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Crystal Gail MANGUM





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Known as the woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 3, 2011
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: July 18, 1978
Victim profile: Reginald Daye, 46 (her boyfriend)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Durham County, North Carolina, USA
Status: Sentenced to 14 to 18 years in prison on November 22, 2013
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Crystal Gail Mangum (born July 18, 1978) is an African American woman best known for making false allegations of rape against white lacrosse players in the Duke lacrosse case. In November 2013, she was found guilty of second-degree murder related to a fatal attack on her boyfriend.

Early life

Mangum was born and grew up in Durham, North Carolina, to a father who drove trucks. In 1993, at age 14, she claimed to have been kidnapped by three assailants, driven to Creedmoor, North Carolina, and raped. One of those she accused was her boyfriend, who was 21 at the time. She filed a police report making these allegations in late 1996. She subsequently backed away from the charges, a move relatives claimed was motivated by fear for her life. Mangum's father says he does not believe any such incident occurred involving force, though her mother believes a similar incident could have occurred- but three years later rather than in 1993.

After graduation from high school in 1996, she joined the U.S. Navy. She served for less than two years before being discharged from the service after becoming pregnant.

By 2002 Mangum had returned to Durham and was working as a stripper. In 2003, she was arrested on ten charges after stealing the taxicab of a customer to whom she had given a lap dance. This prompted a police pursuit at moderate speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, though occasionally in the wrong lane. After being stopped, she attempted to run over a police officer, succeeding only in hitting his patrol vehicle. She was found to have a BAC of just over twice the legal limit. Ultimately, she pleaded guilty on four counts, serving three weekends in jail, paying $4,200 in restitution and fees, and being given two years probation.

In 2004 she gained an associate's degree from Durham Technical Community College, and subsequently enrolled full-time at North Carolina Central University in police psychology.

Duke lacrosse case

In March 2006, after arriving, intoxicated, with a fellow stripper for a strip tease at a house rented by three of the Duke University men's lacrosse team captains, she became involved in an argument with the occupants of the house, and left. After becoming involved in an altercation with her fellow stripper that necessitated police assistance, she made a false allegation of rape.

District Attorney Mike Nifong, up for reelection, pursued the case despite questions about the credibility of Mangum, and exculpatory evidence that failed to demonstrate that Mangum had been raped by the Duke lacrosse players. It took nearly a year for the attorney-general's office to dismiss the charges and declare that the players were innocent of the charges laid against them by Nifong.

Arrests since lacrosse case

Just before midnight on February 17, 2010, Durham police were called to Mangum's residence by her nine-year-old daughter. When they arrived, they said they found Mangum and her live-in boyfriend fighting. They said she set fire to some of his clothing in a bathtub in their presence. The building suffered heavy smoke damage. They arrested Mangum on charges of attempted murder, first-degree arson, assault and battery, identity theft, communicating threats, damage to property, resisting an officer, and misdemeanor child abuse.

Mangum was ordered to remain in jail on $1 million bond. Her bond was lowered to $100,000 in May, and she was released from jail to live in a friend's house. She was required to wear an electronic monitoring device. On July 12, 2010, she was released from house arrest and required to move in with her mother. She was allowed to visit her three children but only under supervision of social services. Mangum was arrested again on August 25, 2010, and held on $150,000 bond for failure to comply with the restrictions on her child visitation order.

On December 17, 2010, Mangum was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer. The jury deadlocked 9-3 for not guilty on the felony arson charge but was unable to reach a decision on it. After the verdict, Judge Abe Jones sentenced Mangum to 88 days in jail, which she had already served, and left the custody decision in the hands of social services. Durham Assistant District Attorney Mark McCullough announced on January 21, 2011, that he would not retry Mangum on arson charges.

Second-degree murder conviction

Mangum was arrested on April 2, 2011, following accusations that she stabbed and seriously injured her boyfriend, Reginald Daye. She was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury, a class C felony in North Carolina. Daye later died in the hospital, and Mangum was indicted on a murder charge.

As of April 19, Mangum was being held in jail under a $300,000 secured bail bond, which was set prior to her boyfriend's death. In November, Mangum was deemed competent to stand trial for murder. On May 1, 2012, Mangum's attorney withdrew citing the release by Mangum of confidential information regarding her case to her supporters. On February 20, 2013, Mangum was released on bail until trial.

On November 22, 2013, Mangum was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury of seven men and five women. Judge Paul Ridgeway sentenced her to serve a minimum of 14 years, 2 months and a maximum of 18 years in prison.


Mangum found guilty in boyfriend's stabbing death

By Arielle Clay -

November 22, 2013

Durham, N.C. — Most widely known as the woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape, Crystal Mangum will now be known as a convicted killer.

A seven-man, five-woman jury found Mangum, 34, guilty of second-degree murder in the April 3, 2011, stabbing of her boyfriend, 46-year-old Reginald Daye. He died 10 days later of complications at Duke University Hospital.

Mangum claimed the stabbing was a case of self-defense, saying Daye was beating her in a jealous rage when she grabbed a knife and "poked him in the side."

Jurors deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching their verdict. Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway then sentenced her to 170 to 216 months in prison.

Daye's family asked for the maximum sentence for Mangum, saying Daye was a good man whom Mangum mistreated.

"Reggie deserved to be here with us. He didn't deserve the type of treatment that happened to him," Shantia Lawrence, Daye's sister, told Ridgeway in court. "He was very cared for, very loved, and he was a loving person."

Later, Daye's relatives expressed relief at the conclusion of the case.

"We are just so overwhelmed," cousin Tracey Daye-Wilson said. "I thank God the jury made the correct decision, and we are just very happy."

Mangum made national headlines in March 2006 when she claimed that three players on the Duke lacrosse team trapped her inside a bathroom when she was performing as a stripper at a team party and raped and sexually assaulted her. Her story about the incident was so inconsistent that Attorney General Roy Cooper later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.

The Duke case was barely mentioned during the trial, but Mangum's supporters believe her past – she also was convicted in a 2010 domestic case involving a previous boyfriend – played a part in Friday's verdict.

"I feel like the verdict wasn't based on the evidence presented. It's based on what is perceived to be her past indiscretions," Jackie Wagstaff said.

Durham County Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks, who painted Mangum as a violent abuser during the trial, disagreed with the notion that anti-Mangum sentiment in the community led to the verdict.

"Whatever happened as far as Duke lacrosse or anything else, it was not about that. It was not about 'THE Crystal Mangum.' It was about Reginald Daye and what occurred April 3, 2011," Franks said. "Reginald Daye finally got justice today. The family got justice."

Defense attorney Daniel Meier said he was disappointed the jury didn't agree with Mangum's self-defense argument, and he plans to appeal the conviction.

