Exculpatory DNA Results Withheld in Duke LaCrosse Players' Case
For months, the Duke lacrosse players alleged rape case has been a train wreck waiting to happen. I hope with this news, it finally derails for good.
A private laboratory hired by the prosecution in the Duke lacrosse case failed to report that it found DNA from multiple males in the accuser's body and underwear, according to a defense motion filed today.
The lab, DNA Security of Burlington, found that the DNA did not match the three defendants, their lacrosse teammates or anyone else who submitted their DNA to police, including the accuser's boyfriend.
You can read the motion filed by the defense today here.
"This is strong evidence of innocence in a case in which the accuser denied engaging in any sexual activity in the days before the alleged assault, told police she last had consensual sexual intercourse a week before the assault, and claimed that her attackers did not use condoms and ejaculated," said the motion, which was signed by lawyers for all three defendants.
"There is not a single mention of this obviously exculpatory evidence in the final DNA Security report."
The defense is now asking for all results to be turned over.
Citing the state's open-file discovery law and the U.S. Supreme Court's requirement for prosecutors to hand over all helpful evidence to the defense, the defense lawyers asked the judge to order Nifong and the lab to provide copies of all laboratory analyses, including those performed after May 12.
It appears the laboratory did not provide the results to prosecutor Mike Nifong. But, why not?
On April 8, 9 and 10, DNA Security found DNA from multiple males on the panties and rectal swab from the rape kit; none matched the lacrosse players.
On April 10, Meehan met in his office with Nifong and the two lead investigators in the case, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Investigator Benjamin Himan.
On April 18 and 19, DNA Security ran tests on pubic hair from rape kit; multiple male DNA was found that did not match the players or any other sample taken by police, the motion said.
On April 20 or 21, Meehan again met with Nifong and the two investigators in his Burlington office. Meehan included none of these DNA results in his final report to Nifong on May 12.
The report violated DNA Security's own policies, which state that reports shall include "results of every DNA test," according to a copy of the policy filed with the motion.
The posters at the TalkLeft Duke Forums have much to say about the motion.
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