Newsweek on the Duke Lacrosse Team Rape Allegations
Newsweek has an excellent wrap-up of the Duke Lacrosse team rape allegations, including a few new facts. One seems to make more viable a theory I floated in comments here and mentioned on Fox News yesterday-- that there may have been a physical altercation over the money, rather than a rape, that led to the broken fingernails.
In recounting the accuser's side, Newsweek writes:
They had just begun their performance when the men became "excited and aggressive." According to Nifong, one of the players called out, "Did you bring any sex toys?" When the women answered no, a man said, "That's OK, we'll just use a broom." Frightened, the strippers ran outside to their car. One of the men followed and coaxed one of the women to come back in. When she did, she told police, she was forced into a bathroom and held down while three men forced her to have sex. According to Nifong, she claimed that the men robbed her and that she broke off several fake fingernails clawing one of her attackers.
I wrote in the comments:
Fake fingernails can come off pretty easy, and as I said above, there could have been a physical fight when the players wanted their money back because the woman left after just a few minutes of dancing that could account for the external injuries....as to the sex, maybe it occurred at the house, maybe it happened before or after. Maybe it was with one person, maybe he was a lacrosse team member or maybe he was just a guy attending the party.
Too few facts are known right now, it's too soon to convict anyone of anything, particularly an entire team of lacrosse players.
Newsweek reports that the neighbor, Jason Bissey says the party broke up five minutes after the women left. Now for Newsweek recapping the defense side:
But if the three lacrosse captains who occupy the house had anything to hide, they didn't act like it. They cooperated in the search and voluntarily went down to the police station to give statements, without lawyers present. Their offer to take a lie-detector test was rebuffed by police. No one accompanied her into the bathroom, the players told police. Defense lawyer Cheshire says, "Evidence I've heard indicates that the accuser was acting as if she was inebriated by some substance at the party." He added, "The defense is looking closely into the background of the accuser."
The players' families reject the clichÃ© that the Duke players are privileged louts. Two of the players are sons of retired New York City firemen who responded to the 9/11 attacks. (The proprietor of one local escort agency who refused to be identified because she did not wish to get involved in the probe told NEWSWEEK, "I don't send people to Duke. College students are immature, not alone and there's usually drugs and alcohol.")
On the politics involved in the crime:
Joseph Cheshire, a lawyer representing one of the players, says that the prosecutor has unfairly tried the players in the media to serve his own political agenda. (Nifong is up for re-election in May and one of his opponents is black.) "The real story," says Cheshire, "is how he has pandered to the public to stir up race and class division." Nifong did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Cheshire's charge.
Signifying Nothing, one of whose authors is Chris Lawrence, a visiting political science professor at Duke this year, has been writing some good stuff.
Update: More timeline details from the Charlotte News Observer reporter who interviewed the accuser afterwards.
She got the call about 8:30 that night; she was to show up at about 11:30. The first time that she had ever met that co-worker she says was at that location.
Update: Comments are just about at 100 , time to close them. There will be an updated thread when more news breaks on the case. Thanks to all for your thoughts.
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