On Wednesday, Mangum tearfully described how Daye became enraged when she started talking to a police officer she knew as the couple returned to their Durham apartment after a party.

She said he cursed her, hit her and choked her, then kicked open a bathroom door as she tried to hide and dragged her out by her hair.

A police investigator who interviewed Daye in the hospital before he died testified Tuesday that he told her he had ordered Mangum out of the apartment because he was tired of her bringing over other men. He acknowledged kicking open the bathroom door and dragging her by her hair, but he said he was trying to get away from her during the argument when she stabbed him.

"The fact that we are all here, it's not because someone murdered her boyfriend. It's because Crystal Mangum was charged with murdering her boyfriend," Meier said.

Jurors acquitted Mangum of two counts of larceny. Authorities alleged that she stole two money orders, totaling $700, from Daye after she stabbed him.


Mangum on stabbing: 'I was just trying to survive'

November 20, 2013

Durham, N.C. — Crystal Mangum tearfully told jurors Wednesday that she stabbed her boyfriend two years ago to protect herself as he beat her in a drunken rage.

Mangum, 34, is charged with murder in the April 3, 2011, stabbing of Reginald Daye. He died 10 days later of complications at Duke University Hospital.

Closing arguments in the trial are set for Thursday morning after the defense wrapped up its case in less than a day.

Mangum, the first witness called by defense attorney Daniel Meier, spent almost two hours going over details of her relationship with Daye and the night he was stabbed.

She said she met Daye in January 2011 when he was painting a room in a friend's house. He said he was looking for a roommate to help with the rent, and she decided to move in with her three children.

The couple started out as friends but gradually began a romantic relationship, she said, adding that Daye became more possessive over time, even dictating that she had to spend a certain amount of time with him.

"It slowly evolved into a relationship," she testified. "It was moving too fast. ... I tried to slow him down, but he knew what he wanted."

On April 2, 2011, Daye had been drinking all day when the couple went to a party that night at his aunt's house, Mangum said. When they returned home after midnight, she said, she approached a Durham police officer she knew who was helping tow a car from the apartment complex parking lot.

Daye then flew into a rage, she said.

"I'd never seen him that angry," she testified. "He said I was disrespecting him because I was talking to other men."

Daye struck her repeatedly while they were inside the apartment, knocking her to the floor.

"I opened up my home to you and your kids, and this is how you treat me?" Mangum said Daye screamed at her. "How dare you treat me like that, you ungrateful (expletive)?"

Mangum said she lay down on the bed in an effort to placate Daye, but he jumped on top of her, pinned her down and scratched her face. He told her he wanted to make her unattractive to other men, she said.

"Every time I tried to say something, he just got more angry," she said.

Daye dragged her off the bed onto the floor and hit her again, she said, and he then ran to the kitchen and returned with knives that he began throwing at her. She said she first hid behind the mattress and then ran into the bathroom and locked the door.

Mangum said Daye kicked open the door, grabbed her by her hair and dragged her back to the bed, where he began to choke her.

"I tried to push him off, but he was too strong," she testified. "I grabbed a knife and poked him in the side.

"I was just trying to survive. I felt like Reginald was trying to kill me."

A police investigator who interviewed Daye in the hospital before he died testified Tuesday that he told her he had ordered Mangum out of the apartment because he was tired of her bringing other men over. He acknowledged kicking open the bathroom door and dragging her out by her hair during the argument.

The investigator said that Daye told her he had demanded that Mangum return two money orders he had given her to pay the rent and that he was was trying to get away from her during the argument when she stabbed him.

Mangum testified that she fled the apartment and ran to a friend's home nearby, where police later arrested her. She said she called 911 to report the stabbing only after some friends persuaded her to do so.

Durham County Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks hammered at Mangum's inability to recall details of that night that jibed with other testimony but didn't support her story that Daye had attacked her.

Franks suggested that, after a bleeding Daye ran from the apartment to seek help, Mangum staged the scene to make it look like she had been assaulted. Mangum denied that, but she was unable to explain why paramedics who checked her out after her arrest found no evidence that she had been beaten or choked.

"You seem to have problems with men all the time, don't you?" Franks asked.

She noted Mangum similarly attacked Milton Walker, a previous boyfriend, in February 2010, but she made only a passing reference to the case most closely associated with Mangum.

Mangum made national headlines in March 2006 when she claimed that three players on the Duke University lacrosse team trapped her inside a bathroom when she was performing as a stripper at a team party and raped and sexually assaulted her. Her story about the incident was so inconsistent that Attorney General Roy Cooper later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway prohibited Franks from mentioning the Duke lacrosse case during the trial, except to impeach Mangum's credibility.

Domestic violence expert Kit Gruelle testified that Mangum has been in numerous abusive relationships over the years. Men routinely controlled and threatened her, said Gruelle, who interviewed Mangum and reviewed the police reports in the case.

Ridgeway prevented Gruelle from testifying as to whether Mangum's past relationships affected her actions in Daye's stabbing or whether those actions were consistent with those of an abuse victim. The judge said Gruelle didn't have enough academic training and hadn't conducted enough research to offer such a "diagnosis."

Franks challenged Gruelle's conclusion that Mangum was a victim, noting that she was the aggressor against Walker.

"I think there was violence going both ways in that relationship," Gruelle said of Mangum and Walker.

"So, she also was an abuser as well as a victim?" Franks asked.

"I think that's right," Gruelle replied.

Franks suggested that Gruelle blindly accepted Mangum's word on what happened when Daye was stabbed and determined that she was the victim and Daye was the abuser when it could have been the other way around.

She called Mary Outterbridge, who lived with Daye for the better part of a decade, to rebut the notion that Daye was abusive.

"Reggie never hit me. He never raised his hand to me," Outterbridge said. "He wasn't a violent person."


Mangum victim told police he was trying to escape when stabbed

November 19, 2013

Durham, N.C. — Before he died two years ago, a Durham man told police that he was trying to leave the apartment he shared with Crystal Mangum following an argument when she stabbed him, an investigator said Tuesday.

Mangum, 34, is charged with murder in the April 3, 2011, stabbing of Reginald Daye. He died 10 days later of complications at Duke University Hospital.

She maintains the stabbing was a case of self-defense.

Prosecutors wrapped up their case Tuesday afternoon. Defense attorney Daniel Meier said he plans to present some evidence, starting Wednesday morning, but no decision was announced as to whether Mangum will testify.

Jurors spent much of Tuesday watching a police video of Mangum after her arrest in the stabbing and examining the evidence presented by prosecutors over four days of testimony.

Lt. Marianne Bond, a domestic violence investigator for the Durham Police Department, testified that she interviewed Daye twice in the hospital in the days after the stabbing. He had a black eye and several cuts and bruises, she said.

Daye told Bond that he was tired of Mangum bringing other men to the apartment and ordered her to leave, but he demanded that she give him back two money orders he had obtained and given to her to hold until the rent was due.

