Expert Admits "Big Error" In Duke Case
The forensic expert hired by the prosecutor in the Duke rape case says he made a "big error" in judgment by not stating in his report that the only DNA he found on the accuser was from several men who were not on the Duke lacrosse team.
Dr. Brian Meehan speaks with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl
in his first interview about the controversial case this Sunday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Meehan acknowledged that he has never omitted potentially exculpatory evidence before. "We haven't done that before," he tells Stahl. "In retrospect, I should have done a better job of conveying that information."
Meehan has stated that he told the prosecutor, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, about the other DNA for the first time in mid-April. Later that same month, Nifong indicted three Duke lacrosse players. Meehan has also said in court proceedings that he and Nifong agreed before the evidence tests were completed that his report should be limited to positive matches between the accuser and the players at the team party where she says she was sexually assaulted last March.
Meehan says writing an incomplete report violates his own firm's standards. "It was an error in judgment on my part. … It certainly was a big error," says Meehan. He says his firm wasn't trying to hide the information and that it released it when it was asked. But his client's behavior irks him, he says.
Nifong took six months to tell the players' defense attorneys about the other DNA, as required by law — and during that time, Nifong filed a court motion that stated he was not aware of any potentially exculpatory evidence.
The fact that Nifong withheld the information and knew it before he indicted their sons has outraged the parents of the accused. "You felt like someone hit you with a baseball bat. … It was almost too much to bear, as we sat there," says Kathy Seligmann, whose son, Reade, is among the three indicted players. "And [Nifong is] sitting 10 feet away from us."
It enraged Mary Ellen Finnerty, mother of Collin Finnerty, another indicted player. "I think [I felt] one of the strongest feelings of rage that I've had … I literally had to turn to my husband, because I was shaking from my head to my toe, and say, 'Hold me down,'" recalls Finnerty. Adds Seligmann, "And we had to hold on to each other because when you sit there and put two and two together and realize that it was calculated … set up to make these boys appear to be guilty of something they didn't do."
When asked what they would say to Nifong if he were in the room, Rae Evans, the mother of indicted player David Evans, says, "I would say with a smile on my face, 'Mr. Nifong, you've picked on the wrong families … and you will pay every day for the rest of your life.'"
Last month, after the results of the tests were ordered released by a judge and the accuser told an investigator she was no longer certain she had been penetrated by a male sex organ, rape charges were dropped by Nifong. The three players still face charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.
Expert Admits "Big Error" In Duke Case, Parents Of Accused Also Speak Out About Case - CBS News
I especially like the bold text statement above from one of the mothers, I hope she keeps her word on this and sues the shit out of the State and Nifong.