Skip to comments.Unindicted Duke LAX players sue Duke University
Posted on 12/18/2007 11:12:12 AM PST by Locomotive Breath
click here to read article
There’s always one or two still around. Go somewhere and bang a pot.
I thought I already was. :>)
Have you read the complete complaint before you commented?
Coming up on 2 years & it never fails.
. . .
More lacrosse players file lawsuit
By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun, Dec 19, 2007
DURHAM — The legal fallout from the Duke lacrosse case continued Tuesday as an attorney representing three current or former players filed a federal lawsuit accusing city and Duke University officials of violating his clients’ civil rights.
The lawsuit — the second lacrosse-related filing against the city, and the first in federal court against Duke — seeks actual and punitive damages on behalf of former players Breck Archer and Matt Wilson and still-active player Ryan McFadyen.
None of the three was indicted in connection with the now-infamous false charges of rape levied by a stripper hired to perform at a team party. The players who were indicted and later exonerated — David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann — filed the initial lawsuit against the city and negotiated an out-of-court settlement with Duke.
The McFadyen-Archer-Wilson lawsuit targets six corporate defendants and 45 current or former officials who allegedly conspired against the players.
Much of the senior Duke leadership — including school President Richard Brodhead, trustees Chairman Robert Steel, Duke Health System director Victor Dzau, Provost Peter Lange and Executive Vice President Tallman Trask — appeared on the list. Athletic Director Joe Alleva was a notable omission.
Also named were City Manager Patrick Baker, former Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers, former District Attorney Mike Nifong, many Durham and Duke police officers, medical personnel at Duke Hospital and officials of the Burlington DNA lab Nifong hired to test samples taken from the stripper and the players.
All worked to “railroad 47 Duke University students as either principals or accomplices based upon the transparently false claim of rape, sexual offense and kidnapping made by a clinically unreliable accuser,” said the 404-page lawsuit, filed by Durham attorney Bob Ekstrand.
The players’ claims rested heavily on Ekstrand’s argument that the Duke University Police Department should have taken the lead in investigating the lacrosse case because it stemmed from an incident at a Duke-owned house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.
Ekstrand noted that city and Duke officials in 2004 had signed a cooperation agreement assigning Duke police the “primary responsibility” to initiate and conclude investigations on Duke property.
The significance of that agreement is certain to be a major point of contention, as state law specifies that Durham police have jurisdiction throughout the city, including on the Duke campus and at off-campus Duke properties.
But it also set the stage for a number of new allegations, among them the claim that Duke police actually launched their own investigation of the stripper’s charges soon after she made them on March 14, 2006.
Duke police abandoned the probe two days later, a major setback for the players, because campus officers on the scene realized the stripper’s charges were bogus, Ekstrand and his clients alleged.
They further alleged that Duke and city leaders conspired and lied to cover up the early involvement of Duke police, and that Duke officials violated federal privacy law in the course of serving up information about the players to Durham police.
Tuesday’s lawsuit also included new claims about the Durham Police Department’s handling of the case.
Ekstrand alleged that an on-call detective, Investigator Buffy Jones, was among the first Durham police officers to talk to the stripper and, like other investigators, received a nonsensical account.
Jones supposedly closed the rape investigation and handed off the case to the department’s District 2 office for handling as a property crime. That was because the stripper was claiming another woman hired to perform at the lacrosse team’s party had robbed her.
The District 2 detectives who wound up working the case — Investigator Ben Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb — were basically property-crimes specialists who lacked experience handling rape cases, Ekstrand and the players contend.
Durham police protocol called for rape cases to be assigned to the detectives in the department’s Criminal Investigations Division who had received specialized training in their handling.
Instead, Gottlieb lobbied for command of the investigation and then assigned it to Himan, the District 2 office’s least-experienced detective. Gottlieb allegedly was biased against Duke students and “undertook to breathe life into the dead rape case by constructing a myth,” the suit claimed.
The bias allegation stems from Gottlieb’s involvement in the Durham Police Department’s crackdown on the off-campus party house scene in Trinity Park during the 2005-06 school year.
Ekstrand contended that city and Duke officials sanctioned police brutality and other illicit tactics unfairly targeting students during the crackdown.
The allegation was a key part of the suit’s conspiracy claims and is also certain to be disputed. The Trinity Park crackdown mirrored similar actions in two neighboring cities, in Chapel Hill against alcohol-law violations and in Raleigh against another party-house scene.
Ekstrand and his clients maintain that a nurse then at Duke Hospital, Tara Levicy, fabricated evidence against the lacrosse team. Also alleged is that Nifong and police hid evidence favorable to the players.
Nifong and two Durham Police Department officials, civilian spokeswoman Kammie Michael and Cpl. David Addison, fanned controversy about the case by lying repeatedly to reporters about various aspects of the investigation, the suit contends.
Duke administrators contributed to the problem by first advising players they didn’t need lawyers and then demanding that they explain what happened, the suit contends. They promised the explanations would remain confidential, but later relayed them to city police.
Detectives likely coached the stripper in advance of a crucial and against-policy photo lineup that produced the evidence needed to indict Evans, Seligmann and Finnerty, the suit claimed.
The stripper had remembered little about the party before the session. But during it, she offered accounts of what different players were doing that matched things depicted in party photos that had been in police hands for days.
City and Duke officials both said they would fight the lawsuit. Duke’s statement, issued late Tuesday afternoon, said the university, “to avoid putting the community through destructive litigation,” months ago offered to compensate the unindicted players for their legal bills and other expenses.
. . .
Update of this mornings news articles on the DukeLax Frame here:
***Not much prospect of collecting anything...***
Nah, but sitting in the courtroom will keep her off the streets for a few days.
***Sovereign immunity with respect to the state***
Duke is not a state supported school.
You’re at the wrong address.
Sue the liberal pants off Durham. :)
Arrogant bastards still refuse to admit what they did was wrong.
Scumbag trial lawyers, at it again.
And don't forget, she's a "single mother". Like that's some virtue.
“City and Duke officials both said they would fight the lawsuit.”
.....oh they’ll fight all right; and they just may be successful for the following reasons:
1.Duke is the largest employer in Durham; a city with a huge black population....why would a black jury bite the hand that feed them?
2.Statements in the press from black Durham citizens indicate that they believe the girl really was raped....those folks will be in the jury pool.
You’re back! Where have you been?
What’s the latest scoop?
Trouble to inform yourself by reading the filing at the link and then come back and tell us that the plaintiffs don’t have cause for complaint.
“.....oh theyll fight all right; and they just may be successful for the following reasons:”
In many areas of the country, the jury system is broken, largely for reasons of racism and class warfare.
Paging John Edwards........
Further, this entire affair was fueled by Nifong’s correct perception of the racist climate that exists in Durham. Not to say he didn’t make a gross misjudgment in what he could ultimately get away with, but the entire thought that he could pull this off, was due to the fact that Durham is a racist cesspool.
“And don’t forget, she’s a “single mother”. Like that’s some virtue.”
Exactly. As if what used to be called moral laxity, is admirable. Similarly, it is preferable to be recovering from substance addiction, a life of crime, abuse of some sort, or any number of personal transgressions as opposed to avoiding these problems in the first place.
It all gets back to the Left and their attempts to position moral equivalence as the predominant value system; that, as opposed to good old right and wrong.
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