"You don't know those men out there," Daye had told Mangum, according to Bond.

Bond said he acknowledged that he kicked open a bathroom door when she locked herself inside and pulled her out by her hair.

"Was she scared?" Bond asked him.

"A little, but not really," Daye replied.

He told Bond that he never hit Mangum and then let her go when she demanded, "Turn me loose."

The argument continued, but Daye told Bond he decided to head for the door when it appeared Mangum was searching for a knife in the kitchen. He said he was trying to get out when she stabbed him, Bond testified.

"I didn't think she was going to use the knife. She was acting crazy," he told Bond.

Other witnesses have testified to seeing and hearing the couple argue, and police said they found several knives strewn about the apartment, including four where the blades were broken off the handles.

Two money orders, totaling $700 and made out to the apartment complex, were later found in a nearby apartment where police arrested Mangum after the stabbing, Bond said.

Dr. Clayton Nichols, a former deputy chief medical examiner for the state, testified that the stab wound punctured Daye's left lung, his stomach, his left kidney, his spleen and his large intestine. During the autopsy, he said, he found that Daye also had defensive wounds on his left arm.

Meier noted on cross-examination that the hospital records don't show wounds to any organs other than Daye's intestine and that Daye appeared to be recovering in the hospital until his condition suddenly worsened after several days.

Daye likely contracted an infection in the hospital, Nichols said. But it was linked to the stab wound, he said, so the stabbing was the cause of death.

"As a result of him being stabbed is the reason we have a homicide manner of death as well as the cause of death being listed as complications of a stab wound to the chest," Nichols said.

Nichols was fired two weeks ago amid a State Bureau of Investigation review of his work in two unrelated autopsies. Authorities found no criminal wrongdoing in those cases.

"In general, after the surgical intervention, could he have survived this stab wound but for those complications?" Meier asked him.

"Yes," Nichols replied.

Mangum's supporters have long contended that Daye died as a result of poor care at Duke and not because of the stabbing.

Meier made that argument to Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway late Tuesday in hopes of getting him to dismiss the murder charge, but Ridgeway said it was a matter for the jury to decide.

The judge likewise rejected the defense's attempt to have a larceny charge against Mangum dismissed.

Meier argued that Daye gave Mangum the two money orders, so she couldn't have stolen them. Durham County Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks said Mangum refused to give the money orders back when asked and took them away with her after the stabbing.

Mangum made national headlines in March 2006 when she claimed that three players on the Duke University lacrosse team trapped her inside a bathroom at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., where she was performing as a stripper at a team party, and raped and sexually assaulted her. Her story about the incident was so inconsistent that Attorney General Roy Cooper later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.

Prosecutors have been prohibited from mentioning the Duke lacrosse case during the trial.


The Duke lacrosse case was a 2006 criminal case resulting from what proved to be a false accusation of rape made against three members of the men's lacrosse team at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The fallout from the case's resolution led to, among other things, the disbarment of lead prosecutor Mike Nifong.

In March 2006 Crystal Gail Mangum, an African American student at North Carolina Central University who worked as a stripper, dancer and escort, falsely accused three white students, members of the Duke Blue Devils men's lacrosse team, of raping her at a party held at the house of two of the team's captains in Durham, North Carolina on March 13, 2006. Many people involved in, or commenting on the case, including prosecutor Mike Nifong, called the alleged assault a hate crime or suggested it might be one.

In response to the allegations Duke University suspended the lacrosse team for two games on March 28, 2006. On April 5, 2006, Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign under threat by athletics director Joe Alleva and Duke President Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 season.

On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. Cooper stated that the charged players – Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans – were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse." The initial prosecutor, Durham County's District Attorney Mike Nifong, labeled a "rogue prosecutor" by Cooper, withdrew from the case in January 2007 after the North Carolina State Bar filed ethics charges against him.

That June, Nifong was disbarred for "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation", making him the first prosecutor in North Carolina debarred for trial conduct. Nifong served one day in jail for lying about sharing DNA tests (criminal contempt), although the lab director says it's a misunderstanding and Nifong says it's weak memory. Mangum faced no charges for her false accusations as Cooper declined to prosecute her.

Cooper pointed to several inconsistencies in Mangum's accounts of the evening and Seligmann and Finnerty's unimpeachable alibi evidence, in the findings report's summary. The Durham Police Department came under fire for violating their own policies by allowing Nifong to act as the de facto head of the investigation; giving a suspect-only photo identification procedure to Mangum; pursuing the case despite vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb; and distributing a poster presuming the guilt of the suspects shortly after the allegations.

The ex-players are seeking unspecified damages and new criminal justice reform laws in a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the City of Durham. The case has sparked varied responses from the media, faculty groups, students, the community, and others.

Timeline of events

Events at the house

Twenty-seven-year-old Crystal Gail Mangum, a student at North Carolina Central University, had been working part-time for about two months as an escort[4] and stripper for Allure Escort Service. (Early claims that Mangum had only recently taken up this line of work and that the party was "the first time she had been hired to dance provocatively for a group" were incorrect; Mangum was working at strip clubs at least as far back as her 2002 arrest for stealing the car of a patron to whom she gave a lap dance.) Before arriving at the party that day, she had, by her own admission, consumed alcohol and Flexeril (a prescription muscle relaxant). Mangum's coworker that day, Kim Roberts, arrived separately.

According to statements provided to police by students attending the party, on March 13, 2006, a party was held at the off campus residence of the captains of the Duke lacrosse team, a house that Duke University owned and had previously purchased with the intent of reselling as a single-family dwelling once the lease of the current occupants expired. The players were consuming alcohol at the party. The players contacted Allure and requested two white strippers, but the women who arrived, Mangum and Roberts, were respectively half-black and half-Asian. One player asked if the dancers had any sex toys, and Roberts responded by asking if the player's penis was too small, according to the team captains. The player then brandished a broomstick and suggested that she "use this [as a sex toy]." This exchange of words abruptly stopped the performance, and both strippers went inside the home's bathroom. While the women were still in the bathroom, Seligmann and Finnerty left the house. The women came out, and Mangum roamed around the yard half-dressed and shouting.

Shortly before 1 a.m., Mangum and Roberts entered Roberts' vehicle. Roberts called the attenders "Short dick white boys", and "how he couldn't get it on his own and had to pay for it", to which one player yelled "We asked for whites, not niggers." Mangum and Roberts departed in Roberts' car. Kim Roberts then called 911 and said white men who came out of 610 N. Buchanan yelled "nigger" at her from near the East Campus wall. Defense attorneys have questioned inconsistencies in the call – the caller first said she was driving, and later said she was walking when the slur was yelled.

