CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Duke Rape Scandal

unsubstantiated by DNA. [Mark Godsey]

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Rape shields were created in the 1970s to protect the alleged “victim” from having her reputation ruined by baseless assumptions, unfair judgments, public humiliation, and character assassinations, but any of this could describe what’s happening to every member of the lacrosse team.

Irresponsible “special interest groups” have held protests everyday holding the name and pictures of anyone on the lacrosse team, to having their pictures and hate slogans pasted all over school. The actions of these groups against these men are nothing short of harassment and unfair character assassination.

Media hungry District Attorney Mike Nifong stated he is positive a rape has occurred, but he isn’t sure if it’s by the members of the lacrosse team, yet he obtained an order to get DNA samples from only the members of the team, then he stated on a national news program that the lacrosse team has a “rowdy” reputation on campus – obviously playing up to sexist stereotyping of jocks to further play his case for the media. As Nifong continues to publicly massacre the characters out his case for public consumption, he claims that the team is “stonewalling the investigation” because they claim not to have any knowledge of what transpired, but is Nifong now believing the men to be telling the truth as he recently changed his tune stating that even if the DNA evidence clears these boys that he’ll have other evidence.

Opportunistic political groups have descended on Duke’s campus using unscrupulous methods to get media attention at the expense of innocent young men who happen to be on the lacrosse team. Young men who were too recently, only boys not yet ready to handle this ugly side of the world. In today’s climate, we need the rape shield laws extended to protect all the innocent, including those who just happen to get in the way of media hungry district attorneys and opportunistic political groups.

District Attorney Mike Nifong’s should be held accountable for the irresponsible actions he’s taken in this rape investigation.

The boys are being tried in the national media before there is any charge are made. Nifong stated that someone else could have assaulted the 27 year old stripper, yet he publicly damned the men’s lacrosse team and only the men’s lacrosse team as gang rapist, and still not knowing whether or not the “alleged victim” was telling the truth, or if the three men sought are on the team, Nifong claims the team is stonewalling to protect its own.

In response, daily protest are held with hate comments made directly to the lacrosse teammates, pictures of the teammates with rape slogans are plastered all over Duke’s campus, and now gang members are driving by the east campus threatening students.

Nifong’s circus-like antics to perform for the national media has put the whole campus in danger.

Nifong proclaimed in the national media that the DNA sweep of 46 boys would find the guilty and clear the innocent. DNA tests prove that the boys of the lacrosse team were telling the truth, but Nifong wants to go ahead with the case only weeks before his election against a woman and a black man. There should be laws in place to prevent unscrupulous politician like District Attorney Mike Nifong from bulldozing over 47 innocent boys just to bask in the international media spot-light.

Posted by: Ryan | Apr 21, 2006 2:10:00 PM

It is time for the lacrosse players and coach to find a good plaintiff lawyer and go after the University, the DA(dumb ass), and in particular the President/Judge of Duky University. These peoples lives have been turned inside out on a false accusation by a non-crdible witness for the sake of politics and political correctness. Amzing air of victimology and self-righteousness in this country. The President of Duke should resign for lack of objectivity. Whate a second-rate piss ant. Congratulations.

Posted by: Jon Peaha | Apr 28, 2006 5:40:35 PM

I feel bad for our nation. This scandal isn't good for anyone. I'm sorry the young men are being smeared, if indeed they are innocent. We still need to face the facts, that a crime was committed. A crime of rape, as well as a crime of hate, by the racial slurs. The truth will come out. The story that I have followed on the internet, and the papers, lets me believe that something terrible did happen to the young woman. We must not forget, she is a mother of two small children,who are definetly innocent. We shouldn't put the strippers down in society, because this is what society has allowed. Maybe we need to get back to playing monopoly. Colleges have too many people getting drunk, high, and illicit sexual practices. We need to get back to moral living, and maybe we won't need to deal with stories like these.

Posted by: Catherine Thompkins | Apr 30, 2006 7:29:05 AM

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