Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

Drudge is reporting (top of the right hand column, no links yet) that all charges may be dropped as early tomorrow in the ridiculous Duke Lacrosse rape case. It was also reported that this news caused Amanda Marcotte’s head to explode.

Update: Still no news about the charges being dropped, but this is an interesting article that references Linda Fairstein, a Manhattan based prosecutor that specializes in prosecuting sex crimes,

With the Duke lacrosse investigation in its final weeks, Linda Fairstein, the former head of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit and one of the nation’s leading experts on sex crimes, told ABC News that she would be shocked if the case went forward.

Having investigated and prosecuted thousands of rape cases, Fairstein has a special ability to evaluate the strength of the case. A pioneer in the field and an advocate of victims’ rights, Fairstein points to serious flaws in the investigation and in the evidence that has surfaced to date.

“If a prosecutor were to take this to court, given all the changes in the accuser’s story, I don’t think there is a crime for which these young men could be convicted,” said Fairstein.

Fairstein points to the laundry list of problems with this case that suggest that that not only was there no crime committed, but that the DA, Mike Nifong, handled the case badly. And there is this interesting bit,

Whatever the outcome, Fairstein worries about the impact of the Duke lacrosse case on rape prosecutions around the country. Her concern is that the high-profile investigation will inhibit aggressive prosecution of sexual assault cases.

“If there is a dismissal there will be many more people who encounter rape in the future with greater skepticism. It will reinforce the stereotype that many of these rapes are false reports.”

It would indeed be quite unfortunate if this is indeed the impact of this case.

In case it isn’t obvious, I was kidding with Marcotte reference.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Adam says:

    Cases like these make it harder for those who are actually victims of rape. If this caes is indeed throw out, I hope that the State goes after Nifong and the fake victim.

  2. BigFire says:

    In one sense, this case can best be describe as Mike Nifong’s quest to secure his public pension. Nifong just need a couple of months into this year to be fully vested in the DA pension fund. His political rival in the DA’s office made it clear that if she’s elected, her first order of business is to clean house and fire him. That’s why this case went forward. He need the black vote to secure the Democratic primary nomination. He got elected, and is now fully vested in his pension.

    I’m not sure if the pension can be subject to civil lawsuit by the family of the accused players, and whether he can spend any of that money in jail.

  3. m says:

    I might be wrong, but I think it would send a very positive message if the stripper were prosecuted for perjury and the DA was disbarred and sued. Maybe then we would get past these Tawana Brawley imitators.

  4. just me says:

    I think she is absolutely right that this kind of prosecution in the long run harms prosecutions of real rape cases.

    I also would like to see the accuser charged if there is a case, and Nifong’s actions are unethical and he should be held accountable for them through the bar, civil proceedings,and criminal proceedings if there is a criminal charge.

    Prosecutors should not create cases out of whole cloth in order to win elections.

  5. The problem will not be in the dismissal, but in the continued prosecution of a non-case. I suspect part of what has been holding this up is a massive lawsuit against the city of Durham by the current defendants. If I was the city, I would have been negotiating for a withdrawal of the charges in return for no lawsuit or an agreed to settlement.

  6. Steve Verdon says:

    If I was the city, I would have been negotiating for a withdrawal of the charges in return for no lawsuit or an agreed to settlement.

    IANAL, but this sounds fishy. “Well do the just thing in this case, if you promise not to hold us accountable for our unjust actions.” I dunno. Besides, my guess is the city of Durham has little or no say now that it is in the hands of special prosecutor.