After departure

As Roberts drove away with Mangum, the two women began to argue. Roberts pulled over and attempted to push Mangum out. When that measure failed, Roberts drove Mangum to a nearby Kroger supermarket, went inside, and spoke to a security guard. She told the guard that a woman was refusing to leave her car. The guard walked to the car and asked Mangum to leave, but Mangum stayed in the vehicle. The guard said that she did not smell alcohol on Mangum's breath, but thought she might have been under the influence of other drugs. At 1:22 AM, the guard called 911 to report that Mangum refused to leave the car. Police then arrived, tried to remove Mangum from the car, and questioned her.

The police then took Mangum to the Durham Access Center, a mental-health and substance-abuse facility, for involuntary commitment. During the admission process, she claimed that she had been raped prior to her arrival.

Mangum was transferred to Duke University Medical Center and received treatment for genital injuries, but it was unclear whether or not these injuries were consistent with rape. There were no abrasions, tears, or bleeding in the vaginal area, but investigators did find swelling in the vaginal area, along with tenderness in Mangum's breasts and lower-right quadrant. There was no blunt-force trauma, but Mangum had two non-bleeding scratches on her right knee and one on her right heel.

There was diffuse swelling of the vagina, and investigators did not note any other injuries in the rest of the report. Mangum later claimed that she had performed using a vibrator for a couple in a hotel room shortly before the lacrosse-team party. This activity, or a yeast infection, might account for the swelling.

McFadyen e-mail

A couple of hours after the party ended, Ryan McFadyen, a member of the lacrosse team, sent an email to other players saying that he planned to have some strippers over and made references to killing them and then cutting off their skin while wearing his Duke-issue spandex and ejaculating.

Some of the players suggested that the e-mail was conceived as humorous irony. Administrators asserted the email was an imitation of Patrick Bateman, the protagonist in the Bret Easton Ellis novel, American Psycho, which was read and lectured on in at least one Duke class. McFadyen was not charged with any crime, but he was temporarily suspended from Duke, due to what the university described as safety concerns. He was invited back to Duke to continue his studies later that summer.

Investigation and prosecution

DNA tests

Shortly after the party, the prosecution ordered 46 of the 47 team members to provide DNA samples (the only black member of the team was exempt since Mangum had stated that her attackers were white), though some members had been absent from the party. The players gave cheek swabs and statements to the police the day after the party. They also offered to take polygraph tests, but the police turned them down.

On April 10, 2006, it was revealed that DNA testing had failed to connect any of the 46 tested members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team. After the initial rounds of testing by the state crime lab, the district attorney sought the services of a private laboratory (DNA Security of Burlington) to conduct additional tests. DNA from multiple males was found inside Mangum and upon the rape kit items that had been tested, but none matched any of the lacrosse players. Mike Nifong falsely represented to the public and to the court that DNA had only been found from a single male source, her boyfriend.

Defense attorneys argued in a motion on December 15, 2006 that the DNA report given to Nifong's office (and thus what the defense attorneys received) was incomplete because it omitted information which showed that none of the genetic material from several men found on the woman matched DNA samples taken from any of the players.

The director of the DNA lab, Brian Meehan, who wrote the misleading report, acknowledged that the decision violated the lab's policies, but stated that his lab did not try to withhold information. Rather, Meehan claimed, he decided to withhold the exculpatory DNA evidence after discussing it with Nifong in an attempt to not drag anyone else through the mud. Meehan was fired by the new owner of DNA Security in October 2007.

DNA taken from all surfaces of three false fingernails belonging to Mangum which were retrieved from the trash in the bathroom (widely but falsely reported as DNA taken only from the underside of a single fingernail) showed some characteristics similar to David Evans' DNA, according to the private laboratory, but the match was not conclusive.

Defense attorneys have suggested that any DNA present may have come from the tissue paper, cotton swabs, or other hygiene-related trash that had been in the garbage can along with the fingernail, since David Evans lived in the house. This was confirmed later by Attorney General Cooper's investigation: "... to the extent that Evans's DNA could not be excluded, the SBI experts confirmed that the DNA could easily have been transferred to the fingernails from other materials in the trash can".

Nifong claimed that the lack of DNA is not unusual and that 75–80% of all sexual assault cases lack DNA evidence.[34] Rape victims often delay reporting by days or weeks, inadvertently destroying DNA evidence. In this case, Mangum had a rape-kit exam administered only hours after the end of the party, and the absence of DNA is considered unlikely by many legal experts.

During Nifong's ethics trial on June 14, 2007, the complete DNA findings were revealed during Brad Bannon's testimony. It revealed, according to conservative estimates, that the lab had discovered at least two unidentified males' DNA in Mangum's pubic region; at least two unidentified males' DNA in her rectum; at least four to five unidentified males' DNA on her underpants; and at least one identified male's DNA in her vagina.

Arrests and investigation timeline

On April 10, 2006, defense attorneys stated that time-stamped photographs exist that show the dancer was injured upon arrival and very impaired.

On April 18, 2006, two members of the lacrosse team, Collin Finnerty, 19, and Reade Seligmann, 20, were arrested and indicted on charges of first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense and kidnapping. Collin Finnerty had previously been charged with assaulting a man in Washington, DC and shouting anti-gay epithets at him. That Washington D.C. incident had not been cited as a hate crime. He pleaded guilty and agreed to community service in November 2005 as part of a diversion program.

On January 10, 2007, the matter was cleared on Finnerty's record by a judge after monitoring Finnerty for several months and learning more about his character. Seligmann reportedly told multiple teammates "I'm glad they picked me", alluding to a solid alibi in the form of ATM records, photographs, cell phone records, an affidavit from a taxi driver, and a record of his DukeCard being swiped at his dorm. The same day, search warrants were executed on Finnerty and Seligmann's dorm rooms.

On May 15, 2006, a third Duke lacrosse team player, former team captain and 2006 Duke graduate David Evans, was indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, sexual offense and kidnapping. Just before turning himself in at the Durham County Detention Center, he made a public statement declaring his innocence and his expectation of being cleared of the charges within weeks.

On June 8, 2006, court documents revealed that Roberts, in her initial statement, said she was with Mangum the entire evening except for a period of less than five minutes. Additionally, after hearing Mangum saying she was sexually assaulted, she was incredulous.

On December 22, 2006, District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped the rape charges against all three lacrosse players. The kidnapping and sexual offense charges were still pending against all three players.

On December 28, 2006, the North Carolina bar filed ethics charges against Nifong over his conduct in the case, accusing him of making public statements that were prejudicial to the administration of justice and of engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. The 17-page document accuses Nifong of violating four rules of professional conduct, listing more than 100 examples of statements he made to the media.

On January 12, 2007, Nifong sent a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asking to be taken off the case, giving the responsibility of the case to the Attorney General's office. The following day, Cooper announced that his office would take over the case.

