April 28, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser Made Rape Accusations 10 Years Ago, But Judge May Bar Evidence
— Ace

Um, yeah. So, like, rape-shield laws are supposed to protect women, to the extent constitutionally permissible, from explorations into their sexual history.

Is a criminal complaint, apparently found to be without foundation, now considered part of someone's "sexual history"?

Just because she accused someone else of rape before doesn't mean she's lying now... or even lying then. Just because charges aren't brought doesn't mean a crime wasn't committed.

But I have difficulty comprehending how this is not very relevant evidence as to her credibility.

An interesting thing about rape-shield laws: They always have a caveat built into them that sexual history can be introduced if required by the Constitution's general thrust that defendants be afforded a fair trial, and be allowed to introduce any evidence that tends to exonerate them.

This issue gets fudged a lot, but I can't see how you can constitutionally convict these men without allowing the jury to consider the implications of this past charge.

Otherwise, we might as well just say that anyone accused of rape has no right whatsoever to put on any sort of defense, or offer an alibi, because, hey, doing so contradicts the word of the female accuser and hence subjects her to psychic pain (or, as Susan Estrich would have it, a "second rape," this one in the courtroom).

Posted by: Ace at 06:45 AM | Comments (27)
Post contains 249 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I think you screwed up the link, Ace...

Posted by: Jeff at April 28, 2006 06:50 AM (yiMNP)

2 Without getting into the specifics of this particular case, I'd like to see a conviction for knowingly putting forth a false rape accusation carry the same penalty that the accused face if convicted of rape.

Posted by: The Warden at April 28, 2006 07:00 AM (rkK3q)

3 OTOH, look at the line of work she's in. Be surprised if she hasn't been sexually assaulted a few times.

Posted by: someone at April 28, 2006 07:07 AM (c2NB9)

4 But I have difficulty comprehending how this is not very relevant evidence as to her credibility.

It is relevant how? You have yet to make a legal argument that it is relevant. How is the fact that she reported she was raped 10 years earlier relevant to the issue of her credibility? She may have not pressed forward with the charges but that is not proof that the earlier charges were false.

Posted by: shawn at April 28, 2006 07:09 AM (wvZPG)

5 This whole trial is starting to horrify me about even being near women. There is basically NO physical evidence and every bit of circumstantial evidence seems to be going against the accuser so now the judge is throwing that out?

I also love that people attack the defense attorneys for 'assassinating the character' of the accuser when they applaud the same behavior in other cases they are more politically comfortable with.

Either the defense deserves attorneys that do anything necessary to win (a key to the adversarial system) or we might as well change that line to say that people are guilty until proven innocent.

Posted by: Chris Ross at April 28, 2006 07:14 AM (4E4bu)

6 No one has all the facts so I don't see how anyone can truly form an intelligent opinion. I'm not even sure of the specifc charges and the law of the state. People say there is no dna evidence, but there is something called rape by foreign object. I have no idea if that particular type of rape, would necessarily leave evidence.

Posted by: shawn at April 28, 2006 07:29 AM (wvZPG)

7 It is relevant in the same sense that a repeat offenders prior cases can be introduced. It goes to intent, and motive. In her previous report of rape were the accused all white also? What was the outcome of that case, was she found to have lied? If so why? What were the circumstances surrounding that previous case? I don't know if she was raped or not, if she was then these kids need some prison time. If she wasn't, and she has done this before, not only does she need help, she needs to be prosecuted so she doesn't do this ten years from now.

Posted by: Mike J at April 28, 2006 07:33 AM (Ffvoi)

8 I believe the accusation ten years ago was that 3 white men raped her 3 years prior. Now she claims 3 white men raped her again. 3 is not a lucky number for the accuser.

Posted by: roc ingersol at April 28, 2006 07:42 AM (m2CN7)

9 Shawn -

It's not that there wasn't DNA evidence - there was (she didn't claim she was raped until they did a rape kit on her when she was passed out at the ER). The DNA didn't match any of the 46 white Lacrosse players. She had sex with someone that day, but it wasn't these guys. They also have pictures showing that her legs were bruised when she arrived at the party.

