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Cousin: Duke alleged raped victim turned down money to drop case
Wilmington Journal ^ | 7/4/06 | Cash Michaels

Posted on 07/04/2006 1:50:52 PM PDT by jimboster

[DURHAM, NC] The cousin of the alleged victim in the Duke University lacrosse rape case says “alums of Duke” quietly offered the accuser lots of money - a staggering $2 million – early on to drop the charges, and go on with her life.

“She told me they wanted her to make the case go away,” Jakki (she will not reveal her last name in order to protect her family), the designated family spokesperson, told The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal newspapers in an exclusive interview June 19.

However Jakki adds that her younger cousin, the Black woman at the center of the nation’s most controversial criminal case, refused because she insists that she was indeed beaten and sodomized by the three indicted white Duke lacrosse team members - Colin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans - each charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping.

“It’s not about the money to her,” Jakki says. “It’s about her [being] brutally raped, sodomized, called a ‘nigger.’ Can you imagine being choked and held down? The thought of it – it reminds me of slavery days when the women were brutally raped by the masters - makes me furious because they want to make these [Duke players] out to be golden boys.”

The alleged victim told her family the trial must proceed, and she wants justice done. Because she remains in seclusion, the alleged victim could not be reached for comment.

Sam Hall, communications director for Duke University Alumni Affairs, told The Wilmington Journal that after checking with other officials at the university about the “alums of Duke” allegation, “We have no information about that.”

“I think there’s been a rumor of it since the beginning, but…I’ve never heard it discussed,” Hall added.

However other sources have confirmed to The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal newspapers that early in the case, Black leaders, whose names cannot be revealed, were also allegedly approached by persons concerned about the fallout of the Duke rape controversy, and offered sums of money for themselves, NCCU and the alleged victim, if they could influence her to retract her allegations.

Those sources told The Wilmington Journal that those leaders flatly refused the offer. It is not clear whether this was an alleged attempt separate from what the alleged victim told her cousin, Jakki, or if the alleged attempt was one in the same. It is also not clear whether Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was ever informed of it.

Known publicly more for performing the night of the alleged assault as an exotic dancer, than the 27-year-old mother of two, second-year honor student at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), and one-time US Navy enlistee, the alleged victim has even rejected financial offers of assistance from caring supporters other than family and close friends, Jakki says, because she doesn’t want even the slightest hint of an appearance that she is pressing her rape claims against three indicted members of the Duke lacrosse team to profit in any way. She has even, since the very beginning, rejected offers from churches and community organizations to set up a fund to help her continue to provide for herself and her children through the ordeal, despite constant requests from supporters across the nation to have such a vehicle established.

Many have also sent inquiries where to make a contribution through, the community-based website set up to emotionally and spiritually support the alleged victim.

They were told there was no fund officially set, but would be informed when there was.

The Wilmington Journal has confirmed that an NCCU student organization that collected thousands of dollars to donate to the woman could not get her to take it, and is still holding on to the money. The Rev. Jesse Jackson publicly offered to pay her college tuition through his Rainbow/PUSH organization, and the NC NAACP has had several discussions with the family about setting up a fund. All efforts got a polite “Thanks, but no thanks,” but apparently many of the alleged victim’s most vocal critics are unaware of her unflinching stand.

“It’s a shame that pieces of human trash like the accuser can have the power to FLAT OUT LIE for her own financial gain, and ruin a school’s, three young men’s, and an entire sports’ reputation,” wrote an angry e-mailer named “Joshua” to

That hateful message, and others like it, are never posted on the website. “She has not taken a dime from anybody,” Jakki maintains, “because she does not want it to be misconstrued that she is in it to get money.”

Given that the trial won’t be until next spring, Jakki agrees that at some point, however, some fundraising may very well be needed.

In fact, Jakki revealed, despite several inaccurate major media reports, it was only recently that the family finally convinced her younger cousin to indeed hire an attorney, someone Jakki refused to identify, to give the alleged victim private legal counsel and advice on how to handle all that’s happened so far, and prepare for all that’s coming regarding the criminal case.

As a result, she is getting by on what little she saved before the alleged incident, Jakki says. She’s also had to separate from her children for a while, and is struggling to maintain her health.

Since the story broke three months ago about how she was allegedly beaten, kicked, strangled and sodomized at a wild off-campus party given by the Duke lacrosse team on March 13, the alleged victim had lost a lot of weight, been very fearful, cut her hair and had developed stomach ulcers – all a result not only of the alleged assault and associated trauma, but the unexpected avalanche of national and international press coverage.