On January 24, 2007, the North Carolina State Bar filed a second round of ethics charges against Nifong for a systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion that was prejudicial to the administration of justice when he withheld DNA evidence to mislead the court.

On March 23, 2007, Justin Paul Caulfield, a legal analyst for Inside Lacrosse Magazine, stated on Fox News that charges would soon be dropped. While the North Carolina Attorney General's Office first disputed the report, on April 11, 2007, it announced that it had dismissed all charges against the three lacrosse players. Cooper not only dismissed the charges but also took the unusual step of declaring the accused players innocent.

Cooper also announced that Mangum would not be prosecuted, stating that investigators and attorneys that had interviewed her thought "she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling" and "it's in the best interest of justice not to bring charges".

Defense and media questioning

Credibility of the accuser

Lawyers for the Duke lacrosse players have said that Mangum was intoxicated with alcohol and possibly other drugs.[69] By the accuser's own admission to police, she had taken both prescription Flexeril and "one or two large-size beers" before the party.[70] It has since been confirmed by the Attorney General's office that Mangum has taken Ambien, methadone, Paxil and amitriptyline, although when she began taking these medications is uncertain.[43] She has a long history of mental problems and has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.[71] She also has taken anti-psychotic medications (which are also used as mood stabilizers) such as Seroquel.

The Duke defense lawyers or media reports have said that:

  • DNA results revealed that the woman had sex with a man who was not a Duke lacrosse player. Attorney Joseph Cheshire said the tests indicated DNA from a single male source came from a vaginal swab taken from Mangum. Media outlets reported that this DNA was from her boyfriend. However, it was later revealed that DNA from multiple males who were neither the lacrosse players nor Mangum's boyfriend had been found, but that these findings had been deliberately withheld from the Court and the defense.

  • She was convicted of stealing a car and sentenced to 3 weekends in detention.

  • She had made a similar claim in the past which she did not pursue. On Aug. 18, 1996, the dancer – then 18 years old – told a police officer in Creedmoor she had been raped by three men in June 1993, according to a police document. The officer who took the woman's report at that time asked her to write a detailed timeline of the night's events and bring the account back to the police, but she never returned.

  • The strip club's security officer said that Mangum told co-workers four days after the party that she was going to get money from some boys at a Duke party who had not paid her, mentioning that the boys were white. The security guard did not make a big deal of it because he felt that no one took her seriously.

  • Mangum was arrested in 2002 for stealing a cab from a strip club where she had been working. She led police officers on a high-speed chase before she was apprehended, at which point her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

Inconsistencies in Mangum's story

Over the course of the scandal, police reports, media investigations, and defense attorneys' motions and press conferences brought to light several key inconsistencies in Mangum's story.

Some of the questions about her credibility were:

  • Durham police said that Mangum kept changing her story and was not credible, reporting that she initially told them she was raped by 20 white men, later reducing the number to only three.

  • Another police report states that Mangum initially claimed she was only groped, rather than raped, but changed her story before going to the hospital.

  • The second stripper who performed at the house, Kim Roberts, said that Mangum was not raped. She stated that Mangum was not obviously hurt. Likewise, she refuted other aspects of Mangum’s story including denying that she helped dress Mangum after the party and saying that they were not forcefully separated by players as Mangum had reported.

  • Mangum did not consistently choose the same three defendants in the photo lineups. Media reports have disclosed at least two photo lineups that occurred in March and April in which she was asked to recall who she saw at the party and in what capacity. In the March lineup, she did not choose Dave Evans at all. There was only one individual she identified as being at the party with 100% certainty during both procedures – Brad Ross. After being identified, Ross provided to police investigators indisputable evidence that he was with his girlfriend at North Carolina State University before, during, and after the party through cell phone records as well as a sworn affidavit from a witness.

  • On December 22, 2006, Nifong dropped the rape charges after Mangum stated that she was penetrated from behind but that she did not know with what. In North Carolina, penetration with an object is considered sexual assault, not rape.

  • On January 11, 2007, several more inconsistencies came to light after the defense filed a motion detailing her interview on December 21, 2006. For example, she changed details about when she was attacked, who attacked her, and how they attacked her:

  • In the new version from the December 21 interview, Mangum claims she was attacked from 11:35 p.m. to midnight, much earlier than her previous accusations. This new timing is before the well-documented alibi evidence for Reade Seligmann that places him away from the house. However, the defense revealed that this new timing would suggest Seligmann was on the phone with his girlfriend during the height of the attack. Additionally, she received an incoming call at 11:36 p.m. and somebody stayed on the line for 3 minutes, which would be during the party according to the new timetable.

  • The new statement contradicts time stamped photos that show her dancing between 12:00 and 12:04 a.m. It would also mean that they stayed at the party for nearly an hour after the supposed attack since Kim Roberts drove her away at 12:53 a.m. In her April statement, Mangum said they left immediately after the attack.

  • Mangum changed the names of her attackers, saying they used multiple pseudonyms.

  • The accuser also changed her description of Evans. She previously claimed that she was attacked by man that looked like Evans except with a mustache, but later stated that the assailant just had a five o'clock shadow.

  • Mangum claimed that Evans stood in front of her, making her perform oral sex on him. Previously, she stated that Seligmann did this. In the latest statement, she stated that Seligmann did not commit any sex act on her and that he had said that he could not participate because he was getting married. Although he has a girlfriend, there has never been anything to suggest he was engaged or getting married.

  • North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said Mangum told many different accounts of the attack. In one account, Mangum claimed she was suspended in mid-air and was being assaulted by all three of them in the bathroom. Cooper then said this event seemed very implausible due to the small size of the bathroom. According to a 60 Minutes investigation, the accuser gave at least a dozen different stories.

  • Mangum at one point claimed both Evans and Finnerty helped her into her car upon departure. However, a photo shows her being helped by another player, while electronic records and witnesses reported that Evans and Finnerty had already left. Upon seeing the photo, Mangum claimed that it must have been doctored or that Duke University paid someone off.

  • In its own investigation, The News & Observer, North Carolina's second largest newspaper, determined that Mangum gave at least five different versions of the incident to police and medical interviewers by August 2006.

Chief Investigator

Nifong hired Linwood E. Wilson as his chief investigator. During Wilson's private detective career, at least seven formal inquiries into his conduct were performed, and, in 1997, he was reprimanded by the state commission. After his appeal of the decision was rejected, he allowed his detective license to expire. In response to criticism, Wilson stated that he never had anybody question his integrity. Shortly after Nifong's disbarment, it was reported on June 25, 2007, that interim district attorney Jim Hardin Jr. fired Wilson from his post.

Durham Police Department's actions

Lawyers and media have questioned the methods of the photo identification process, and have argued that the police supervisor in the case, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, has unfairly targeted Duke students in the past.

