Skip to comments.(Durham) Prosecutor (Nifong) Yet to Interview Rape Accuser
Posted on 10/27/2006 12:36:17 PM PDT by Arec Barrwin
Prosecutor Yet to Interview Rape Accuser Oct 27 2:56 PM US/Eastern
By AARON BEARD Associated Press Writer
The district attorney prosecuting three Duke lacrosse players accused of raping a woman at a team party said during a court hearing Friday that he still hasn't interviewed the accuser about the facts of the case.
"I've had conversations with (the accuser) about how she's doing. I've had conversations with (the accuser) about her seeing her kids," Mike Nifong said. "I haven't talked with her about the facts of that night. ... We're not at that stage yet."
Nifong made the statement in response to a defense request for any statements the woman has made about the case.
"I understand the answer may not be the answer they want but it's the true answer. That's all I can give them," the prosecutor said after the hourlong hearing.
Defense lawyers said outside court that they found Nifong's statement surprising.
"One of the most interesting things to me of course is Mr. Nifong did admit that he in fact has basically never talked to this woman and has absolutely no idea what her story is, and yet he has chosen to continue to go forward with this case," defense lawyer Joseph Cheshire said.
Nifong said none of his assistants have discussed the case with the woman either and only have spoken with her to monitor her well-being. They have left the investigation of the case to police, he said.
Attorneys for indicted player Dave Evans wrote in a letter to Nifong earlier this month that they believed he had talked with the accuser based on a court motion in which Nifong stated the woman told him she had not taken the drug Ecstasy on the night of the March 13 team party for which she was hired to perform as a stripper.
In response to a claim by a lawyer for an unindicted player, Nifong said he called the accuser to ask her whether she had used the drug.
"She said, 'I've never taken Ecstasy,'" Nifong said. "That was the extent of the conversation because that's all I had to know."
Nifong said he met with the accuser and an investigator on April 11, but didn't discuss details of the case because the woman was "too traumatized." Nifong said the woman didn't make eye contact with him and often seemed on the verge of crying. Their discussion centered around how the case would develop, he said.
"She probably did not speak 15 words during the meeting," Nifong said.
Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., was charged in May with rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. A month earlier, a grand jury indicted players Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 20, of Garden City, N.Y., on the same charges. The accuser, a student at nearby North Carolina Central University, told police she was raped in a bathroom by three men at the off-campus party.
The players' lawyers have strongly proclaimed their innocence.
Not at that stage yet????????
What a travesty. These kids made a mistake by inviting strippers to their party but this has gone beyond the ridiculous. Nifong is a complete and utter piece of poo.
There really ought to be an effort by the courts of N.C. to remove Nifong from this case and disbar him from further practice!
How are the defendents supposed to have a right to a fair and SPEEDY trial if the friggen prosecutor hasn't even interviewed the accuser after all this time?
Three innocent men may spend decades in prison so that Nifong can be re-elected, but that's OK because he's a Democrat. I wonder if any governor of North Carolina would have the courage to issue them pardons if the trial is a travesty, as it looks likely to be.
What happened to the right of a speedy trial? "Justice delayed is justice denied."
Ditto. The absolute weirdest. He just keeps digging....
He is setting up the cops and those who did interview her to take the fall when he dismisses the case. What a jerk.
"Those kids were persecuted for no reason."
Not for "no reason". They were persecuted for being rich white kids in a town with a large black population and a prosecutor seeking re-election. If the stripper was white and everything else was the same, Nifong wouldn't have persued it.
This district attorney seems to be set on self destruct.
I think he's trying to set up a scenario of plausible deniability for himself in the almost certain eventuality now that he will be sitting in the defendants chair & facing charges himself for prosecutorial abuse & public corruption. He's just trying to establish a defense of nonfeasance as opposed to malfeasance in future civil & criminal procedings against him. He so totally knows everybody's on to him now. What a crook.
Nifong should not only lose his job, but be jailed for this sham case he has brought against these students.
He should also be made to re-embursh the legal fees of these students.
They'll be at that stage on November 8.
They were persecuted because the district is very black, Nifong needed the black vote, and he played the race card to get re-elected.
This is irritating. This was published more than three weeks ago in the local newspaper, and now because CNN and AP deem it "Newsworthy" they decide to carry the story. I think CNN and AP are merely trying to push the Harold Ford, Jr. and Jim Webb stories off the news with this "revelation" of Mike Nifong, which is old news.
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