Duke Lacrosse Rape Charges Dropped

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Dec 22, 2006 1:17 PM

It's about damn time.

Apparently, they will still face kidnapping and sexual offense charges.

I haven't blogged much on this, but let me say this about a town I know well. Many wonder how this got so far on so little evidence. I typed this in comments at Hot Air, and I'll repeat it here:

It’s Durham. It’s full of a bunch of liberal white people who love to get yelled at by black people, and a bunch of liberal black people who are happy to oblige them. This story scratched that white guilt itch soooo good, they just couldn’t let it go, even though it was pretty clear from the beginning that the story was a little off.

The national media liked the white, privileged, lax boys rape hard-working, exotic dancer, single mom story, and they ran with it, too. As a result, many lives, seasons, careers, and a successful sports program have been seriously messed with by a D.A. who couldn’t back off on the narrative, either, lest he feel the wrath at the ballot box from those whom he denied their white guilt orgy.

Take it from me. That's pretty much what happened.

Update: La Shawn says Merry Christmas to the boys, but adds this delightful new piece of evidence:

The stripper-accuser, who said she was beaten, raped, sodomized, and forced to perform oral sex, now says she “doesn’t know” if she was penetrated. Reade Seligmann has a paper trail supporting his story that he wasn’t even there at the time of the so-called offense.
Oops.

Update: For those of you laboring under the misapprehension that Nifong will face a recall or charges for his misbehavior, or that Duke President Brodhead will face consequences for offering up the Duke lacrosse players and the entire lacrosse program on the altar of political correctness, without evidence, think again.

Durham is not a normal place where people pay normal consequences for bad behavior. As many have noted, the sexual assault and kidnapping charges stand, even though they were predicated on the rape charge in the first place (which, even the accuser's not real sure about these days).

But I don't see what Nifong gains by maintaining the charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. She will stay have to take the stand and testify as to what happened and all her former statements will still be fair game. As will the information revealed last week of the multiple men's DNA found inside her, none of which matched the three defendants or her purported boyfriend. Her veracity and her ability to identify the men she's now not certain raped her will still be open to cross-examination. Neither the prosecution nor the defense will be able to depend on the other stripper's story since she has changed her story and been public about her desire to make money off the story. So, it will all come down to this alleged victim's credibility. If these defense lawyers can't raise a reasonable doubt from that, they should turn in their licenses.

Why keep the other charges? I have long thought that the good people of Durham will not rest until these boys are punished, and Nifong has been unable, thus far, to let them off the hook because he's not willing to give up his D.A. slot for standing up for innocent white guys, which would undoubtedly be the result (not to mention possible race riots) if he did. So many prominent folks in Durham-- community leaders black and white, Duke faculty, the Duke president, and Nifong himself--all crawled so far out on a limb on this that it became very hard to sneak back to the tree trunk.

So, let the two lesser charges stand, and see if you can get a jury full of Durham folks who will convict the boys because it fits the narrative? I'm just afraid he might actually succeed. K.C. Johnson thinks it's the beginning of the end of the case. Geez, I hope so, but I grew up in Durham. Forgive me if I'm not as hopeful.

I guarantee you, even if they're let off the hook in criminal court, they'll face a jury of their picketing peers at Duke who will lecture them and make them undergo sensitivity training for allegedly using the n-word before their lives were ruined by the race-baiting D.A. from Durham. But, here's hoping for better than that.