Photo identification

Lawyers and media reports alike suggest that the photo identification process was severely flawed. During the photo identifications, Mangum was told that she would be viewing Duke University lacrosse players who attended the party, and was asked if she remembered seeing them at the party and in what capacity. Defense attorneys claimed this was essentially a "multiple-choice test in which there were no wrong answers", while Duke law professor James Coleman posits that "[t]he officer was telling the witness that all are suspects, and say, in effect, 'Pick three.' It's so wrong." U.S. Department of Justice guidelines suggest to include at least five non-suspect filler photos for each suspect included, as did the Durham Police Department's own General Order 4077, adopted in February 2006.

At least two photo lineups have been reported by the media. In the March identification process, Mangum selected at least five different individuals, one of whom was Reade Seligmann (whom she identified with 70% certainty). During the April identification process, Mangum identified at least 16 lacrosse players. She identified Seligmann and Finnerty with 100% certainty and Dave Evans with 90% certainty during the April identification procedure. In the disclosed report, there were only two individuals that she identified during both the March and April lineups – Brad Ross and Reade Seligmann.

Ross (the only player she identified as attending the party with 100% certainty during both procedures) provided to police investigators indisputable evidence that he was with his girlfriend at North Carolina State University before, during, and after the party through cell phone records and a sworn affidavit from a witness. Another person she identified in April also provided police with evidence that he did not attend the party at all. In regards to Seligmann's identification, Mangum's confidence increased from 70% in March to 100% in April. Gary Wells, an Iowa State University professor and expert on police identification procedures replied that memory does not get better with time.

According to the transcript of the photo identification released on The Abrams Report, Mangum also stated that David Evans had a mustache on the night of the attack. Evans' lawyer stated that his client never has had a mustache and that photos as well as eyewitness testimony would reveal that Evans has never had a mustache.

Accusations of intimidation tactics

Defense lawyers also suggest that police have used intimidation tactics on witnesses. On May 11, Moezeldin Elmostafa, a taxi driver who signed a sworn statement about Seligmann's whereabouts that defense lawyers say provides a solid alibi, was arrested on a 2½-year-old shoplifting charge. He was not the accused shoplifter, but had driven them in his cab. Mr. Elmostafa was subsequently tried on the shoplifting charge and was found not guilty.


The News & Observer has suggested that the supervisor of the lacrosse investigation, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, has unfairly targeted Duke students in the past, putting some of his investigational tactics into question. Gottlieb has made a disproportionate number of arrests of Duke students for misdemeanor violations, such as carrying an open container of alcohol. Normally, these violations earn offenders a pink ticket similar to a traffic ticket. From May 2005 to February 2006, when Sgt. Gottlieb was a patrol officer in District 2, he made 28 total arrests.

Twenty of those arrests were Duke students, and at least 15 were handcuffed and taken to jail. This is in stark contrast to the other two officers on duty in the same district during that same 10-month period. They made 64 total arrests, only two of which were Duke students. Similarly, The News & Observer charges that Gottlieb treated nonstudents very differently. For example, he wrote up a young man for illegally carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possession of marijuana (crimes far more severe than the Duke students who were taken to jail committed), but did not take him to jail. Residents complimented Gottlieb for dealing fairly with loud parties and disorderly conduct by students.

Duke's student newspaper, The Chronicle, depicted other examples of violence and dishonesty from Sgt. Gottlieb. It published that one student threw a party at his rental home off-East Campus before the Rolling Stones concert in October 2005. The morning after the concert, at 3 A.M., Sgt. Gottlieb led a raid on the home with nine other officers while the students were half asleep. It reported that one student was dragged out of bed and then dragged down the stairs. It reported that all seven housemates were put in handcuffs, arrested, and taken into custody for violating a noise ordinance and open container of alcohol violations. Sgt. Gottlieb reportedly told one student, who was a U.S. citizen of Serbian descent, that the student could be deported. Other stories include the throwing of a 130 pound male against his car for an open container of alcohol violation, refusing the ID of a student since he was international, searching through a purse without a warrant, refusing to tell a student her rights, and accusations of perjury.

Nifong after transferring the case

On January 12, 2007, Nifong asked to be taken off the case and on January 13, 2007, Attorney General Roy Cooper's office took over. On April 12, 2007, the attorney general, in declaring Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann innocent, also called Nifong a "rogue prosecutor".

Nifong was ordered disbarred on June 16, 2007 after the bar's three-member disciplinary panel unanimously found him guilty of fraud, dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation; of making false statements of material fact before a judge; of making false statements of material fact before bar investigators, and of lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence.

On August 31, 2007, Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to a single day in jail.

Reactions to the scandal

The case continues to elicit media coverage across the nation as the case and its aftermaths continue to unfold.

Wider effects

Effects on Duke faculty

Mike Pressler, the coach of the lacrosse team, received threatening e-mails and hate calls, had castigating signs placed on his property, and was the frequent victim of vandalism in the aftermath of the accusations.

On April 5, 2006, he resigned (later revealed to have been forced) shortly after the McFadyen e-mail became public. Through his lawyer, he stated that his resignation was not an admission of wrongdoing on his part. On the same day, Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, suspended the remainder of the lacrosse season.

Other Duke faculty members (sometimes referred to as the Group of 88, sometimes referred to as the "Gang of 88") have been criticized for their "Social Disaster" letter as well as individual comments and reactions which created a perception of prejudgment.

Effect on Duke students

Shortly after the party, the President of the University warned in a school-wide e-mail of threats of gang violence against Duke students. Other Duke students claimed they were threatened. Mobs protested outside the house that had been the site of the party, banging pots and pans at early hours of the morning.

Lacrosse team members had their photographs posted prominently around Durham and on the Duke University campus with accompanying captions requesting that they come forward with information about the incident.

Media policies regarding identity revelation of accusers and accused

Fox News was the sole national television news outlet to reveal Mangum's photo following the dismissal of the case, although MSNBC and CBS News' 60 Minutes revealed her name. Several major broadcasters did not publish Mangum's name at any point, including ABC, PBS, CNN, and NBC.

Publication of Mangum's identity

Partly obscured photos of Mangum at the party were broadcast by The Abrams Report on cable news channel MSNBC and by local television affiliate NBC 17 WNCN in North Carolina.

On April 21, 2006, outspoken talk-radio host Tom Leykis disclosed Mangum's name during his nationally syndicated talk-radio program. Leykis has disclosed identities of accusers of sexual assault in the past. On May 15, 2006, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson disclosed Mangum's first name only on his show, Tucker. Court records presented by the defense reveal Mangum's name.

On April 11, 2007, several other mainstream media sources revealed or used Mangum's name and/or picture after the attorney general dropped all the charges and declared the players innocent. These sources include: CBS, The News & Observer, WRAL, all The McClatchy Company's newspapers (which includes 24 newspapers across the country), Fox News, Charlotte Observer, The New York Post, Comedy Central's The Daily Show (airdate April 12, 2007) and MSNBC.

