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Duke Rape Accuser Changes Story – Again

From the Raleigh (SC) News & Observer:

Accuser changes story in lacrosse case

By Joseph Neff, Staff Writer

In her latest statement to investigators, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse rape case changed her account again about when the alleged gang rape occurred, who attacked her and how.

Defense attorneys filed the statement in court today, arguing that it was more evidence that the woman is an unreliable witness.

The woman adjusted the timing of the assault to earlier in the evening, a time point preceding the well-documented alibi of one accused player, Reade Seligmann. The defense, however, introduced yet more alibi evidence for Seligmann: he was on the cell phone with his girlfriend during the height of the attack as the accuser now times it.

The new version of the events comes from a Dec. 21 interview by Linwood Wilson, chief investigator for Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. The statement marked the first time anyone from the District Attorney’s office discussed the case with the woman since charges were filed in April. The interview came less than a week after a private laboratory director testified that he and Nifong agreed not to report DNA evidence favorable to the three accused players.

It was the Dec. 21 interview that prompted Nifong to drop rape charges the following day against the three players after the woman said she was no longer certain that the men had vaginally assaulted her with their penises.

The three players, Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, have called the accusations lies and said they are innocent.

The statement layers new and contradictory accounts over the woman’s previous statements:

* In her latest statement she said the attack ended at midnight.

In previous accounts, the woman said the gang-rape ended shortly before she left in the car driven by Kim Roberts, the second dancer. Roberts called 911 as she was driving away at 12:53 a.m., according to police records. This new account leaves 50 minutes unaccounted between the end of the rape and the departure from the party.

The new statement runs contrary to time stamped photos of the party, which show the two women dancing between 12:00 and 12:04 a.m. in the living room of the house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

* In the latest statement, the woman says she arrived at the party at 11:10 p.m. on March 13 and that the rape began at 11:40 p.m. Her cell phone records show that she was on phone with her father and others up to one minute before the rape allegedly started.

* The woman now said her alleged assailants used multiple names.

In previous accounts, she said she was assaulted by three men named "Adam", "Brett" and "Matt." She has given conflicting descriptions of the three men and contradictory accounts of how they assaulted her.

In the Dec. 21 interview, she said for the first time that the players used multiple names. "Dan, Adam and Brett was used by Dave Evans," Wilson wrote. "Adam and Matt was also used by Reade Seligmann. She does not remember a name being used for Collin Finnerty or if he was called by a name."

* The accuser has changed her description of Evans. On April 4, she viewed a photograph of Evans and said it looked like one of her assailants, except that the assailant had a moustache. In the Dec. 21 statement, the woman said the assailant had a five o’clock shadow, not a moustache. Evans has a visible five o’clock shadow in the photograph.

* In her recent statement, the woman said that Evans stood in front of her and made her perform sex on him. In past statements, she said that Seligmann did this.

Of course none of this is really new or surprising.

The only real news in this case is that it is still being treated seriously and that Nifong still holds the position of District Attorney.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 11th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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