Duke Lacrosse Rape Charges Dropped
The Duke rape case is no longer a rape case.
Prosecutors dropped rape charges Friday against three Duke University lacrosse players accused of attacking a stripper at a team party, but the three still face kidnapping and sexual offense charges, a defense attorney said.
Joseph Cheshire and attorneys for the other players have said for months the woman told several different versions of the alleged assault. Cheshire said Friday that the accuser now says she does not know if she was penetrated, which he said led District Attorney Mike Nifong to dismiss the rape charges.
So, these players have been dragged through the mud for months and their entire season was canceled on the word of a woman too stupid to know whether she was penetrated?! Unbelievable.
UPDATE: Jeralyn Merritt has some excellent analysis. Some snippets:
Nifong ought to dismiss all the charges. He has a non-credible accuser with enough baggage to sink the Titanic, he conducted a patently biased lineup procedure and there’s been intentional withholding of exculpatory DNA evidence.
Upon reflection, What did Nifong do other than to lower his burden of proof by obviating the need to prove vaginal penetration by a penis and providing him with an explanation for the lack of players’ DNA found in her vagina?
Both Rape and First Degree Sexual Offense are B1 felonies. Aren’t their penalties more or less the same? Doesn’t conviction of both require mandatory prison and life-long registration as a sex offender?
The way I see this helping the players is that the accuser’s credibility is further diminished. Her one-time claim it was a penis that penetrated her will come back to haunt her during cross-examination over and over again.
Frankly, Nifong and this accuser–whose name gets protected even though those she falsely accuses get smeared–ought to be in jail. Unfortunately, our society presumes victimhood on any who who claim rape and automatically presumes guilt on those so charged. And we assume grandstanding prosecutors are actually working in the public interest, rather than two-bit politicians trying to advance their career at someone else’s expense. In most cases, those assumptions are all true. When they’re not, however, the results can be devastating.