January 9, 2016

TEN YEARS LATER, ESPN To Air Documentary On Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax:

It has been nearly 10 years since a group of Duke lacrosse players hosted a party that would end up getting them accused of gang-raping a stripper. On the 10th anniversary, ESPN will air a documentary about the case.

The accusation centered around Crystal Mangum, who in a bid to avoid being detained for intoxication, told police that members of the Duke lacrosse team had raped her at a party. Her accusations snowballed, and with his election coming up, District Attorney Mike Nifong pressured her to identify the alleged rapists. One of the men she identified wasn’t even at the party at the time the rape was supposed to have occurred. Mangum’s story also changed several times. (She was never punished for her false accusation, although later she was convicted of a separate murder and is currently in prison.)

But the case went forward anyway. Duke University administrators and professors maligned the lacrosse players as racists and rapists, since Mangum is African-American. The lacrosse season was cancelled, and the team’s coach was forced to resign before the students even had their day in court.

The travesty of the case eventually led to Nifong’s disbarment for “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.” The accused students sued, but as is often the case for falsely accused young men, they received no monetary compensation.

Two writers who helped expose the fraud were history professor K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor, who co-wrote a book on the case. Johnson was interviewed for the ESPN documentary, and told the Washington Examiner that to this day, he is still amazed by the “utter lack of accountability.”

“Ten years out, we as a society have learned nothing about the importance of due process in sexual assault allegations. (Indeed, the situation now is much worse than it was in 2006),” Johnson wrote in an email. “The leadership at Duke that so botched the case remains in place; the faculty who rushed to judgment remain firmly entrenched; and the key figures in the media, especially the New York Times, that so badly failed in covering Duke continue to fail in covering this issue.”

Taylor, too, brought up the lack of accountability for anyone involved in the case (with the exception of Nifong), and explained how the school and the media worked to frame these students even as the case began to fall apart.

It’s as if universities are fomenting — quite deliberately — hostile educational environments for male students.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.