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Duke Rape Scandal

Aired April 10, 2006 - 21:00   ET


WADE SMITH, ATTORNEY FOR DUKE LACROSSE PLAYERS: No DNA from any young man tested was found anywhere on or about the body of this woman.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, a bombshell from attorneys for the Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping an exotic dancer at a party last month. What will this mean for a case that's made national headlines before anyone's even been charged?

We're on the scene for all the latest and reaction to today's big news from the city with Durham, North Carolina Mayor William "Bill" Bell; from the students with the president of the Duke student government and more.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. We begin things with Jason Carroll, our CNN national correspondent, on scene in Durham.

In New York is Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, forensic scientist, and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

In Miami is Stacey Honowitz, the Florida assistant state attorney who specializes in sex crimes and child abuse.

And, here in L.A. is Trent Copeland, the famed criminal defense attorney.

We'll be meeting lots of guests throughout the hour but let's get up to date on things with our CNN National Correspondent Jason Carroll. Jason, what's the latest?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, obviously a very big day here in Durham, North Carolina. Those DNA test results came back, the test results that so many people have been waiting for, especially the players and their attorneys.

And basically what happened is those test results revealed that there was no match between any of the players, there were 46 of them that were tested, and the young woman who made the allegations that she was raped by three of them, so a very big development.

Basically what the defense attorneys are now saying is that this evidence proves what they've been saying all along which is that no rape actually took place -- Larry.

KING: Thanks very much, Jason. We'll be checking back with you.

After the DNA results came out today, Duke University did release a statement. Here's what John F. Burness, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations at Duke had to say.

"As both President Broadhead and I have said repeatedly over the past few weeks, we have to have confidence that the police investigation will ultimately reveal the truth.

While the allegations in this case are extremely serious it's important to remember that no one has been charged and that in our system of law people are presumed innocent until proven guilty."

Dr. Kobilinksy in New York, the forensic scientist, if the DNA says it ain't them and it ain't them, what are we talking about?

DR. LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: That's a good question, Larry. The fact of the matter is, is that DNA was critical evidence to the prosecution case and, quite frankly, now that we know that not only is there no DNA match but there is no DNA at all. The question really is, is there enough evidence to even indict?

KING: Stacey Honowitz, you're a Florida assistant state attorney, is this a blow to the prosecution? Does this make suspect the accuser?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Well, Larry, certainly it's a step back but everyone keeps saying it's such a big bombshell that the DNA didn't match. I can't begin to tell you how many cases we go to trial on when there was no biological evidence.

Is it a setback? It surely is because now it's one of those situations whereas the D.A. is going to have to really analyze all of the information but it does not mean that a rape charge can't be proven beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt that a rape took place. Certainly biological evidence isn't the only key to the case.

KING: Stacey, this is an investigation right? The prosecution is not saying "We believe everything that's been said on either side" right?

HONOWITZ: Well, the prosecution at this point is doing the investigative steps. They've met with the victim. They heard the allegations. They have the evidence of her medical examination. And this was one other notch that they were waiting for the DNA results.

But, like I said, Larry, there are several cases that people go to trial on where a rape can be proven without having any evidence. Quite clearly in this case maybe there wasn't biological evidence left behind. Her credibility does become an issue and now they're going to reevaluate and take a look and see where they're going to go from here.

KING: Trent Copeland, what do we know about the victim and what happened to her? What kind of examination? What do we know?

TRENT COPELAND, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, what we do know, Larry, is that apparently there was a rape kit performed. Remember, we learned a lot about these rape kits in the Kobe Bryant rape scandal.

You know she went to the hospital. She apparently was examined by a nurse. That nurse reached the conclusion that some of the bruises, some of the lacerations, some of the evidence that was on her resembled evidence that was consistent with there being a rape.

But here's the problem. The problem is that although the prosecution seems to be suggesting, the prosecuting attorney in this instance, seems to be suggesting that he's going to keep an open mind.

The problem is, Larry, he's gone on and conducted over 50 interviews where he has said that he absolutely believes that a crime has been committed, that he absolutely believes that it was committed at that house, and now he can't back peddle away from that when there's no DNA.

And I know Stacey suggests that there's a problem with the case but clearly it's not a dispositive problem. It doesn't throw the case out. The problem is there are other real major significant damages to this girl's story, so I think we've got some issues here.

KING: Is it possible, Dr. Kobilinsky, that she was harmed but not by any of the lacrosse players?

KOBILINSKY: Well, she may have been harmed but the DNA doesn't seem to indicate that. There is apparently, according to the sexual assault nurse, that there was trauma to the genitalia but, you know, we have to step back and look at the evidence and say when? When did it happen? Did it happen that March 14th or did it happen prior to that point? When is a very critical question.

