Members of the Duke lacrosse team that are currently fighting charges of raping, kidnapping, and sexually assaulting an exotic dancer back in March of this year may have got the break they were looking for today when Brian Meehan, director of a private DNA laboratory, admitted under oath to conspiring with District Attorney Mike Nifong to keep DNA test results (that are favorable to the Duke lacrosse players charged with rape) under wraps.
Brian Meehan, director of DNA Security of Burlington, said his lab found DNA from unidentified men in the underwear, pubic hair and rectum of the woman who said she was gang-raped at a lacrosse party in March. Nurses at Duke Hospital collected the samples a few hours after the alleged assault. Meehan said the DNA did not come from Reade Seligmann, David Evans, or Collin Finnerty, who have been charged with rape and sexual assault in the case.
Meehan struggled to say why he didn’t include the favorable evidence in a report dated May 12, almost a month after Seligmann and Finnerty had been indicted. He cited concerns about the privacy of the lacrosse players, his discussions at several meetings with Nifong, and the fact that he didn’t know whose DNA it was.
Find out more HERE.
Early on the morning of March 14, within a few hours of the alleged rape, medical personnel at Duke Hospital examined the woman and collected standard evidence for a rape kit: a pair of panties, hair and swabs of the woman’s orifices. The lab results came back with DNA from multiple males on the panties and rectal swab from the rape kit; and not one single cell of evidence matched that of any of the defendants.
A defense motion which was filed today, and signed by the lawyers for all three defendants, said in part “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.”
The accuser, an escort service worker, was one of two women hired to dance at a lacrosse team party in March. The accuser said she was gang-raped by three men in a bathroom over a 30-minute period. She told nurses that she was raped anally, orally and vaginally, that one or more of the men ejaculated, and that her assailants did not wear condoms.
Find out more HERE.
In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez dated Dec. 7th , U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong’s handling of the Duke lacrosse case. In the letter Jones expressed concerns that Nifong might have engaged in prosecutorial misconduct and violated the civil rights of the three lacrosse players.
In an interview Tuesday, Jones said he was not taking a stand on the guilt or innocence of the three indicted men but on whether Nifong had treated them fairly.
“When you see all the statements by the DA who was running for election, I am asking, were the constitutional rights of these students protected?” Jones said. “I sincerely believe that these three young men, if the court decides they were not guilty of any of these charges, their reputations will have been damaged for the rest of their lives,” Jones said.
Find out more HERE.
This post is intended to highlight the incompetence, if not criminal negligence (intentional or otherwise), of Durham County District Attorney, Mike Nifong. This case has been mishandled from day one, and at this point, should this case be allowed to continue under the direction of Nifong and his cronies, there is no way possible for these three defendants to receive a fair trial.
In the interest of justice Mike Nifong should immediately step away from this case and all evidence should be reviewed by an independent investigator, or panel of investigators, in order to determine whether the evidence in this matter dictates that the Durham County District Attorneys office should either proceed with this trial or dismiss all charges against the accused persons.