT by freespirited
One year after the infamous Duke lacrosse party, special prosecutors were the first officials to question Crystal Gail Mangum about her conflicting stories about being gang-raped, according to a report released Friday by the state attorney general.
The prosecutors, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead, said they met a woman who showed up impaired on a cocktail of prescription drugs. She denied irrefutable facts and changed her story so often, even during a single interview, that the lawyers thought she was improvising.
District Attorney Mike Nifong bet his career on Mangum and the case that besmeared Durham, Duke University and its students, and, ultimately, the North Carolina justice system.
"The state's cases rested primarily on a witness whose recollection of the facts of the allegations was imprecise and contradictory," Attorney General Roy Cooper's 21-page report said. "The accusing witness attempted to avoid the contradictions by changing her story, contradicting previous stories or alleging the evidence had been fabricated."
Mangum has not spoken to the media about the case for more than a year. She could not be reached for comment Friday.
Cooper released the report 16 days after he proclaimed the three former players -- Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann -- innocent of the sexual assault and kidnapping charges that threw their lives into turmoil.
Nifong, battling ethics and professional misconduct charges over the case, declined to comment about the latest development.
The report rarely mentions Nifong. But the findings, based largely on Nifong's files and interviews with Nifong's witnesses, reinforce charges that he pushed ahead with a case that crumbled before indictments were brought.
Not once during the 10 months in which the Durham district attorney was responsible for the case did Nifong, his investigator or police ask Mangum about problems with her allegations. Only after Jan. 12, when Nifong handed the case to Cooper's office, did prosecutors challenge Mangum.
"This was apparently the first time these questions of inconsistencies had been asked formally," the report said. "In meetings with the special prosecutors, the accusing witness, when recounting the events of that night, changed her story on so many important issues as to give the impression that she was improvising as the interview progressed, even when she was faced with irrefutable evidence that what she was saying was not credible."
At times, the prosecutors said, she claimed that time-stamped photos and video of the party were fabricated. She claimed Duke doctored photographs with images contradicting her accounts.
During a March 29 interview, Mangum made new assertions, including that 10 men assaulted and pushed her around in the backyard and that the three accused players kicked her in the neck on the back porch after a gang-rape.
She gave a new account of the supposed assault during that interview. Mangum told special prosecutors that players took off her underwear and, while crouching and squatting, took turns holding her up in the air while the others sexually assaulted her in the small bathroom.
Signs of impairment
At a meeting with special prosecutors April 4, Mangum exhibited the unsteady gait, the slurred speech and other mannerisms consistent with her actions at the lacrosse team party, the report said. Before that meeting, the prosecutors said, the accuser had ingested a cocktail of prescription drugs, two anti-depressants, a sleeping pill and methadone.
"While witnesses often have inconsistencies in details when recounting events over time, the volume of inconsistent statements and the fact that many of these were substantial and were in regard to significant events rendered the truthfulness of the accusing witness in serious doubt," the report said.
The report also pointed out irregularities in an interview that Linwood Wilson, Nifong's chief investigator, conducted with Mangum on Dec. 21. In a departure from normal practice, Wilson interviewed Mangum without another officer to witness and corroborate her answers. Wilson showed Mangum the photographs of players she viewed April 4, 2006, to identify assailants. Wilson didn't record the interview and made no mention of the photographs in his notes or report. Nor did he explain why he showed the photographs to her, nor did he detail her reaction.
In Wilson's report, Mangum referred to the players as David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty; in all her past interviews, she had called them Adam, Brett and Matt.
In deciding to exonerate Evans, 24, Finnerty, 20, and Seligmann, 21, Cooper and the special prosecutors cited several key points:
* Mangum's testimony would have been contradicted by other evidence from numerous sources.
* No testimony of physical evidence would have corroborated her testimony.
* The three accused were identified through a questionable police lineup.
* Credible and verifiable information showed the accused could not have participated in an attack during the time it was alleged to have occurred.
* Mangum's credibility would have been suspect based on previous encounters with police, her medical history and inconsistent statements.
Durham City Council member Thomas Stith said officials need answers about Nifong's role and whether he wielded undue influence over police.
"It's time for the district attorney to remove himself, to step down, so we can move forward as a community," Stith said.
Is this the first time a city official has called for Nifong to resign?
What’s the worst that can happen to him? I really, really want him to suffer.
“Nifong is toast.”
I sure hope so.
“It’s time for the district attorney to remove himself, to step down, so we can move forward as a community,” Stith said.
As the article also points out, the entire justice system of North Carolina has been “smeared” by Nifong. The only way it can purge itself is to see to it that the guilty party pays for his crimes. When a DA commits multiple felonies, he must pay the price or the whole justice system falls into doubt.
There are so many people who need to be punished severely for their actions in this case--and I hope each and every one of them pays--BIG TIME!
HOW DOES this woman have children and who is taking care of them? Where are the authorities? And she has a 4.0? Is she “doing” all her college professors? Unbelievable..................
They should sue the PANTS off Nifong, the state and anyone who had anything to do with this. I live in Atlanta where the three lying police officers shot an innocent 92 year old woman for NOTHING. I’m sick of it.
There aren't just State Statutes involved here, but some Federal ones as well.
It appears that Nifong is guilty of multiple violations of 18 USC 242. If anyone bothers to charge him under that Statute he could be looking at a life sentence.
Now that would be some justice.
She has been banned. FYI.
I'm not a lawyer so I dont know. I have read that the feds could charge him with violating the civil rights of the three defendants. Also that the local authorities could charge him with obstruction of justice for withholding the DNA evidence. Both are criminal charges.
My gut feeling is that neither will happen, he will lose his bar card and his pension and his colleagues will decide "he's been punished enough."
Of course there is no guarantee that he will lose his pension; they could find a job for him that doesnt require a law license and let him stay a couple more years until he can collect it.
Who has been banned, and for what?
Howlin. Don’t know why, but it may have been something to do with this post:
JR had referenced it quite a bit. Not sure if they quit on their own.
Laws should be changed to make it easier for victims of abuse by government agents and elected officials to obtain protection and retribution.
Thanks for the information. I read a hundred or so posts on that thread and found the usual back biting that has become commonplace on Fr. As for Howlin, It is unbelieveable that she would be banned, and I don’t think I would want to belong to any club that would have me anyway.
One anecdote about Howlin. The first day I posted on FR some wise guy criticised the way I posted. Oh, yes the posting police go a long way back. At any rate, Howlin came to my defense, and I thanked her. I didn’t know then if I was thanking a man or a woman, but found out immediately that she had strong opinions when she immediately fired back at me that she would get on my case if she thought I was wrong. I have liked and respected Howlin from that time, some seven years ago. She doesn’t hide her feelings, but has done more for FR than the average poster, and she is usually acurate and logical in her reasoning.
Too bad. A great loss for FR, but maybe FR has it coming. It makes us understand more how the Gulags served the purpose of the old Soviets. Out of site, out of mind.
Howlin. And I suspect it was in the recent purging of Rudyphiles, but don’t know.
This is the first I’d realized she was gone.
I really need to post all the names into the Wiki article on this case.
I understand how you feel. I can speculate that she left on her own. I heard she is admin of an antifreeper site but rumors are like tumors. Who knows.
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