Effect on community relations

The allegations have inflamed already strained relations between Duke University and its host city of Durham, with members of the Duke lacrosse team being vilified in the press and defamed on and off campus. On May 1, 2006, the New Black Panthers held a protest outside Duke University.

The case drew national attention and highlighted racial tensions within the Durham area.

Effect on Duke University merchandise

Sales of Duke University apparel, especially lacrosse t-shirts, by the Campus Store tripled from March to April 2006.

Jesse Jackson and Rainbow/Push Involvement

In 2006, Jesse Jackson promised the Rainbow/Push Coalition would pay the college tuition for Crystal Mangum. Jackson said it would not matter if Mangum fabricated her story, the tuition offer would still be good.


On December 15, 2006, it was reported that Mangum was pregnant and the judge in the case ordered a paternity test.

In January 2007, lacrosse team member Kyle Dowd filed a lawsuit against Duke University and visiting associate professor and member of the Group of 88 (sometimes referred to as the "Gang of 88"), Kim Curtis, claiming that he and another teammate were given failing grades on their final paper as a form of retaliation after the scandal broke. The case has been settled with the terms undisclosed except that Dowd's grade was altered to a P.

Dowd's mother emailed another member of the 88, Houston Baker, who continued to accuse her son and the others of being, "hooligans, rapists", and called her "the mother of a farm animal".

The lacrosse team, reinstated for the 2007 season, reached the NCAA Finals as the #1 seed. The Blue Devils lost to the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays in the championship, 12–11.

In May 2007, Duke requested that the NCAA restore a year's eligibility to the players on the 2006 men's team, part of whose season was canceled. The NCAA granted the team's request for another year of eligibility, which applies to the 33 members of the 2006 team who were underclassmen in 2006 and who remained at Duke in 2007. Four of the seniors from 2006 attended graduate school at Duke in 2007 and played for the team.

In 2010, the final year in which the team included fifth-year seniors (freshmen in 2006), Duke won the NCAA Lacrosse Championship beating Notre Dame, 6–5 in overtime, to give the school its first lacrosse championship.

Seligmann enrolled as a student at Brown University in the fall of 2007, while Finnerty enrolled at Loyola College in Maryland.

On June 7, 2007, it was announced that lacrosse coach Mike Pressler and Duke had reached an amicable and fair financial settlement. Pressler was later hired as coach by Division II (now Division I) Bryant University in Rhode Island. In October 2007, Pressler filed suit seeking to undo the settlement and hold a trial on his wrongful termination claim on the grounds that Duke spokesman John Burness had made disparaging comments about him.

After Duke failed in an attempt to have the case dismissed, the matter was settled in 2010 with Duke apologizing in a press release and refusing to comment further on any other compensation. On June 18, 2007, the families of the three players announced that they reached an agreement with Duke. No details of the settlement were disclosed.

On August 25, 2007, multiple sources reported that the players would file a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city of Durham. On August 31, 2007, Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to a single day in jail, which he subsequently served.

On September 29, 2007, Duke President Brodhead, speaking at a two-day conference at Duke Law School on the practice and ethics of trying cases in the media, apologized for "causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support."

Crystal Mangum graduated from North Carolina Central University in May 2008, with a degree in police psychology. On August 22, 2008, a press release announced the planned publication in October 2008 of a memoir by Mangum, The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story. The press release says the book "can't and doesn't deal with the complex legal aspects of the case" but nevertheless asserts that "the muddling of facts about Crystal's life, along with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's desire to settle the dispute over open file discovery, swallowed the case whole." Attorney Cheshire responded to the news by saying that if the book was truthful, "I think it would be fabulous, and I don't think anybody would think badly about her in any way, shape or form," but that if the memoir did not acknowledge the falsity of her allegations against the players, that he would advise them to initiate civil action against her.

On July 12, 2010, Duke demolished the house at which the party took place, 610 North Buchanan Boulevard, after it had sat unoccupied for the four years following the Duke lacrosse case.

Lawsuits filed by falsely accused players

On September 7, 2007, it was reported that the ex-players planned to file a lawsuit for violations of their civil rights against the city of Durham, and several city employees, unless the city agreed to a settlement including payment of $30 million over five years and the passage of new criminal justice reform laws. The city's liability insurance covers up to $5 million. Lawyers have cited three main areas of vulnerability for the city:

  • The suspect-only photo identification procedure given to Mangum.

  • Vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan during his March interview with Mangum and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb's notes in July

  • The release of a CrimeStoppers poster by the police shortly after the allegations that a woman "was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community."

Durham declined the settlement offer and on October 5, 2007, Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann filed a federal lawsuit alleging a broad conspiracy to frame the players. Named in the suit were Nifong, the lab that handled the DNA work, the city of Durham, the city's former police chief, the deputy police chief, the two police detectives who handled the case and five other police department employees. The players are seeking unspecified damages, and also want to place the Durham Police Department under court supervision for 10 years, claiming the actions of the police department pose "a substantial risk of irreparable injury to other persons in the City of Durham". According to the suit, Nifong engineered the conspiracy to help him win support for his election bid. Nifong reportedly told his campaign manager that the case would provide "'millions of dollars' in free advertising."

On January 15, 2008, the city of Durham filed a motion to remove itself as a defendant, arguing that it has no responsibility for Nifong's actions. On the same day, Nifong filed for bankruptcy—a decision thought by many experts to be a tacit admission that he lacked the resources to defend himself. On May 27, 2008, Judge William L. Stocks lifted the stay from Nifong's bankruptcy filing and ruled that the plaintiffs lawsuit could go forward.

On March 31, 2011, Judge James Beaty issued a ruling on the Evans et al. case, upholding claims against Nifong and his hired investigator Wilson for conspiracy to commit malicious prosecution in the course of their investigation; the city of Durham for negligence; Nifong, Wilson, and police investigators Gottlieb and Himan for malicious prosecution, concealment of evidence, and fabrication of false evidence.

Lawsuit filed by non-accused players and their families

On February 21, 2008, the families of 38 of the lacrosse team's 47 members who were not accused filed a 225-page lawsuit against Duke University, the Duke University Hospital, the city of Durham, and various officials of each organization for multiple claims of harassment, deprivation of civil rights, breach of contract and other claims.