Her parents told CBS’ 48 Hours, for instance, that she also had trouble sleeping, and was seeing a counselor. “She didn’t realize how big of a thing that this would become,” Jakki said, noting that her cousin never sought out the press, and had only given one unexpected interview after reporters for a local newspaper first broke the story March 24. “This has been traumatic for her. Not only was she raped that night, but she’s being raped over and over every day, every night on some channel, in some newspaper.”

Jakki confirmed reports of her cousin and her young children having to move around constantly in the beginning because of “Die nigger” death threats and probing media cameras. Sometimes it would be out of town; other times out of state, with the District Attorney’s assistance, for protection.

For “a brief second” because of the mounting pressure, Jakki said, her cousin considered backing out of the case. After the third indictment and the extraordinary press conference suspect David Evans held, something Jakki called “a very well directed production,” the threats on her embattled cousin “really got bad.”

It was as if she, the alleged victim, was being hunted; the one being indicted for a crime.

Things have improved in recent weeks, Jakki says. Her cousin is eating better now, putting back on some weight, and has strengthened her resolve to go forward.

Still, she must constantly look over her shoulder, Jakki says of her beloved cousin, because she still fears for her life.

“She’s finally getting it that her life is forever changed, the family spokesperson said.

To Jakki and her family, there is no doubt that her younger cousin was raped and beaten. They believe, and the second dancer, Kim Roberts Pittman has strongly implied, that the alleged victim was slipped something in the drink she was given at the lacrosse party severely disorienting her, resulting in an emotional and traumatic confusion that led early on to contradictory versions to police and medical personnel of exactly what happened.

Those versions, contained in the evidence turned over to defense attorneys, are being used now to publicly discredit her story.

“I’m privy to more information than people on the other side of [this are]. They haven’t released the pictures of her…the bruises, the black eye. Where did she get that?” Jakki rhetorically asked.

The weekly, if not sometimes daily torture of negative portrayals about her embattled cousin and her case, troubled Jakki to such a degree that she called D.A. Nifong’s office last week, asking that he respond, that he say something to counter the growing clamor the defense attorneys and major media had created that the case was a bunch of lies, her cousin a “false accuser” and that Nifong had lost control of it.

“They are crucifying my cousin,” Jakki told him.

Finally, on June 19, Nifong, upset with a Newsweek Magazine article he felt “mischaracterized” him and played right into the hands of the lacrosse suspects’ defense attorneys, finally weighed in after weeks of silence by releasing his e-mail reply to the publication’s earlier request for an interview.

“What has surprised me is the utter lack of any degree of skepticism on the part of the national media with respect to the claims of the defense attorneys, many of which are misleading and some of which are absolutely false,” Nifong wrote.

“Is anyone surprised that the defense attorneys are spinning this case in such a way that things do not look good for the prosecution? Their job, after all, is to create reasonable doubt, a task made all the easier by an uncritical national press corps desperate for any reportable detail, regardless of its veracity.”

Jakki was pleased that Nifong finally answered his critics.

“I am so glad that he is still adamant about pursuing this case,” she said, recalling how in the days before the first indictments against Colin Finnerty, 19; and Reade Seligmann, 20, were handed down, Nifong was in constant contact with the family, advising them as to what would happen next, and doing everything he said he would do.

“We are pleased that he is not buckling to pressure, whether it’s political or otherwise. [The families of the indicted Duke lacrosse suspects] are very wealthy people; they have a lot of influence, big people in big places. [Yet], [Nifong is] sticking to his guns.”

Jakki added a note of caution, however when she said, “Whether it’s a political move or not is yet to be seen,” obviously in response to critics who have accused Nifong of exploiting the case, and the explosive racial aspect of it, just to win last May’s Democratic primary for District Attorney.

Nifong defeated two other opponents, one by only three points, thanks to support from a leery Durham African-American community that though it wasn’t convinced he was taking the Duke case seriously, had decided to give him a chance to prove them wrong.

Most national pundits who allege that Black voters were enthusiastic about Nifong’s candidacy forget that the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People – one of the most powerful grassroots organizations in North Carolina - actually endorsed the Black candidate in the race, not Nifong.

The question of how earnest Nifong is in prosecuting the case will come up again this November when one, and possibly two write-in candidates, attempt to dislodge the D.A. from office.

Steve Monks, the Durham Republican Party chairman and an attorney, announced June 19 that he will file as an unaffiliated write-in candidate opposing Nifong, provided he can collect the over 6,400 valid signatures needed to qualify by June 30. The same is true for Durham County Commissioner Lewis Cheek, a Democrat and also an attorney, who hasn’t publicly confirmed that he will also file, but has already created a fundraising committee, and hired away Nifong’s disgruntled campaign manager.

Both men, admittedly having zero experience as a prosecutor, say Nifong’s “mishandling” of the Duke case has put Durham in a bad light. If he won’t allow a special prosecutor to take over, they say, he needs to be replaced on Election Day.

