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New Story Unfolds in Duke Rape Case

North Carolina – The second dancer in the Duke rape case has said for the first time that the accuser told her to “go ahead, put marks on me” after the alleged attack.

Dancer Kim Roberts made the new allegation – which she has not shared with authorities – in an interview with Chris Cuomo that aired today on “Good Morning America.”

Roberts’ allegation comes after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong’s admission in court last week that he has not yet interviewed the accuser “about the facts of that night.”

As she drove the accuser from the March 2006 Duke lacrosse party, Roberts told ABC News the woman was clearly impaired and “talking crazy.”

Roberts said she tried several different times to get the accuser out of her car.

“The trip in that car from the house … went from happy to crazy,” Roberts told Cuomo. “I tried all different ways to get through to her.”

“I tried to be funny and nice,” she said. “Then I tried to, you know, be stern with her. … We’re kind of circling around, and as we’re doing that, my last-ditch attempt to get her out of the car, I start to kind of, you know, push and prod her, you know.”

Roberts said she told the woman, “Get out of my car. Get out of my car.”

“I … push on her leg. I kind of push on her arm,” Roberts said. “And clear as a bell, it’s the only thing I heard clear as a bell out of her was, she said – she pretty much had her head down, but she said plain as day – ‘Go ahead, put marks on me. That’s what I want. Go ahead.'”

Roberts said the comments “chilled me to the bone, and I decided right then and there to go to the authorities.”

Roberts was not aware at the time of any rape allegations, which were first made by the accuser after police had arrived and taken the woman to a crisis center.

In the interview, Roberts appeared reluctant to talk about her new allegation.

“It is something that has been weighing on my heart, and I worry that maybe I won’t be called to trial,” Roberts told Cuomo, as she reached for a tissue.

“Because all of, so many of her, so much of [the accuser’s] statement differs from mine, and I, I might not help the prosecution at all as a witness.”

Roberts became visibly upset as she described the accuser’s comments for the first time, at one point stopping the interview.

“I don’t even want to talk about it anymore,” she said.

“Why is it so hard for you to reveal that?” Cuomo asked Roberts.

“Because I think it’s gonna make people rush to judgment,” she said. “It’s gonna make them stop listening. … And I don’t like this at all. It’s gonna make, It’s gonna make people not listen, and I, I’m sure you’re probably not even going to play this. It’s gonna make people not listen to any other part of the story. It’s gonna make people so judgmental. It’s gonna solidify their opinions so much, that they’re not gonna want to hear the other aspects of the case, which I think are just as important.”

Roberts’ attorney, Mark Simeon, said she never shared what she says were the accuser’s final comments with police, not realizing their significance at the time.

He said she would be willing to take a lie detector test about the new information.

Three Duke lacrosse players – Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann – were charged last spring with rape and kidnapping for the alleged attack on the exotic dancer, who had been hired by the men to perform at the off-campus party.

All three men have vigorously declared their innocence, inside and outside of court.

Defense attorneys for the players declined to comment on Roberts’ remarks.

Nifong did not return a call over the weekend for comment.

One legal expert who has followed the case closely from the start said the new information was a clear blow to an already-embattled prosecution team.

“To have witnesses appear on a media program revealing information that the prosecutor doesn’t know is stunningly inappropriate,” said Linda Fairstein, who headed the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit for more than two decades.

Roberts has proven to be a somewhat unpredictable character in a case with a seemingly bottomless supply of surprises.

She has said consistently that she doesn’t know whether or not a rape occurred.

But she has characterized the evening’s events differently to different people.

On March 20, when police first contacted her a week after the alleged attack, she called the rape allegation a “crock” and said that she was with the woman for all but “less than five minutes.”

A month later, in an Associated Press interview, she indicated that she believed there had been an attack.

“I was not in the bathroom when it happened, so I can’t say a rape occurred – and I never will. … In all honesty, I think they’re guilty. … Somebody did something besides underage drinking. That’s my honest-to-God impression.”

Then, on June 14, in an interview with National Public Radio, she said she was “unsure” of how much time had passed when the alleged victim got out of her car and went back into the house to get her purse.

“I can never say a rape did or did not occur. That’s for the courts to decide. I didn’t see it happen, you know? But what I can say is that there was opportunity, and it could have happened.”

Simeon told ABC News that she had never shared this new information with authorities simply because she was never asked.

“She hasn’t spoken to authorities beyond that very first [March 20] interview that police conducted,” Simeon said. “She’s never met with the [district attorney} and has never been called back for a follow-up interview.”

Simeon said she told him she felt her complete story was damaging to both the prosecution and the defense’s cases, and as such she believes she may not be called to the witness stand at all.

Nifong, who is seeking re-election next month, stunned defense attorneys in court last week when he said that he had yet to interview the accuser “about the facts of that night.”

“I’ve had conversations with [the accuser] about how she’s doing,” Nifong said. “I’ve had conversations with her about seeing her kids. I haven’t talked with her about the facts of that night. … We’re not at that stage yet.”

The prosecutor made the comment in response to a request from defense attorneys for any statements the accuser had made about the case.

Nifong said that only police had interviewed the accuser, and that none of his assistants had discussed the case with the woman.

The highly charged case has sparked an intense, bitter rivalry between Nifong and defense attorneys.

In September, he similarly surprised defense attorneys when he said in court that the alleged attack, which the accuser told police took about 30 minutes, had in fact been only “five [minutes] to 10 minutes.”

“When something happens to you that is really awful, it can seem like it takes place longer than it actually takes,” he said.

Fairstein, widely considered a pioneer in the field of sex crimes prosecution, said Roberts’ allegations did not bode well for either her own credibility or for the district attorney’s office.

“In terms of any prosecution, it’s troubling when a witness who has been interviewed many times comes up with a completely new statement,” Fairstein told ABC News.

“At some point in a prosecutorial interview, she would have been asked to give them anything she knew, any scrap of information that she had.”

Fairstein told ABC News she was shocked to learn last week that Nifong had yet to interview the accuser.

“That is just against the progress that’s been made in this very specialized field,” she said.

“It belies anything a prosecutor would do before making charges. There was no need to rush to the charging judgment in this case. … This whole train should have been slowed down and everybody interviewed before charging decisions. To have witnesses appear on a media program revealing information that the prosecutor doesn’t know is stunningly inappropriate,” she said.


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