The complaint sets out a detailed view of the events leading up to the case, the university's response, and the subsequent unraveling of the case; it alleges corruption and collusion between Duke, the hospital, and Nifong. It accuses the university of refusing to enforce its own anti-discrimination policies as to faculty and student harassment of the lacrosse players, and of violating federal law when it issued team key-card access data to the Police without a warrant, and subsequently attempted to cover up the disclosure. The allegations also include the university's instructions to the team members to not seek legal advice or contact their parents, to speak to a university-approved lawyer (who represented the university, not the team), and to waive their civil rights. Allegations against the hospital are directed at the examining nurse who allegedly fabricated statements concerning the initial medical examination, her supervisor who adopted those statements even though they were contrary to the examination, and the failure of the Hospital to supervise these employees. Allegations against the city and its police department are directed at the investigating officers and their attempts to fabricate a case and their attempt to hide DNA test results, along with failure to supervise these officers. The plaintiffs allege emotional suffering, loss of job opportunities and damages based on the various statutes. They seek undisclosed damages as well as attorneys fees. Specific parties named in the lawsuit include, but are not limited to: former university spokesman John Burness, vice-president for student affairs Larry Moneta, dean Susan Wasiolek, Richard H. Brodhead, provost Stephan Lange, former BOT chairman Robert K. Steel, and former SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy.

A Duke University spokesperson responded that "[w]e have now seen the lawsuit and as we said before, if these plaintiffs have a complaint, it is with Mr. Nifong. Their legal strategy—attacking Duke—is misdirected and without merit. To help these families move on, Duke offered to cover the cost of any attorneys' fees or other out-of-pocket expenses, but they rejected this offer. We will vigorously defend the university against these claims." The city has not released an official response to the suit.

The lawsuit against Duke University was settled out of court in 2013. Both the University and the players declined to comment on the details of the settlement.


Crystal Gail Mangum: Profile of the Duke Rape Accuser

April 11, 2007

Some of the details of the Duke University rape case may never be solved, but one thing is startlingly clear: Crystal Gail Mangum, the woman who accused three college lacrosse players of locking her in a bathroom and raping her, has had a very troubled life.

Mangum has been identified by name publicly several times, including by lawyers during press conferences on the case.

According to North Carolina Department of Corrections records, she was born on July 18, 1978, to a truck driver. She grew up the youngest of three children, not far from the house where she claimed she was assaulted in 2006. Durham is a slow-paced Southern town with equally large populations of black and white residents and a history of racial tensions — including those between a wealthy, predominantly white university community and its poorer black neighbors.

In 1993, when she was 14 years old, Mangum claimed to have been kidnapped by three men, driven to a house in Creedmoor, N.C., 15 miles away from Durham, and raped. She said one of the men was her boyfriend at the time, and was a physically and emotionally abusive man seven years older than she was. Creedmoor Police Chief Ted Pollard said Mangum filed a report on the incident in Aug. 18, 1996, three years after the rapes allegedly took place. The case, however, was not pursued, because the accuser backed away from the charges out of fear for her life, according to her relatives.

Family members still disagree on what really happened in 1993. The accuser's father has said he believes his daughter was not raped or injured in that incident, while her mother has said a rape involving three men in Creedmoor did occur, but said it happened when her daughter was 17 or 18; Mangum's ex-husband, Kenneth Nathanial McNeill, has said he believes the 1993 rape accusations are true.

According to her father, the year after the alleged Creedmoor rape, Mangum saw a psychiatrist and took prescription medication for a year because trauma from the assault had left her suicidal.

After Mangum graduated from high school in 1996, McNeill, then her fiance, encouraged her to join the Navy because she wanted to "see the world," he told various news outlets. She began her two-year active duty in the summer of 1997, marrying McNeill, who is 14 years her senior, in the fall of that year. She was trained to operate radios in Virginia, then the couple drove out to California where she was stationed on an ammunition ship. But she was frequently at sea, leading to ruptures in the marriage. On June 16, 1998, she accused her husband of taking her into a wooded area and threatening to kill her, which he has denied doing. When she failed to appear at a court hearing, the complaint was dismissed. The two separated after 17 months of marriage, and that same year, Mangum was discharged from the Navy, pregnant by a sailor she has begun a relationship with. That man would have another child with her as well, but that relationship wouldn't last.

By 2002, Mangum seems to have given up her dreams of seeing the world. She was back in her hometown, trying to get a job as a stripper. In June 2002, she was arrested on a multitude of charges while working at a topless dance club called Diamond Girls. According to police, she removed a customer's keys to his taxicab while giving him a lap dance, then stole the taxi while he was in the bathroom. Police chased her at speeds up to 70 miles per hour — frequently in the wrong lane — and when an officer tried to approach her, she barely missed running him over, and struck his patrol car instead. She tried to escape again, but a flat tire ended the second leg of her getaway. Finally in custody, she was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 (the state limit is 0.08). While being questioned, Mangum passed out and was taken to a hospital.

In the end, Mangum had racked up 10 charges, including driving while impaired, driving with a revoked license (her license has been suspended three times), eluding police, reckless driving, failure to heed a siren and lights, assault on an officer and larceny of a motor vehicle. In 2003, she pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors: larceny, speeding to elude arrest, assault on a government official and DWI. She served three weekends in jail, was placed on two years' probation and paid $4,200 in restitution and court fees.

But the portrait of an out-of-control, unstable woman with a drinking problem isn't accurate, according to relatives, who have described Mangum as a hardworking single mom running herself ragged trying to support her children and improve her life. In 2004, she earned an associate's degree from Durham Technical Community College. At the time of the Duke lacrosse rape allegations, she was in her second year as a full-time student at North Carolina Central University, studying police psychology and maintaining a 3.0 average. She had at some point held jobs working at a nursing facility and at a $10.50-an-hour assembly-line job making catalytic reducers.

But it wasn't a happy life.

Sometime in the last two years, according to her parents, Mangum suffered a mental breakdown and was taken to a hospital in Raleigh. They said they didn't know what caused the breakdown but said she felt burdened by mounting debts. In 2003, she went to court to force the father of her children to pay child support (the court sided with her and ordered $400 from his monthly paycheck to go to child support). In 2006, Mangum was working as a stripper in at least one club and for one service. She was adamant that she never worked as a prostitute, and told police that in only one instance did she have sex with a customer, a man she thought was "nice." According to employees of clubs she worked at, she was known as a problem dancer, frequently clashing with customers and other dancers and often passing out. At least one of the club workers, however, said he never saw Mangum drink while working.

As time went on, her romantic life didn't get more stable, either. According to reports, Mangum said she'd had sex with at least three men in the days leading up to the Duke lacrosse incident, including her boyfriend and two of the men who drove her to dancing gigs. Somewhere around this time, she again became pregnant. She gave birth to a premature girl in January 2007.

But the greatest upheaval in Mangum's life was to come on March 13, 2006. That's when she and 31-year-old Kim Roberts were hired to perform a striptease at the off-campus lacrosse house on North Buchanan Blvd. near Duke.

Now that all charges against the three players she accused have been dropped, it remains to be seen whether Mangum herself will be the target of any legal retribution on behalf of the players' families.



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