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Duke denies wrongdoing in lacrosse lawsuits

Posted April 15, 2011

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— Duke University has denied all allegations made in lawsuits by dozens of former lacrosse players impacted by false rape claims.

More than three dozen players who were never indicted in a 2006 investigation accused the university of fraud, negligence, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

In March 2006, Crystal Mangum claimed three white lacrosse players 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.

Duke denies wrongdoing in lacrosse lawsuits

The university immediately ended the lacrosse team's season and forced the coach to resign, and investigators collected DNA samples from all of the players.

Mangum's story about the incident was so inconsistent that state officials later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.

Duke had asked that it be dropped as a defendant in the suits, which also name former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong and police investigators. A federal judge denied the university's request last month.

In its answer to the suits, Duke said the university, President Richard Brodhead and other high-ranking staff members did nothing illegal or improper. The players' allegations are based on a number of false premises, the university said.

Irving Joyner, a law professor at North Carolina Central University and a close observer of the case, said he believes third-party liability is a major part of the defense. Under that theory, Duke maintains that any wrongdoing was caused by Crystal Mangum and Nifong – two people not connected to Duke in any way.

"What they're claiming is that what they did was what they would normally do when confronted with this kind of situation and provided the information that was truthful as best they could provide it to these young men and did not do anything to harm them," Joyner said.

Duke previously settled lawsuits filed by the three players indicted and later cleared in the case.


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  • boneymaroney13 Apr 15, 2011

    Another thing!! Why did Duke Police refuse to take the original call? It was their house, their property, their students, and their jurisdiction. Absolutely those guys were thrown under the bus by the whole university!!! For Duke to apologize would be an admission of guilt. It'll never happen!

  • boneymaroney13 Apr 15, 2011

    Duke is scared to death of anything to do with race. They are so blind with political correctness. Absolutely the university president threw those guys under the bus as well as the LaCross coach.

  • no contest Apr 15, 2011

    Does Dook NOT remember everything that was said by their students and staff during their INCORRECT support of Crystal Mangum? Does Dook NOT remember the Dook 88 and all the garbage they heaped on the FALSELY accused students?!?! Did Dook EVER come out and tell people to be calm and WAIT for the truth to come out??? NO!!