Supporters of the indicted Duke players have made it clear on their websites that if Nifong is replaced, they want the charges dropped and the case dismissed, based, they say, on scanty evidence.

Jakki and the family of the alleged victim are well aware of the high stakes, and “are very concerned,” she says.

“These people have money [and] they want to make this go away. They want to make my cousin look like a harlot, a Jezebel, and they want this to go away.”

Given tremendous opposition from the major media and the blogs, thanks to defense motions releasing prosecution documents that reportedly call into question the alleged victim’s claims, it seems as if there is almost a united front in the white community that she is not to be believed, though there have been a few Black conservatives like Thomas Sowell, LaShawn Barber and Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson who have joined the crowd.

But there is evidence that the African-American community is, for the most part, fairly united on the premise that something very wrong did happen to the woman that night in March at the hands of several Duke lacrosse players, and it wants to see the criminal justice process proceed, unabated, so that a judge and/or jury can make a final determination.

Still, particularly with many Black religious people, the fact that the alleged victim, in order to make a living, engaged in exotic dancing (or stripping as many prefer to call it), is troubling. They say even though she didn’t deserve to be allegedly raped, still, she put herself in that situation.

Jakki, her cousin, rejects that thinking.

“It’s summertime, and these young girls who are walking around in these little short shorts and [revealing attire], do they ask to be raped? No, they do not.

I think it’s ironic that America idolizes Marilyn Monroe and Pamela Anderson, and all of these women that pose for Playboy; but then if it’s an African-American woman, it’s a different situation,” Jakki observed.

“[My cousin] was doing a job, and unfortunately we as Black people, for years, have had to do things [to support our families] we normally would not do. Did she deserve to be raped because of that? No, I don’t think so.

That’s like saying because you’re Black, you deserve to be lynched, and that’s ridiculous.”

Jakki says while her cousin’s mother knew some of what was happening, much was kept from her father because the two are very close, and it would have bothered him deeply.

The youngest of three “very, very smart” children, Jakki’s cousin was always very quiet, very sweet, and very goal-oriented, the spokeswoman says.

She joined the US Navy almost immediately after graduating high school in the late 1990’s because she wanted to gain more life experience, and have the military pay for her higher education in hopes that one day, she would become an attorney.

“Very driven at an early age, 18, 19 years old. Jakki said. “Even I wasn’t that driven at that age.”

But, there were also serious mistakes, and struggles.

Jakki’s cousin was married when she entered the Navy (she taught her husband how to read), but while there, eventually had an affair with another sailor, the father of her two children, published reports say. She eventually left the service, and soon her marriage, struggling to make ends meet for her children by working in a nursing home and a factory assembly line, among other low-paying jobs.

There was the embarrassing 2002 incident involving a stolen taxi and police chase, yielding serious felony charges. But because she had a spotless criminal record and truthfully confessed to her actions, the court agreed to knock the four felony charges down to misdemeanors – in addition to sentencing her to six days in jail and paying a $4,000 fine – so that she could rebuild her life and have a future.

She served every minute, paid every penny, went on to technical college, and then to NCCU where she’s made the Dean’s List with a 3.0 grade point average. The escort service she worked for allowed her to make several hundred dollars a night to support her family and help pay tuition.

In those years since leaving the Navy, life was very much a struggle – there were bouts with depression, hospitalization, trouble with bills, and a 1993 alleged kidnapping and rape in nearby Creedmoor still haunted her - but she was doing what she felt she had to do to make it better for herself and her children.

“She’s 27-years-old, “ Jakki said. “Who has not made mistakes [by that age]…? Little did Jakki’s cousin know, the struggle of her life would begin the moment she agreed to dance for what she was first, and erroneously told would only be a “bachelor’s party” at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

Jakki, who would only say she’s “thirtyish,” identifies herself as an actress and standup comedian who has performed in several clubs, various commercials, and even in the movies, appearing in “Do Not Disturb” starring D. L. Hughley, scheduled for release later this year.

Her cousin asked her to represent her to the media after it was clear her elderly father, a modest, Christian gentleman, was being railroaded by the tabloid cable TV talk shows, being goaded into saying things about his daughter that could eventually be used to hurt her case.

It got to be a bit much in the beginning, but Jakki soon realized that while the lacrosse team players could afford to hire the most expensive criminal defense attorneys in the state to advocate for their cause, all her cousin had was her, and she was needed now.

“She needs a voice,” Jakki said, adding that the family is grateful for the support and the prayers they’ve received. Jakki encourages all supporters to continue to pray, write letters to newspapers and internet blogs, call into talk shows about the controversy, and go to to send messages of caring and concern to her cousin.