Posted by: Axolotl at April 28, 2006 07:47 AM (7NBwW)

10 It is relevant in the same sense that a repeat offenders prior cases can be introduced. It goes to intent, and motive.

Uh, no. This isn't a legal argument.

Posted by: shawn at April 28, 2006 07:51 AM (wvZPG)

11 Tawana Brawley redux.

Posted by: kevlarchick at April 28, 2006 07:51 AM (bWRxm)

12 Uh, yes. If she has done this in the past, i.e. selecting a certain sex and race and fabricating a crime in order to punish that gender and race, not only is it a legal argument, a case may be made that she has in the past, and is currently committing a hate crime.

Posted by: Mike J at April 28, 2006 07:59 AM (Ffvoi)

13 Have white penis = guilty

Posted by: at April 28, 2006 08:00 AM (Gi7oA)

14 Folks, The Smoking Gun site has a copy of the Creedmore Police Dept. report on the complainant's 1996 accusations of the "statutory rape" 3 years earlier. If I recall, the three "accusees" were all "BM"s -- also, at the end of the report narration, the officer notes he asked the accused to prepare a time chronology of the events and bring it to him, I reckon to assist with further investigative follow-up.

Since the Creedmore Police Dept. is still looking for anything else on this 1996 event, it's still too early to make a call on what happened next.

Could it be, though, that the officer gave the girl a request for a written timeline on the alleged 3 year old event to see if she could produce something more detailed and credible than the accusation details in the narration? To those out there who practice criminal law (my practice is civil litigation here in NC), is the officer's action typical of one who has high suspicions of the credibility of a stale accusation, and nothing more comes of the report until the accuser makes a simple effort to prepare some extra details to show some interest in pursuing the perpetrators?

Absent the next step being undertaken 10 years ago, one could infer the officer taking her report had a sense then that it wasn't credible. Perhaps the sense was -- "she's mad at these three guys for something, and now she says this about 'em."

Funny, but I recall someone (or two, or is it many?) are thinking the same thing -- 'mad for some reason at a bunch of guys' -- might be a background fact to the current accusations in Durham this spring.

Time will tell, but geez, these things do get complicated, don't they?

SLE

Posted by: Stuart Egerton at April 28, 2006 08:11 AM (nCeBA)

15 Or, she could have chosen not to pursue the matter. Let's say Ace's car gets broken into and junk stolen. He reports it to the cops but decides not to pursue it. Without his cooperation, it is dropped. Ten years later, his car gets broken into again, they arrest someone, and he is called to testify. How is the fact that he claimed to have his car broken into ten years earlier but didn't pursue the charges relevant to whether his car was broken into this time? There is absolutely no evidence that he lied to the cops when he reported the inital crime. There is no pattern that he falsely accuses people of breaking into his cars. It is not relevant.

Posted by: shawn at April 28, 2006 09:27 AM (wvZPG)

16 Axolotl: As I said, I don't have access to all the evidence and neither than you. Both the prosecution and the defense have been guilty of leaking what they purport the evidence to be. I take it all with a serious grain of salt.

Posted by: shawn at April 28, 2006 09:32 AM (wvZPG)

17 Thank you Stuart for bringing the correct information to my attention.

Posted by: roc ingersol at April 28, 2006 10:00 AM (m2CN7)

18 Shawn - the DNA results were publically released. It wasn't a leak.

Posted by: Axolotl at April 28, 2006 10:06 AM (7NBwW)

19 This whole trial is starting to horrify me about even being near women.

If you refrain from paying strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off, I should think your chances of a false accusation of a rape would be somewhat low.

Posted by: OregonMuse at April 28, 2006 10:17 AM (gWvet)

20 No way she is anything but a prostitute and a whore. If she was white there would be no case.

Posted by: docdave at April 28, 2006 10:56 AM (FS69l)

21 An unknown person burglarizes a car and commits theft during the burglary, Ace chooses not to prosecute. Ten years later, an unknown person burglarizes a car and commits theft, again Ace chooses not to prosecute. In both cases using your example a crime was committed, but the suspect was unknown in each case, further, there is no evidence that Ace was the specific target of the crimes committed against him. In this case a crime is alleged, the evidence is hazy, but three males are the suspects. In the 93 case three males were suspects and the evidence is either hazy or non-existent. The similarities, three men attacked this woman on both occasions, what are the odds of that happening, the other similarity, she is the complainant.

