Last week featured breaking news from The Spoof: Mike Nifong is planning to continue his crusade against Reade Seligmann. Now that the lacrosse case charges are clearly fraudulent, expect a
The Spoof quoted Nifong: “It is my job as prosecutor to make sure justice is done. This man was parked in a resident space and he should be punished.” The D.A. added that in
Wendy Murphy will take a break from her busy schedule to serve as traffic court judge for the case; Georgia Goslee will be bailiff.
The Spoof, of course, is a spoof. But its editors appear to have gained access to the Wilmington Journal, which published a spoof-like article under the byline of Cash Michaels.
How else to explain this week’s lengthy piece, alleging that the events of the last 10 months are all a hoax? Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty all decided to push ahead with a trial on sexual assault and kidnapping—because they were afraid to spill the beans about the accuser’s allegation of robbery, a misdemeanor in
For his column, Michaels cites “strong sources close to the case.” This qualifier presumably rules out Cousin Jakki. But Michaels’ “strong sources” remain shrouded in mystery. It hardly seems likely that the A.G.’s office is speaking to Michaels, alone, among
In any event, Michaels claims to have “been quietly following up on tips” for several months on the main crime that dark March evening—not rape or sexual assault, but that someone “allegedly took at least $240.00 from [the accuser’s purse] before she left.”
And what did Michaels find? That police, on March 28, were looking for $340 in a search of another player’s room. A reader would never know that police found $40, $60, or $65 in their search (the sloppily done inventory is unclear on this point). I suspect that any of these amounts could be found in the room of 99.9% of the students on the Duke campus.
These discrepancies are easily explained, says Michaels: “The reason that figure [in the affidavit] is $100.00 more, sources say, is because some of the players allegedly pushed an extra hundred dollars under the bathroom door to entice the accuser and the second dancer to come out after they had locked themselves inside out of fear.” (It appears that these “sources” and the “strong sources close to the case” differ from one another.)
Michaels never says why the amount found was $275, $280, or $300 less than the amount contained in the affidavit. Something to check on with “sources” for a follow-up exposé, no doubt, which might also include a lengthy summary of the “case of the missing shoe.”
Citing “a variety of sources” (presumably a different group of people than the “strong sources close to the case” and the “sources” who rationalized the $340 in the police search warrant), Michaels then devoted nearly 450 words to a blow-by-blow account of the evening, laying out how a robbery could have occurred. The Michaels timeline rules out any sexual assault; it’s unclear, therefore, why Michaels’ “variety of sources” haven’t pressed for the immediate dismissal of all sexual assault allegations, since the evening’s main crime was, apparently, a misdemeanor robbery.
Meanwhile, he continues, “sources” (who appear to differ from the “variety of sources” who gave the minute-by-minute account of the non-rape—and who also appear to differ from both the “strong sources close to the case” and the “sources” who rationalized the $340 in the search warrant) tell Michaels that the March 22 interview session between other lacrosse players and the DPD was postponed not because the parents wanted time to obtain lawyers for their sons but “because attorneys for the players and their parents did not want questions asked about the missing money.”
Let’s leave aside, for a moment, the prime reason for postponing the meeting of the 22nd was for the players to obtain attorneys, so it’s not at all clear how “attorneys for the players” could have strategized about the session. His knowledge of the lacrosse parents’ intentions would suggest that Michaels has “sources” buried deep inside the ranks of lacrosse parents, who surreptitiously passed on to him this nugget of information about other parents’ thinking. Perhaps these “sources” were inspired by gratitude for his fair-minded coverage in recent weeks.
Michaels concludes ominously: “Whether the special prosecutors will followup [sic] on the missing money is unknown.” Could this be the subject of Victoria Peterson’s “Rally for Justice, II”?
To summarize: what the article describes as a months-long investigation into a misdemeanor offense—involving contacts with anywhere from one to four separate sets of sources—comes down to . . . police finding $40, $60, or $65 in a college student’s room.
While the special prosecutors’ path might be “unknown,” the new Michaels theory of the robbery/non-rape/non-sexual assault/non-kidnapping seems certain to encounter some pretty serious obstacles.
1.) If the accuser had one element of consistency in her myriad, mutually contradictory, tales, it was that when she talked about robbery, the person who stole her money was Kim Roberts. So for the Michaels story to be true, the accuser must have repeatedly lied to police and medical personnel (and presumably to the N&O) about who robbed her—suggesting that she has a habit for making false and malicious allegations.
2.) The Michaels timeline, which is wholly inconsistent with the myriad, mutually contradictory, timelines the accuser has thus far offered, seems to offer no possible location for any sexual assault to have occurred. So for the Michaels story to be true, the accuser must have repeatedly lied to police and medical personnel about the sexual assault and about the timeline of events—suggesting that she has a habit for making false and malicious allegations.
3.) For the Michaels story to be true, a reinvention of the past needs to occur. In this alternate view of reality, lacrosse players were eager to talk to Sgt. Mark Gottlieb without their lawyers present, but then suddenly realized they couldn’t do so, because they were covering up a $240 robbery.
4) For the Michaels story to be true, a new and interesting timeline must have occurred after the “robbery” of the accuser’s money on March 14. A college student “robbed” the accuser, and then simply left the money sitting around in his room for 14 days . . . because, as we all know, college students don’t like to spend their money. Most college students, it seems, just like to have cash on their desks, where they can sit and look at it.
In one respect, of course, the Michaels piece is best read as a farce. In another respect, however, it is yet the latest in a string of depressing developments in this case, suggesting that a market for the politics of revenge remains robust, at some levels at least, in