Duke Accuser: Should She Be Named Now?

Fox News, Scripps Howards newspapers and others are now naming the accuser. Fox has published photos of her.

Should she be named now? Her name, Crystal Gayle Mangum, has been all over the internet for many months, as have details of her prior criminal record.

I have never approved of the media policy of withholding the name of the accuser while publishing the name of the accused.

Nonetheless, I have insisted that on TalkLeft and on the TalkLeft Duke Forums (on which more than 59,000 comments have been posted on more than 1,200 threads) her name not be used.

Tonight, I'm ending the ban on the use of her name on both sites. She has officially been declared not to be a rape victim. She is a false accuser. She has no right to be shielded any longer.

I'll also have an op-ed in tomorrow's Washington Examiner on the case, titled "The Travesty of the Duke Case." It focuses on how the Duke case should forge a new frontier to protect those who are wrongfully accused.

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    Exactamundo (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 11:52:55 PM EST
    She has officially been declared not to be a rape victim. She is a false accuser. She has no right to be shielded any longer.
    I wrote out her name in a comment earlier today and then deleted it before posting as I felt your extant wishes on the topic should be respected.

    fwiw, I have the same emotional response to writing her name now as I did earlier today - ie., it's kind of anti-climactic.

    "FA," or "false accuser," is, or has become, so much more appropriate and expeditious than Crystal Gail Mangum, imo.

    She is not a rape victim.

    She is a false accuser.

    God, what a waste of a year.

    Discouraging victims and "victims" (none / 0) (#2)
    by roy on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 12:31:57 AM EST
    The idea is still floating around that the ensuing shame and scorn heaped upon Magnum will discourage real victims from reporting attacks.  I guess that's possibile, but the greater effect will be to discourage non-victims from making sh*t up and hurting innocent people.  The accused are, after all, the only real victims in this incident.  And they'd likely have been raped in prison if Magnum had succeeded.

    I hope genuine victims of sexual assault and rape still feel confident enough to report their situations.  It's not inhumane to demand that they be honest when they do so.

    As an aside, TalkLeft has been one of the few information sources to handle the scandal in a classy way.  I never had much to say about the subject, but I followed it, and it was a relief to have something to read that wasn't fueled by sensationalism, blind guesswork, or identity politics.

    Glad this is over, but... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 03:36:56 AM EST
    ...you're not suggesting, are you, as this post suggests, that every time a D.A. decides against filing charges that it means the accuser is a false accuser?

    While it may be true in this case, I think it more than a bit unbalanced to imply all accusers are false if they cannot legally nail their attackers.

    Some of us ARE those people, J.  

    Just so's we're clear (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 02:01:34 AM EST
    Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.

    Big difference between our justice system declaring someone innocent and a "D.A. decid[ing] against filing charges."

    that castigating a liar (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 06:01:58 AM EST
    in public, will somehow adversely affect real victim's desire to see their attackers brought to justice is the height of intellectual laziness and arrogance.

    the implication, that these true victims are just so pathetic and unstable, so little is required to drive them over the edge, is, at best, insulting. again, as i noted elsewhere, i have yet to see any documented evidence that instances of this nature result in a material dimunition of reports by real victims.

    one hopes that this might give pause to someone considering a false report. however, given the usual circumstances involved in those episodes, i wouldn't be too certain that'll be the case.

    Right on... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Slado on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 08:57:31 AM EST
    The biggest issue in this case is that this women was able to hold three men hostage with lies because society as a whole felt guilty about the relationship between white/black and rich/poor.

    That's what this case was about.   This women used that to hold three innocent men hostage in the legal system and the DA in this case and the media where all to willing to help her.  

    For those who scream about these boys privledge ask yourself if these boys would have even been charged if they weren't rich, white and priveledged?   If they had been black would the DA have even cared?  And if they'd been black or simply poor white males from the community would the media have cared?  If the they had been black or poor would they have had the legal defense team to defend themselves?

    This case is too complicated and the race/class issue to pervasive for anyone to claim some sort of moral highground.   It is exactly because of this that this case got so out of hand so quickly.

    We should all be asking ourselves if we didn't rush to judgement or wish that this case went the other way becasue we thought it my satisfy our guilt over the still troubling relationship between black, white rich and poor.


    Not quite (none / 0) (#10)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:50:02 AM EST

    IMO, The FA came with the rape story late in order to avoid a night in the drunk tank.  If the cops and DA would have done the right thing it would not have gone past that.  Sorry lady, your stories don't add up.  

    However, the DA needed an issue to get past an election and appealing to white guilt and black fear of being the victim got the votes.  This is a tried and true Dem vote getting tactic.  We have seen it before, we will see it again.


    Honestly.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 05:34:22 PM EST
    I think what saved the boys from being wrongfully convicted was their wealth...or more accurately their parents wealth.

    If they were kids with no money or connections, they would have been defended by an overworked public defender.  They would have been pressured to take a plea.

