Local News

Accuser in Duke lacrosse case graduates

Posted May 19, 2008 4:25 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2008 5:22 p.m. EDT

— The woman at the center of the 2006 scandal that rocked Duke University, Durham and the lives of the three men she accused of raping her is among the Class of 2008.

Crystal Gail Mangum graduated from North Carolina Central University, a college spokeswoman said Monday.

Mangum worked as an exotic dancer in March 2006, when she performed at a party hosted by several Duke lacrosse players.

It was at that party, Mangum alleged, three white members of the team trapped her inside a bathroom and raped and sexually assaulted her.

David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were later indicted on the allegations.

The claims also launched a local and national debate about race, politics, ethics and privilege.

Then-District Attorney Mike Nifong dismissed rape charges against the men December 2006 after Mangum said was not certain a rape occurred. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed remaining charges of sexual assault and kidnapping in April 2007 and declared the former players innocent.

Cooper never pursued a case against Mangum saying she likely believed the allegations.

A divorced mother of three, Mangum hasn't spoken publicly since granting a single interview in the early days of the case.