Local News

Duke lacrosse accuser speaks out about arrest

Posted June 30, 2010

— A Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University athletes of rape four years ago said Wednesday that her past makes it difficult for her to be treated fairly by the justice system.

Crystal Mangum was arrested in February and charged with attempted first-degree murder, five counts of arson, assault and battery, communicating threats, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, injury to personal property, identity theft and resisting a public officer.

Police said she assaulted her boyfriend, Milton Walker, set his clothes on fire in a bathtub and threatened to stab him.

"I am being unfairly treated due to preconceived notions that people had about me concerning another case," Mangum said in a news conference on the porch of a friend's house, where she is staying while under house arrest while awaiting trial.

The Durham County District Attorney's Office declined to comment on Mangum's allegations because of the pending case, and a spokeswoman said the Durham Police Department had no comment.

Mangum said she had gone to the hospital early in the morning on the day she was arrested to have fluid drained from her spine to relieve migraine pain she was suffering.

"I was barely able to walk because I had a spinal tap done," she said.

She said she got into an argument with Walker and asked him to leave. She said he then hit her in the face, prompting one of her children to call 911.

"I am, if anything, the victim of domestic violence," she said.

Crystal Mangum news conference Former accuser feels mistreated

She said she doesn't know who set the fire in bathtub, but it wasn't her. She acknowledged that she gave the police a fake name when they arrived at the house in response to the 911 call, noting that she feared their response if they knew she was the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case.

While a student at North Carolina Central University in 2006, Mangum worked as an exotic dancer and performed at a party for Duke lacrosse team members. She claimed three white players trapped her inside a bathroom and raped and sexually assaulted her.

The three players were indicted on rape and other charges on the basis of her allegations, but they were eventually exonerated after North Carolina's attorney general found no credible evidence to support the charges.

During the February incident, Mangum said, she and Walker were both in handcuffs initially.

"It wasn't until the other three police cars got there and said that I was Crystal Mangum, that's when they took the handcuffs off of my boyfriend and they put me in the police car and told me I was going to jail," she said.

Although Mangum's public defender advised her against holding the news conference, she said she felt she had to speak to the media to set the record straight about her arrest.

"I think my attorney has my best interest at heart, but the judicial system doesn’t," she said.

Still, she said she is prepared to go to trial to clear her name and regain custody of her three children, ages 10, 9 and 3.

"I just want my life back," she said.


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  • violetthorpe Jul 1, 2010

    i get sick of all you saints talking about everybody..to be Christ like is to have some empathy for your fellow man.Why is she known as the Duk Lacross accuser...those "sweet boys were guilty of something,money just got them out of it...will this girl ever be able to live this mess down?No i advise her to move to another state when and if she gets out of this unfortunate situation.She deserves to be heard too.

  • fireboss100 Jul 1, 2010

    Hey WRAl, how is this news??? She has lied before and been proven, now she says she's innocent. How much of a waste of news time and air space is this on a day when there are MORE important issues to broadcast. Shame on you Mr. Producer for even considering airing this story. What does it have to do with anything?
    Whine, whine, whine, I suppose you would like a little cheese with your wine?

  • Das G Jul 1, 2010

    "The only positive to this story is that we all agree on something. This may be a first for golo."

    Well played sir, well played.

  • keneds Jul 1, 2010

    nope, no one feels sorry for you here its kinda like a old man told me once "if a dog bites you one time, shame on the dog if he bites you a second time shame on you........just go away

  • delilahk2000 Jun 30, 2010


  • fed.up69 Jun 30, 2010

    The only positive to this story is that we all agree on something. This may be a first for golo.

  • FE Jun 30, 2010

    DEFINITELY a slow news day.

    A press conference by Ms Mangum ("my back hurts a lot") and the world's largest traffic jam on I40 because of some PVC pipes wrapped in plastic.

    And then there are those salacious text messages by the Highway Patrol guy.


  • mewuvbb Jun 30, 2010

    Joke and She should have listened to her lawyer just seen it on TV, she was walking fine during her arrest as she stated she couldn't

  • FairPlay Jun 30, 2010

    RAL I am surprised you and other press even give her airtime

  • ugottabkiddinme Jun 30, 2010

    Why does the media give this nobody a place to speak...let her go away!! the audacity to sit there and say poor me after what she tried to do to those dook boys. they could have been locked up for must of their lives had that trial gone wrong. She is a disgrace to humanity. plase go away!!