KING: Stacey, what do you do when you're the prosecutor with this?

HONOWITZ: Well, I've been in a situation several times when you are waiting on test results. What happens now is you have to see what other evidence you have. There is a difference between making an arrest based on probable cause and being able to prove it in a court of law beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.

So, you take a step back. You look at all the other evidence that you have. I would definitely call her back in the office again to let her know that none of the evidence matched, that there's no DNA evidence, and quite frankly, Larry, I would make a determination.

I'd call in my other colleagues to go over what evidence we did have to see if we can indict, make an arrest, and then go forward on this case. So, it's a step-by-step, it's a very critical analysis at this point.

KING: Joining us now in Raleigh, North Carolina is Seyward Darby, the editor of the Duke University newspaper "The Chronicle." What's your feeling at this point with this information today?

SEYWARD DARBY, EDITOR, THE DUKE UNIVERSITY CHRONICLE: Well, thank you for having me first of all. And, I mean this is by far the biggest development that's come up in the story, this entire story that's been going on for several weeks now.

And, as soon as we found out, we went into overdrive, sending reporters out to talk to students, to talk to administrators, to talk to neighbors who live near 610 North Buchanan where this, you know, alleged rape supposedly occurred.

And, students generally, many students are saying they're not surprised that based on the assertions that the lacrosse players had made and the captain's statement they didn't think that the DNA was going to come back as a positive match.

Other people are saying they are surprised based on how assertive the D.A. has been up until now. And other people are saying that there are still other issues that need to be examined here, for instance the racial epithets that were hurled at people on the street allegedly that night, things that the university has said that they will be investigating.

KING: What do you make of that e-mail sent by one of the lacrosse players shortly after the alleged assault saying that "Tomorrow night after The Tonight Show, I've decided to have some strippers over. I plan on killing the bitches." What do you make of that?

DARBY: Well, everybody agrees that the language in that e-mail is vulgar, horrible. Nobody is disputing that. What people are disputing is what exactly the e-mail means because some people say, the defense lawyers included say, that it shows that no assault took place. Why would anyone go and e-mail something like that right after a gang rape had taken place?

Other people are saying that the aggressiveness of the language and the brutality of the language indicates that maybe someone on the team might have been capable of a gang rape.

Other people are saying it's just a really sick joke and I think that's something that people haven't really latched onto but maybe this was just a really unfortunate vulgar joke that came out in an e- mail.

KING: We got to take a break. Do you expect charges to come down Trent?

COPELAND: I don't expect charges to come down, Larry. I think there will be a full, you know, fishing expedition that I think will follow this but I don't expect charges ultimately.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. We'll also talk with the president of the Duke University student body. Don't go away.


SMITH: No DNA from any young man tested was found anywhere on or about the body of this woman. The prosecutor in this county asked for these tests. It was an extraordinary procedure. And he asked for these tests saying that he believed they would assist in clearing the innocent.

We hope now with this long-awaited test and these results that Mr. Nifong will announce that he is not going to pursue this case further. There was no sexual assault in this case.


KING: We're back. Jason Carroll will be back with us soon. Seyward Darby, Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, Stacey Honowitz, and Trent Copeland, also we'll be checking in with Jesse Longoria, I just spoke to him but I don't know where he is, the president of the Duke University student government.

Someone was saying, Stacey, that there's an unusual grand jury law in North Carolina where the prosecutor doesn't appear before -- do you know what that's about?

HONOWITZ: I'm really not aware of the law in North Carolina with regard to the grand jury but it's going to be very interesting to see what happens in this case with regard to whether or not he -- Trent mentioned before he doesn't know if charges are going to come down.

But I'll tell you something, Larry. There's other issues that people are forgetting about. There is a neighbor who heard screaming next door. There is, of course, the phone call that was made a couple minutes before, so these are all things that the prosecutor is going to do now in making a decision as to whether or not to go forward.

The DNA, I tried cases, there were 45 pieces of evidence. There was allegations on both sides of sexual contact. Not one piece of DNA and the jury convicted. So, you know, I think people have to realize that this is one piece of evidence and is not going to be dispositive of this case.

KING: Jesse Longoria is president of Duke University's student government. He joins us from Durham. What's been the reaction of the student body, Jesse?

JESSE LONGORIA, PRESIDENT, DUKE UNIVERSITY STUDENT GOVERNMENT: Well, I would agree with what Seyward had to say that the campus has been very conflicted lately. I think there's probably two overriding themes which everybody will agree with.

And that's, one, that sexual assault in any form or fashion is (INAUDIBLE) and has no place in society. And, second, that we all just want the truth to come out and give the officials the appropriate room to find out the truth.

