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calendar   Friday - December 22, 2006

What Is Not A Penis?

I’m sorry but this case is almost as ridiculous as the case against O.J. - for the opposite reason. There have been way too many uncertainties in the DA’s case since the beginning. I find it hard to sympathize with a bunch of pampered college jocks but in this case I have to make an exception. The DNA didn’t match, the other dancer didn’t tell the same story and many other inconsistencies have led me to believe Nifong was on a witch hunt from the beginning.

Now he’s starting to back off on the charges because the accuser can’t be sure it was a penis that “penetrated” her - if she was even penetrated at all. When is a penis not a penis? Regardless of whether they go to jail on assault charges, the lives of these three boys are ruined forever. Their stupidity in having a drunken, sophomoronic frat party was a bad move in the first place but is the price too high?

It’s too bad the whole damn Duke lacrosse team didn’t just hop into a white Ford Bronco with their passports and guns and try to run away when charges were first filed. If they had, I’d have less trouble believing the story of a two-bit stripper who doesn’t know the difference between a penis and ... whatever ....

Rape Charges Dropped in Duke Case
DURHAM, N.C. Dec. 22 — December 22, 2006

imageimageThe district attorney today dropped rape charges against three former Duke University lacrosse players, but plans to go forward with sexual assault and kidnapping charges, his office said today.

Michael B. Nifong, the Durham district attorney, made the decision after learning on Thursday that the woman who complained of rape could not be sure that she had been penetrated with a penis, a distinction that would determine whether what happened to her meets the legal definition of forcible rape in North Carolina.

When she was interviewed on Thursday by an investigator from the district attorney’s office, the woman said she was penetrated from behind while she was bent over with her face toward the floor, but did not know with what, according to a person close to the investigation who would only speak on condition of anonymity.

Penetration with an object is considered sexual assault, not rape, officials said. There also is no D.N.A. evidence found on the woman from any of the accused men, investigators have said. “With the absence of D.N.A. and her not knowing what was going on, it’s the right thing to do and it probably makes the rest of the case stronger,” the source said.

The three former players, David F. Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade W. Seligmann, have vigorously denied any guilt and said they had no sexual contact with their accuser. The woman, a 28-year-old African American student at North Carolina Central University, has said the three men raped her on March 13 in a bathroom at a Duke lacrosse team party where she was hired to perform as a stripper.

The case, with its various legal twists and turns, has become mired in issues of race, sex and privilege, and has attracted legions of followers nationally, from alumni to bloggers and activists for the black community who are taking sides with either the men or their accuser.

In October, the three talked to the CBS News program “60 Minutes” about a case that has split the Durham community and confused many about whom to believe. The three are free on $100,000 bail while awaiting trial. Pre-trial proceedings are scheduled to begin in February.

Mr. Evans said on the program: “This woman has destroyed everything I worked for in my life. And, worst of all, she’s split apart a community and a nation on facts that just didn’t happen, and a lie that should have never been told.”

Today, one supporter of the woman, whose identity has not been revealed, said she still believes her. “I think when a woman has been sexually assaulted and sexually abused and she can’t explain everything, when you have had three men attacking you, I can understand if she wouldn’t know if she was raped by a penis or other item,” said Victoria Peterson, who is active in the black community in Durham and is a friend of the accuser’s family.

The district attorney filed a document in Superior Court here just before noon officially dismissing the rape charges against the three. The document said that in an interview with investigator Linwood Wilson, “the victim in this case indicated that while she initially believed that she had been vaginally penetrated by a male sex organ (penis), she cannot at this time testify with certainty that a penis was the body part that penetrated her vagina.”

It went on to say: “Since penetration of the vagina by a penis is one of the elements of this offense that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and since there is no scientific or other evidence independent of the victim’s testimony that would corroborate specifically penetration by a penis, the state is unable to meet its burden of proof with respect to this offense.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/22/2006 at 07:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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