    The moral of this whole story for me is this...if you are falsely accused of a crime, have money.  It makes all the difference.


    Would this still be discussed.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by madmatt on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 08:28:24 AM EST
    If it had happened to 3 black boys and a white dancer?  These were silver spoon fed, aristocratic brats who wanted to play with the dangerous life...they got what they wanted and maybe it will teach some other young people not to be such idiots in the first place.

    Thanks, madmatt.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by lonestar on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 08:56:08 AM EST
    ... you saved me a lot of keystrokes. I suppose I've done some stupid things in my 58 years, but even I can see the logic of avoiding situations where things can go seriously wrong. If you want to drink and watch strippers, for cripes sake, go to a strip club. If you're not old enough to get in, then maybe you should find another way to get your jollies.

    and things (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 09:19:24 AM EST
    can't go seriously wrong in a strip club? were that the case, so many communities wouldn't be trying to ban them, precisely for that very reason. they tend to draw a much rougher crowd than college fraternity or team houses do, as a rule.

    all things considered, i'm  not certain there's any great lessons to be drawn from this deplorable episode.


    connecting dots (none / 0) (#9)
    by orionATL on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:21:49 AM EST
    i hope any attempt to protect those wrongly accused begins with

    prosecutors who file improper charges or who withhold evidence.

    the case of the three duke athletes

    is connected

    to the cases of weak/false charges of politically motivated fraud by united states attorneys.

    in wisconsin, for example, the office of u.s. attorney steven biskovic, under what i suspect was pressure from the white house, caused a civil servant, georgia thompson, to be convicted and sent to prison pending appeal .


    at talking points memo, josh marshall summarizes some other cases of the flagrant abuses of prosecutors' power in "voter fraud" cases brought by u.s. attorneys under pressure from the white house.

    with respect to maintaining faith in the legal system,

    it does no good to carefully choose juries, and then carefully monitor jurors or sequester them,

    in order to avoid undue influence on their judgment and prejudicing a trial outcome


    the case brought by the state is improper or false.

    and when false prosecutorial charges are brought involving the voting system,

    the damages are double

    the legal system and the voting system become suspect.

    in some ways, no greater crime can be committed, especially by "officers of the court", than to undermine respect for the legal and the voting systems in a nation.

    Is that her real name? (none / 0) (#11)
    by eric on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 11:26:51 AM EST
    Crystal Gayle Mangum? Yikes.

    uh oh (none / 0) (#12)
    by orionATL on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 11:38:40 AM EST
    magnum eh?

    i feel a naughty joke coming on.

    guess i better get a way from this keyboard and go on out to the porch.


    I don't seen any point in identifying her by name (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 12:20:08 PM EST
    except retribution.  

    Bias, Devils, & Heaven (none / 0) (#14)
    by Daniel DiRito on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 03:39:09 PM EST
    By all accounts, the local District Attorney sought to manipulate the system and the media to further his own agenda...regardless of the intended purpose of his office...to determine the guilt or innocence of the alleged perpetrators.

    Essentially, our culture has devolved into the serial practice of partisanship without regard for the individual or the pursuit of the truth. We're not looking to find the truth, we're looking to create truth and that is a pivotal distinction. As such, each issue becomes the flagship for opposing interest groups and the epicenter for partisan politics. Those actually involved in this and other incidents (and they are often victims) become nothing more than pawns in an elaborate game of chess...and they are frequently further victimized.

    These situations shouldn't be about whether liberals or conservatives, this race or that race, hip hop or honky-tonk, one group or another, are more offensive and therefore more responsible for all that is wrong with America.

    I'm not a religious person...but I often find kinship with the imagery surrounding the portrayal of one called Jesus and his teachings of understanding and forgiveness. For all the banter I hear about the Bible and Christian values, it certainly seems to me that we are fast abandoning what many view as the sacred "tablets" in favor of the sacrosanct tabloids. If I'm right, all I can say is heaven help us.

    Read more about the dynamics that lead a situation to become larger than the sum of its parts...here:


    Anonymity (none / 0) (#15)
    by HK on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 04:34:00 PM EST
    I agree with what Dadler wrote earlier; insufficient evidence to prosecute a case does not necessarily mean that the accuser was dishonest.

    I too have long felt that both those accused of rape and possible rape victims should have anonymity.  It not only safeguards the privacy and reputation of both but allows for less sensationalist reporting in the media.   Maybe that anonymity should be maintained until the case has been through a court of law and if that never happens, such as in this case, the anonymity remains.  That way, both those who are potentially falsely accused and those who are rape victims but unable to prove it remain protected.

    If I were a rape victim and I knew that should it be determined that there was insufficient evidence to proceed then I might be named as a false accuser, I would be reluctant to report it.  However, I do feel that men should not have to live with the stigma of having been accused and named as such even after they have been found innocent.  If the stigma is such that one party is seen to deserve anonymity, then surely both parties deserve it until the case has been decided.

    Sounds good to me.... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 05:36:04 PM EST