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Duke Accuser Case Falling Apart

DURHAM — The exotic dancer [Crystal Gail Mangum] who has accused three Duke lacrosse players of gang-raping her was drinking while taking medication that night, and had sex with at least four men and a sexual device in the days immediately leading up to the off-campus party, according to court papers filed Thursday.

And despite what Durham police have contended, a medical examination showed no signs of the sort of sexual or physical attack of which the dancer complained, according to the motion filed by defense attorneys for Reade Seligmann.

Among other previously undisclosed details, the motion says the woman at one point accused her female dance partner of helping the lacrosse players rape her and of stealing her money.

And she told one medical staffer she drank at least 44 ounces of beer, and told another she took a powerful muscle relaxant and drank beer before going to the party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. on March 13.

Lawyers Kirk Osborn and Ernest Conner contend in the motion that police Investigator Benjamin Himan and the Police Department illegally and deliberately withheld those and other details that were damaging to their investigation.

For example, they say, Himan knew but did not mention in a probable-cause affidavit that two examining physicians said the dancer complained only of vaginal rape, even though some charges in the case are linked to allegations of oral and anal penetration.

Himan also neglected to note that the accuser told one doctor she was not hit and did not complain of any pain, or that she told the sexual assault nurse examiner she was not choked, according to the documents.

That conflicts with statements from police that the woman was kicked, strangled and beaten while being sexually assaulted.

Police officials wouldn’t respond Thursday to questions about the documents.

“The Durham Police Department is not commenting on any specifics of the Duke lacrosse case,” said police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.

The defense lawyers say the omitted information is critical to the case. Had it been included, they contend, police may not have gotten permission to perform a photo lineup that led to charges against three team members.

As a result, the lineup and any identifications obtained from it should be thrown out, Osborn and Conner argued.

If Himan had been forthcoming in an affidavit seeking the lineup March 23, they said, Superior Court Judge Ron Stephens would have had no legal basis for allowing the photographic identification procedure in the first place.

The new documents come as national media, three months after the alleged attack, continue to zero in on the lacrosse case.

USA Today ran another story Wednesday, Inside Higher Ed had a piece Thursday and the latest edition of the magazine Vanity Fair has an interview with Kim Roberts Pittman, the second dancer at the lacrosse team party. The latest edition of the Duke alumni magazine also features an account of the lacrosse case as its cover story.

The paperwork filed Thursday includes lengthy, handwritten statements from the second dancer and from the alleged victim’s “driver,” along with insights into the accuser’s medical condition on the night in question.

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