Local News

Duke Lacrosse Accuser Subpoenaed, Meets With DA

Posted January 12, 2007

— Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong met with the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case for several hours at his office on Thursday, WRAL has learned.

While she was there, Durham County sheriff's deputies served her with a subpoena ordering her to be in court to testify at a Feb. 5 hearing.

In the past 10 months, Nifong has never talked with the accuser about the facts of the case. In court hearings, he said that when he met with her for the first time in the spring, they talked about other matters because she seemed upset.

The meeting was on the same day defense attorneys filed a supplement to a previous motion asking a judge to toss out a photo lineup in which the accuser identified the three defendants — David Evans, 23, Collin Finnerty, 20, and Reade Seligmann, 20.

Judge Osmond Smith, who is assigned as the sole judge for the case, is expected to rule on the photo lineup at the February hearing.

The motion filed Thursday cites critical changes in the accuser's story that some legal experts have said hurt the prosecution's case and the accuser's credibility.

In a Dec. 21 interview with prosecution investigator Linwood Wilson, she said the alleged attack happened earlier than when she told originally told police it happened and that it ended before midnight. She also told Wilson that Seligmann was there at the time but did not take part.

In the same interview, she said she was not 100 percent certain that a rape — as defined by North Carolina law — occurred. That led District Attorney Mike Nifong to drop the first-degree rape charge against the three defendants.

Nifong has come under mounting scrutiny for his handling in the case, specifically comments he made to the media.

Last month, the North Carolina State Bar filed an ethics complaint against him, citing more than 100 examples of Nifong's statements to the media that, the bar alleged, constituted "fraud, deceit or dishonesty."

Among the rules that the bar complaint says Nifong violated is a prohibition on making "comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused."

A three-member panel will decide guilt or innocence and then, depending on the outcome, may impose a penalty. The penalty could range from a reprimand to disbarment.

The North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys had also publicly stated that Nifong should remove himself from the case.

Nifong said in an earlier interview that he would reserve "those kinds of issues" for the courtroom.

This story is closed for comments.

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  • geowilrlst Jan 14, 2007

    Bottom line is the sold a form of sex for money ( way overpaid ) and tried to take these kids to the cleaners and got caught !

  • mjblawlady Jan 13, 2007

    megbaum .......you are so stupid to even suggest that she is being paid, your insinuations are absurd! If that was the case,this would have never resulted in charges way earlier! I hope you never have kids that are accused of anything because if they ever are, then I hope you have to suffer what these parents have been through.......pure hell!!!!!!!!!!

  • momentsrprecious87 Jan 12, 2007

    If she was white and they were black Mike Nifong would have been doing his job!!! Most District Attorneys have people that do the questioning for them!!! Is that not what the ADA is or? Was Nifong going on what he was told? Lets get to to real deal and admit that this is a bad situation for all involved! Someone dropped the ball and I do not think it was Mr Nifong!!!

  • DOG Jan 12, 2007

    Orlando1160/ Don't you believe Mike Nifong should also be given a mental evaluation. I'm serious.

  • behealthyxyz Jan 12, 2007

    " wonder would people be so quick to cry foul, if these young men were of the minority race and this young lady was of the opposite. I am not condoning a lie, but let's wait until the trail or until it plays it self out. "
    "I'm betting that she doesn't show - because it's not Nifong nor the taxpayers who's paying her to change her story... "

    If these comments are any indication of what the "average" reader thinks, our country is racially divided by ignorance, not race. Lying about a crime is wrong -- and it would not matter if circumstances were reversed. Political correctness tends to favor minorities in today's world. I don't think the condemnation of 3 lacrosse players would have been national news had the players been black (read: Navy quarterback).
    As to the insinuation that her story is changing for pay.....I am offended at every level.

  • OD Norwood Jan 12, 2007

    Too much of this case has been and is still being a media frenzy; maybe a change of venue is in order. Also, maybe a mental evaluation should be done on the accuser, she does not appear to be "all there".

  • firecaptain2000 Jan 12, 2007

    This case is crumbling and it sounds to me like they both needed a shoulder to cry on, so they spent the day crying the blues to each other. Would anyone disagree that they are both "Nifonged" at this point? Maybe these "partners in crime" should have compared their selective memories BEFORE the case was presented to a grand jury???

  • ricks Jan 12, 2007

    I wonder would people be so quick to cry foul, if these young men were of the minority race and this young lady was of the opposite. I am not condoning a lie, but let's wait until the trail or until it plays it self out.

  • NCSurvivor Jan 12, 2007

    Why should she be protected from harassment, while the players are not?

  • lmgia Jan 12, 2007

    The accuser has not been identified, but is there really anyone out there who doesn't know who she is? The information has been out for quite a while, this "not naming the alleged victim" is kind of a farce in this case.