KING: Do you think the media coverage has been fair? LONGORIA: It's definitely created a circus atmosphere. I mean it's not every day you walk out of your dorm room and you have about seven satellite trucks. But, again, they're trying to cover the story as accurately as possible I hope.

KING: What do you think the impact is on the reputation of one of the great schools in the world Duke?

LONGORIA: I think that might be a little premature. I think how we act at this difficult time will really define that reputation. But I really think in the coming weeks you'll see what that effect will be.

KING: Are you concerned, forget sexual assault, let's say it didn't occur, are you concerned of strippers going to teen parties?

LONGORIA: Obviously there are some moral issues that have been raised and can't be refuted obviously and shouldn't be and we as a community have to step back and try to identify how we can really understand where we go from here when these events do happen.

KING: Do you know any players on the team?

LONGORIA: I'm good friends with a few of the players and all manner of action has been positive. As for the larger lacrosse team, I'm not that close to them other than watching a few games.

KING: The ones that you are friendly with what do they tell you?

LONGORIA: Basically they're just stepping back and still just trying to let the facts come out. I really -- they don't really want to talk much about the case because obviously they're friends and they want to put that to the side until we learn more about the truth.

KING: Duke has come away in this sport. What's the reaction of the sport on the campus is it popular?

LONGORIA: It's becoming more popular as it grows in its popularity across the nation. Attendance for some of the larger games are fairly high in the 4,000 or 5,000 range and students have embraced the team before and as they've become I think pre-season they were number one so it's a pretty largely populated sport.

KING: Did you agree with the university's decision to cancel the season?

LONGORIA: I think that it's important, as President Broadhead said that now is not the time to be playing games. So, yes, I think it's important that we step back and give the officials the appropriate room to find the truth because, like I said, that's what everybody wants to see.

KING: How about the coach's resignation?

LONGORIA: I'm not close enough to the situation to really understand why or what precipitated the coach's resignation but, again, if that allows us to find the truth that's what everybody wants.

KING: Thanks, Jesse, Jesse Longoria the president of Duke University's student government.

What do you think it does to their reputation Trent?

COPELAND: Well I think, you know, the university obviously will be impacted. I mean, you know, strangely enough, Larry, it's this week that Duke University is expecting to receive its applications and acceptances from those students who applied to the school. Now, I expect there will probably be at a very minimum a bit of a decline from those students who are feeling a little uncomfortable.

Look as an African American I'm very sensitive to the issue of whether or not there's racial intolerance or racial insensitivity on a school campus and, if I was a young kid and I was looking at a college, Larry, I'd have to take a second shot at whether or not Duke University is the kind of place that I want to go.

Look, having said that I think the school has probably done everything they could in handling this situation about as well as they could have but I think young kids to some extent might be impacted by this.

KING: Dr. Kobilinsky, do you expect a successful resolution one way or the other of this?

KOBILINSKY: Well, like I said earlier, Larry, I am doubtful as to whether they even have enough information to indict. There are two very serious allegations made by the 27-year-old, namely that she was assaults, strangled basically, and raped.

The failure to find DNA really gives us some -- a moment to pause. Obviously if a condom were used that might explain it but then we would have probably some indication of a condom use. And, as far as the assault is concerned, if she were strangled there would be bruising.

Now, even the bruising which apparently she had is being called into question as a result of some photographs that were taken at the party. There is apparently some indication from the defense attorneys that there were photographs taken from at least two cameras that indicated the presence of cuts, lacerations and bruises on this individual prior to the 911 call that came into the police. So, there's a lot of questions here about when this stuff was -- when the bruising was inflicted.

KING: We'll take a break and come back. We'll have some words with the mayor of Durham. William "Bill" Bell will join us right after this.


MICHAEL NIFONG, DURHAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Nobody is going to get a proper record based on things that are leaked by either side prior to trial. The place to get a proper record in any criminal proceeding is in the trial.

And, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any of the evidence at this point and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any of the things that have been said by the defense counsel. I'm trying to prepare a case so that we can be in a position to do what we need to do under my statutory authority.




CARROLL (voice-over): The fallout from allegations three Duke University lacrosse players raped a young woman has reverberated beyond the campus right to city hall where Durham City Council was briefed on the police investigation.

PATRICK BAKER, DURHAM CITY MANAGER: The Durham Police Department has responded quickly and adequately under the circumstances.

CARROLL: The local NAACP is also weighing in on the case. The three accused players are white. Their alleged victim, who is black, says they taunted her with racial slurs. The allegation has tested racial tensions in a city already strained.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

Joining us now from Durham is Mayor William "Bill" Bell. He's the mayor of Durham and the former Durham County commissioner. Mayor Bell, what's your reaction to all this?

