Local News

Details of Durham Attack Laid Out in Search Warrant

Posted February 21, 2007
Updated February 22, 2007

— A search warrant executed by Durham police reveals new details about the night a Duke freshman claims she was raped at a party.

Police said the story they pieced together from witnesses and the victim had Michael Jermaine Burch, 21, dancing with the woman, then following her into a bathroom and attacking her. Burch was charged Monday with second-degree rape and is free on $50,000 bond.

According to the statements investigators filed to support their request for the warrant, Burch went to the party with a man who worked at Duke University and with whom he played basketball on Saturdays.

The warrant also says an invitation with about 300 names was posted on www.facebook.com . They said witnesses estimated there were 75 to 100 people at the party at 405 Gattis St. The party began Feb. 10 and the attack occurred early in the morning of Feb. 11, according to police.

The 18-year-old victim told friends what had happened after the attack, according to the report.

The warrant covered the apartment where Burch lives at 322 Junction Road and a 2000 Ford Explorer registered to Joyce Burch at the same apartment.

Police returned the executed warrant to Durham District Court on Wednesday showing they had seized a bag containing clothes, a dietary supplement pack containing one pill and some other items.

The party was organized by members of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. One fraternity member lives at the house.

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  • no screen name Feb 28, 2007

    wheres William on this one? he does not care since this was a black male?

  • gvmtcheese Feb 22, 2007

    What happened to the NAACP on this one? How come they are not here protecting this victim? She was a Duke student right? She has claimed to be raped right, so it must be true. They put a warrant out for this guys arrest, where are they?

  • fotofloozie Feb 22, 2007

    I heard that he was up at Louisburg College over the weekend trying to recruit another victim.

  • Tarheeljunior Feb 21, 2007

    I know people are skiddish about rape accusations now in the aftermath of the Lacrosse case, but I am glad this woman had the courage to come forward and the investigation is being conducted in a more professional manner. College parties can be a dangerous place for women. These situations are dangerous enough when it is only a gathering of friends that know each other...introduce strangers, alcohol, and potential date rape drugs and a woman can never be too careful anymore. I hope this young lady finds the comfort and support she needs during this ordeal and that Duke investigates the seemingly higher occurance of problems with off campus parties tied to university organizations.