Posted by: Mike J at April 28, 2006 10:58 AM (Ffvoi)

22 Glad to oblige, Roc ....

Perish the thought that this case might accidently generate some inaccurate information!!

Oh, wait. That's kinda what's got folks all worked up in the first place -- that someone, somewhere, somehow, has given somebody inaccurate information at some point in time!!!

Stuart E.

Posted by: Stuart Egerton at April 28, 2006 11:08 AM (Gb0Oq)

23 Axolotl: It was a defense atty's statement to the press. That is a leak.

Mike: You changed the facts of my example. I can't dumb it down anymore for you. Ace as an atty should know better. No judge in any jurisdiction would allow it in.

Posted by: shawn at April 28, 2006 11:15 AM (wvZPG)

24 Shawn,
Your doing fine, your points are dumb enough. As a retired criminal investigator, and Detective Sergeant, I believe I speak with a little credibility. Theory, and actual facts are two completely different things. In a criminal investigation and prosecution a persons history, habits, biases, crimes, jobs, associates, and many many other variables are always relevant. I can't dumb it down for you any more than that.

Posted by: Mike at April 28, 2006 11:32 AM (Ffvoi)

25 Shawn No one has all the facts so I don't see how anyone can truly form an intelligent opinion.
and It is relevant in the same sense that a repeat offenders prior cases can be introduced. It goes to intent, and motive.

Uh, no. This isn't a legal argument

April I believe the accusation ten years ago was that 3 white men raped her 3 years prior.

Oregon Muse
If you refrain from paying strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off, I should think your chances of a false accusation of a rape would be somewhat low.

Shawn? The DA thought that all of the facts he promised to disclose would force an opinion of guilt, this is a national story, not because of a black girl who worked as a stripper filed rape allegations, rather it was a DA trying to float a political check thinking he could cater to a black electorate, and isolate the the white vote into a vote of specific conscious. Since the DNA didn't work out, since the credibility of the accuser is in question, and since the only other "witness" for the prosecution is at best "questionable" (btw, "questional credibilty", is something of an oxymoron. "questionable credibility" can be easily translated as "not credible.") and there is no way that she can re-habilitate herself on the stand.

While that isn't "all the facts" that is "all the facts" that the DA promised, and failed to deliver.

April? I think it was 2BM's and one unidentifed male who held her and raped her. (note, at the time she was 19 at the time of the accusation) I would like to know the backgrounds of those accused in the first case, to see if there was a possibility that they might have been targets for extortion.


Oregonmuse? It isn't just paying strange women, or even strange women. I was on the recieving end once, not of rape charges, or anything legal, however I was on the recieving end of accusations made by a third party OF rape. A few years later, I was on the wrong side of an SH accusation (once again not legal or anything major, but it could have been) consisting of third parties making those accusations, and using the previous third party accusation of rape as proof.

ANYTHING! is possible when the "victim" is shielded at the expense of justice.

addendum: No rape, no SH, but I screwed up and deserved to be punished, and I was, but the accusations against me that were made by third parties exist on paper that lives somewhere in this world, and my name is attached to it. I will never be the same, and in truth, the experiences completely changed the way in which I treat women, and it's not for the better. I say that, because it takes a COLD COLD prick to court a woman for months, and basicly make her sign a contract pre-coitus, to ensure a freedom from accusation. Thats why I don't "court" anymore.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at April 28, 2006 08:56 PM (QTv8u)

26 OH! and the only reason to exclude the previous accusation from the court-record is to protect the accuser in cash that her testimony in THIS case, might be an acknowledgement of prior bad acts if the prosecution loses, and decides to turn it's ire onto the accuser.

Which is ridiculous it takes a very selfish DA to destroy the lives of 48 people, based on a false charge, to turn around and charge the accuser of false statements when, if the DA should be able to have ANYTHING easily researched, it should be prior accusations/charges, to vindicate himself by accusing the accuser of the initial charge the DA bungled while accusing 48 innocent peole only to prove that the DA means "business" while he is less a DA, but more of an elected slander machine.

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