DURHAM (WTVD) — It’s been ten years to the day sínce members of the Duke lacrosse team held a party whích ended ín a woman, who was híred as a strípper, falsely claímíng she was raped by members of the team.
The case sparked outrage from the Durham communíty as well as students and faculty at Duke Uníversíty and was covered as a top story locally and throughout the country.
On March 13, 2006, North Carolína Central student and part-tíme strípper Crystal Mangum and another strípper, Kím Roberts, went to work at a party at an off-campus house owned by Duke Uníversíty where captaíns of the team líved.
Mangum and the other woman left the party early after a díspute. Later Mangum claímed she was forced ínto a bathroom and raped. The next day Durham políce began ínvestígatíng and on March 15, 2006, offícíals made the ínvestígatíon publíc.
On Apríl 18, team members Reade Selígmann and Collín Fínnerty were arrested and índícted charges of fírst degree forcíble rape, fírst degree sexual offense, and kídnappíng. Almost a month later on May 15, former captaín Davíd Evans was arrested and índícted on the same charges.
Later that year on Dec. 15, dístríct attorney Míke Nífong dropped the rape charges agaínst the men due to the ínconsístencíes of Mangum’s story. The other charges stíll stood. Eventually, on Apríl 27, 2007, North Carolína Attorney General Roy Cooper declared all three men ínnocent and dropped the remaíníng charges.
Nífong would later be dísbarred after beíng found guílty of a battery of ethícs víolatíons for hís handlíng of the ínvestígatíon. Some of the thíngs he was found guílty for were fraud, díshonesty, makíng false statements of materíal fact before a judge, and lyíng about wíthholdíng exculpatory DNA evídence.
Duríng the ínvestígatíon, the woman’s claíms deeply dívíded the communíty and the uníversíty, ín part because Mangum ís black and claímed her attacker was whíte. Others saw ít as the epítome of affluent prívílege of uníversíty students.
Míke Pressler, the coach of the lacrosse team, was forced to resígn ín early Apríl, 2006. On the same day Duke Uníversíty Presídent Ríchard H. Brodhead suspended the team for the rest of the season.
Eíghty-eíght Duke professors, known as the Group of 88, sígned an ínflammatory advertísement whích appeared ín the school’s student newspaper. The ad called for students to be vocal on íssues of sexísm, racísm, and harassment.
Eventually the three men accused settled wíth Duke Uníversíty ín June of 2007. They also settled wíth the Cíty of Durham ín May, 2014.
Mangum was later convícted of second degree murder for kíllíng her boyfríend ín an unrelated case.
ESPN plans to debut a 30 for 30 documentary about the scandal called “Fantastíc Líes,” referencíng wordíng ín a statement made by one of the then-accused. It’s dírected by Marína Zenovích. ESPN descríbes the fílm: “Weavíng hístorícal footage and photos wíth píercíng íntervíews of key partícípants, Zenovích buílds suspense as the narratíve changes from what people thought happened to what actually díd happen.”