On Apr. 14, 2007, three days after NC AG Roy Cooper declared three Duke students innocent of charges brought against them by then Durham DA Mike Nifong, Raleigh News & Observer investigative reporter Joe Neff told readers:
Mike Nifong found out about the case that now threatens his career March 23, 2006, when he stopped by the office copier and found a court order demanding DNA samples from 46 Duke lacrosse players. An escort service dancer told police that three men at a team party had dragged her into a bathroom and raped her anally, vaginally and orally for 30 minutes, according to the order.I've used a series of posts to tell readers why Neff’s copier "discovery" story is false. See for example - - Nifong Copier "Discovery" Story: A Fantastic Lie - - and the posts to which it links.
The Durham district attorney's reaction, he later told lawyer Jim Cooney: "Holy crap, what is going on?"…
There are many reasons why we can be sure Neff’s story is false.
One is that before Nifong's alleged copier “discovey,” Neff’s own N&O published two stories on the alleged rapes, the Durham Herald Sun published one story and Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, published two.
On the thread of Nifong Copier "Discovery" Story: A Fantastic Lie sceptical, who posts at Liestoppers Meeting posted part or all of four of those news stories.
I’ve included here some text sceptical snipped. I've also included here the full text of a Mar. 18 Durham Herald Sun story not included in sceptical’s comment.
But what follows is otherwise the result of sceptical’s care and effort for which we can all say, "Thanks."
SATURDAY MARCH 18: N&O and H-S publish first articles about the case:
The N&O's story ran with - - -
Woman reports sexual assault
Police were investigating a report of a rape on Buchanan Boulevard near the Duke University campus Friday. .. A young woman told police she visited 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. Monday and was assaulted by three men, according to police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb... Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator B.W. Himan at 560-4582, ext. 229
The Herald Sun's story ran with - - -
Woman says 3 men raped her
Police are investigating the rape of a young woman by three males at 610 N. Buchanan St. on Tuesday.
The woman told police that she arrived at the house for a party on Monday night and did not leave the house until after midnight Tuesday.
Police are asking any potential witnesses to call Investigator Himan at 560-4582 or CrimeStoppers at 683-1200.
CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for tips leading to an arrest and callers do not have to identify themselves.
Compiled by staff writer BriAnne Dopart, email@example.com; 419-6684.
SUNDAY MARCH 19: Second N&0 article on the case:
Alleged rape was at party, police said
Police offered more details Saturday in the investigation of a young woman's report she was raped by three men at a party Monday near the Duke University campus. The woman told police early Tuesday morning that she had gone to a house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. the night before for a party, said Sgt. Mark Gottlieb. While at the party, she was raped by three men, she reported to police.
Gottlieb described the party as a mix of college students and non-students. In total, there were about 30 people there at the time, he said. "It was an act where alcohol was involved," Gottlieb said. (snip)
MONDAY MARCH 20: The Duke Chronicle publishes its first article on the case:
Off-East house site of reported rape
By: Staff Reports Issue date: 3/20/06 Section: News Last update: 3/20/06 at 6:23 AM EST
Durham Police Department is investigating an alleged rape of a young woman by three males at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. over Spring Break.
Duke recently purchased the rented residence from a local landlord.
The alleged assault was reported early in the morning of Tuesday, March 14.
The young woman arrived at the house for a party at around 11:30 p.m. Monday, March 13 and reportedly left after midnight, Sgt. M.D. Gottlieb of Durham Police District 2 Investigations wrote in an e-mail to a community listserv.
He encouraged individuals in the area at the time to report to DPD if they "saw or heard anything unusual."
Gottlieb could not be reached for comment.
The house at 610 N. Buchanan is one of 12 in the Trinity Park neighborhood that Duke purchased from Trinity Properties, a local real estate firm, in early March.
The University bought, in total, 15 properties near East Campus for approximately $3.7 million.
The purchased homes are mostly student-occupied, and many are the frequent subjects of noise, trash and partying complaints filed by Trinity Park residents.
Duke plans to turn the houses into single-occupancy residences.
TUESDAY,= MARCH 21: The Duke Chronicle publishes its second article on the case:
Suspects in alleged rape unidentified
One week after a young woman was allegedly raped at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the Durham Police Department is still investigating the situation, saying "the suspects have not been clearly identified."
The house, which was recently purchased by University subsidiary Durham Realty, was the site of a party that involved both Duke students and non-students, said Sgt. M.D. Gottlieb of Durham Police District 2 Investigations.
Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the University will not take action until the police department's investigation is finished.
"From what I understand, the situation is under investigation by the Durham Police Department, and we will await that investigation," she said.
Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, added that the University would take appropriate measures, pending the police investigation.
Gottlieb said any man that attended the party March 13 would be a viable suspect but refused to go into further detail.
The residents of the house have been cooperative with DPD in locating any suspects, he added.
The residence was one of 15 properties-three lots and 12 houses-Duke bought from Trinity Properties, a local real estate firm, earlier this month. The University paid approximately $3.7 million in the deal.
The houses, located in the Trinity Park neighborhood near East Campus, have mostly been rented by students in the past, but Duke hopes to turn them into single-occupancy residences in the future.
Many local residents in the Trinity Park area have long complained about noise and litter associated with parties at several of the houses.
*** END OF SECOND CHRONICLE STORY *******
Sceptical ended the comment with - - -
It should be noted that none of the early newspaper reports stated that the 610 N. Buchanan tenants were lacrosse team members or that the accuser was black.
However, John is correct in inferring that Nifong, who regularly read the newspapers, is likely to have seen one of these articles between March 18 and 21.
This argument is in addition to the one that I have made that Nifong was likley involved in the March 22 deal between Kim (Roberts) Pittman and Durham PD officers Gottlieb and Himan for changes in her statement in exchange for staying out of jail for parole violations.