“This could be their daughter, their sister; it could be their cousin. We all make mistakes, but she didn’t ask to be brutally beaten and raped,” Jakki said. “They need to know that’s she’s human.”

TOPICS: Local News
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My favorite part of the story is when Cash says the other candidates need 6400 siganatures to oppose Nifong as write-in candidates.
1 posted on 07/04/2006 1:50:57 PM PDT by jimboster
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To: jimboster

Keep in mind that 2 of the accused kids have alibies that the DA hasn't cracked, and can verify their alibies.

2 posted on 07/04/2006 1:53:07 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: jimboster
The cousin of the alleged victim in the Duke University lacrosse rape case says “alums of Duke” quietly offered the accuser lots of money - a staggering $2 million – early on to drop the charges, and go on with her life.

What a crock!!!

3 posted on 07/04/2006 1:53:34 PM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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Well hell, of course she turned it down. She's waiting for her appearances on Oprah, Larry King....the book deals, the movie with Beyonce in the starring role.....

4 posted on 07/04/2006 1:58:17 PM PDT by SAMS (Nobody loves a soldier until the enemy is at the gate; Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: jimboster

Just what we needed to keep this story alive. I suspect Greta. s/

6 posted on 07/04/2006 2:00:03 PM PDT by Bahbah (Democrat Motto: Why not the worst)
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To: jimboster
That is bullcr@p, why would Duke who had nothing to do with the incident be offering to pay off this lying cow?

Has to be a false rumor made to lend some credibility to the accuser.
7 posted on 07/04/2006 2:01:48 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: jimboster

"However other sources have confirmed to The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal newspapers that early in the case, Black leaders, whose names cannot be revealed, were also allegedly approached by persons concerned about the fallout of the Duke rape controversy, and offered sums of money for themselves, NCCU and the alleged victim, if they could influence her to retract her allegations."

So anonymous concerned persons offered money to anonymous black leaders according to anonymous sources?

8 posted on 07/04/2006 2:01:48 PM PDT by Moral Hazard (If Democrats win any more moral victories in November they'll gain moral control of Congress.)
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To: Sonny M

"2 of the accused kids have alibies that the DA hasn't cracked"

Why would the DA "crack" the alibies before the trial?

Both sides reporting this story are hypocrites. The people in the mainstream media who immediately judged the defendants as guilty, and people who immediately assume she's lying.

9 posted on 07/04/2006 2:02:12 PM PDT by NYIslander
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To: jimboster

Is this the cousin who looks like a guy in drag?

10 posted on 07/04/2006 2:03:58 PM PDT by SwatTeam
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To: jimboster

Two million dollars is chump change compared to what she will get from a book deal and the speaking tour.

11 posted on 07/04/2006 2:05:42 PM PDT by Mr. Brightside
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To: Sonny M

Of course she won't take any money for her story. It isn't true. Even she, in her drugged out, confused state, knows that would be compounding the felony and fraudulent.

12 posted on 07/04/2006 2:06:30 PM PDT by 1lawlady (To G-d be the glory. Great things He has done!)
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To: jimboster

Jessie Jackoff's on line 2. He says he'll take the money if she doesn't want it.

13 posted on 07/04/2006 2:09:32 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Jack Murtha? Not in my Marine Corps!)
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To: jimboster

This is an obvious lie. She can't drop any case. Once the charges are made, it's out of the victim's hands. Only the DA can drop the case.

14 posted on 07/04/2006 2:09:52 PM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: NYIslander
Why would the DA "crack" the alibies before the trial?

Because they tried.

Its no secret the DA tried to deal them, and the kids refused, put out their alibi (hell, a cab driver even went on the news and talked about it), and to date, the DA, has only confirmed several statements made tbe DEFENCE attorneys.

In the begin, I was had no opinion, but more and more, its starting to look like she was lying, and the kids are looking more and more innocent by the day.

15 posted on 07/04/2006 2:10:44 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Sonny M
Add in that her "cousin" told so many different stories and can't really identify her "attackers" and this whole case is garbage.
16 posted on 07/04/2006 2:11:53 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Moral Hazard


17 posted on 07/04/2006 2:12:59 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: jimboster

If the players aren't convicted, or are not even tried, I hope they sue her for every darn penny she's made off this case.

18 posted on 07/04/2006 2:13:35 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: SwatTeam

Yes, I think so. The same one who went on T.V. and didn't know anything about anything and finally said so, when pushed.

19 posted on 07/04/2006 2:14:39 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: nopardons

That is the one I was thinking of. When I saw her in one interview she didn't seem to be very well informed about the allegations or anything else. Maybe she was the family member who drew the short straw and became the family spokesman by default.

20 posted on 07/04/2006 2:18:56 PM PDT by SwatTeam
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