Dan Abrams on the Duke lacrosse debacle last night:
[F]irst up on the docket, the Duke University rape investigation where defense sources are telling us that the 1,300 pages of material handed over to them Friday makes them that much more confident that this case is a terrible hoax, their words.
They say police reports show the accuser changed her story more than once. She initially never mentioned to the police officer who picked her up at the Kroger grocery store that she was raped, much less raped by three members of the Duke lacrosse team. And after being taken to a psychiatric hospital in Durham, the accuser reportedly changed her story saying she was raped. From there, she was bought to Duke University Hospital. And once again, the defense says she changed her story, saying she wasn`t raped.
They say this is just one of many inconsistencies in her account. Defense sources are also confirming to us that the medical report indicates that the accuser suffered no vaginal or anal tearing, just what was described as swelling in the area. Remember we reported that to you on Friday.
And there`s more. Defense sources telling us that after the first round of DNA testing came back without a match to any members of Duke men`s lacrosse team, the accuser told police she had sex with three men the weekend before the party and that the semen from any of them could be found in her body. She even gave the police their names, one of them her boyfriend, the other two men who regularly drove her to and from her exotic dancing gigs.
"My Take" -- if all of this is true, add that to everything else we know, defense alibis, no relevant DNA when the authorities said they would find it. Photos from the party, the faulty identification process and the consistency of the young men`s stories, take all that together and I say it`s time to drop the charges.
Unless the D.A. has one or more of the players who were at the party ready to testify against the others, this case is cooked. But the D.A. would be obligated to tell the defense if they had those witnesses. From what I`ve been told, the prosecutors don`t have that witness or witnesses at least so far. What they do have is an inconsistent account from the accuser, whose story apparently does not even jibe with that of the second stripper at the party.
UPDATE: From Greta Van Susteren:
If the state of the prosecution's evidence is as the defense has said — or sources close to the defense — then the DA needs to step up immediately and dismiss the case.
From Thomas Sowell:
If there is a smoking gun in the Duke University rape case, it is not about the stripper who made the charges or the lacrosse players who have been accused. The smoking gun is the decision of District Attorney Michael Nifong to postpone a trial until spring 2007.
That makes no sense from either a legal or a social standpoint, whether the players are guilty or innocent. But it tells us something about District Attorney Nifong.
...What purpose does the delay serve?
...At some point, this case will have to be either prosecuted or dropped. If it is going to be prosecuted, there is no reason not to go full speed ahead right now. But if it is going to be dropped, or if Nifong knows that a judge is likely to throw it out of court, then the time at which that happens is crucial.
It was out of the question for Nifong to drop the case before the recent election, no matter how flimsy the evidence might be or how much of that evidence exonerates the accused instead of showing them to be guilty.
Even after being re-elected, the district attorney cannot let his indictment collapse in public while there is nationwide attention focussed on this case 24-7.
What will be different next year? The public will have either forgotten the case or be tired of hearing about it. The D.A. can even turn the case over to some lawyer on his staff to take into court and see it either get thrown out by the judge or fail to convince a jury.