MAYOR WILLIAM "BILL" BELL, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA: Well obviously, Larry, we wish you wouldn't be here, the national media, wouldn't be here on this case like this. But the fact is that you are here and our concern in the city is Durham be portrayed fairly and we think there's been sort of unbalanced reporting about the city of Durham itself and just the comment that I heard earlier about racial tensions being strained in the city of Durham that is not the case.

It wasn't the case before this and obviously people have some concerns since these allegations have come out but Durham is not a city with strained racial tensions.

KING: Are you confident, mayor, of the prosecution handling this fairly?

BELL: I'm not an attorney. I'm an engineer and the mayor of the city. From what I've seen I think it has been handled fairly thorough. What we've asked is that we understand these allegations. There's a process. We asked our police to be very thorough. I'm sure they're doing that. And now we'll have to wait and see what the D.A. has to say about this.

KING: What's the relationship between the city and the school?

BELL: Well, in North Carolina the relationship between cities and schools is more a relationship that the county has not the city. The city doesn't fund the school system. The county does that as does the state. But we have a good relationship with the school system here in the city of Durham.

In fact, we're about to engage on a project jointly between the Durham public school system, the Durham Board of County Commissioners, and the City of Durham, where we're going to go into one of our low wealth communities and take a school that has been abandoned and turn it into a recreation center, a vocational high school and we hope that Duke University is going to put a health center in there.

KING: Do you have a good relationship with Duke?

BELL: I would say so. I've had the opportunity, as you indicated, I've been a county commissioner and I'm not the mayor and since '72 I've been on the board of county commissioners. I've been mayor since 2001.

And, I've had the opportunity to work with at least four presidents starting with the late President Terry Sanford, Keith Brody (ph), Nan Keohane (ph), and now Dick Broadhead, and I think the relationships have been very good. The relationships have been improving with each administration.

KING: Once this case is resolved is there going to be a lot of damage to repair in that city?

BELL: Well, it depends on how it's resolved. I mean obviously there's been some issues that have come out that Duke University under the leadership of President Broadhead has indicated he's going to address that the university is going to address.

We're going to be a part of that. The chancellor of NCCU, James Ammons has been a part of the discussions that we've had. In fact, we're having a panel discussion tomorrow over at the campus of NCCU and we'll have a follow up meeting on the 14th involving Duke and members of the African American community.

So, there's no question in my mind that Durham is going to bounce back from this even stronger. You know sometimes you have to have chaos to bring order but obviously we wish we hadn't had this type of chaos but I'm convince that we're going to be a better city after this.

KING: Thank you, Mayor William "Bill" Bell joining us from Durham.

You were telling -- you were telling me, Trent, about fingernails.

COPELAND: Yes, you know, look you were talking a moment ago, Larry, to Dr. Kobilinsky about the DNA evidence. I just want to quickly add that, you know, it's not just that DNA was not found on the accuser's body or that the lacrosse players' DNA wasn't found on her, whether or not a condom may or may not have been used.

But she's also indicated that she fought her assailants that these three attackers that she fought them off and she fought them off vigorously, so much so that her fingernails broke off, those four broken fingernails broke off.

And so the fact that there is no DNA evidence, skin scrapings, or blood under those fingernails that were found and recovered is also significant blows. So it's not just this business about oh there's DNA found inside of them.

KING: What does that say to you Dr. Kobilinsky?

KOBILINSKY: Well, I totally concur with what Trent just said and furthermore as I understand it the police did examine the lacrosse players and determined whether or not there were scratches on their arms or bodies and they found none, at least that's what I've been hearing.

KING: What do you make of that Stacey?

HONOWITZ: Well, if you listen to everything that's been said tonight between the no DNA found under the fingernails, anywhere on her body, the alleged photographs with the bruises on her, certainly you would say that the prosecution is behind the 8-ball the way it looks right now that it's going to be a tough road uphill to try to get an indictment in this case.

I think that everyone just has to be mindful that many cases, like I've said before, have gone to trial where there's a lack of physical evidence. We go to trial on murders where there's no body found. You go to trial on burglaries where there's no fingerprints found on the windowsill.

So, although it is very difficult and it sounds pretty bad right now for the prosecution you can understand that the defense will be presenting all of these things to the prosecutor. But we don't know about all the other evidence that the prosecutor might have, so we're going to have to sit back and wait and see.

There is still a shot that if she is credible and the medical injuries match up and there are injuries upon her body that weren't there before she walked in there that -- they have probable cause to make an arrest.

KING: Right. Seyward Darby, do you expect a fair resolution of this?

DARBY: Well I think everybody is hoping for a fair resolution. Right now students on campus are generally I mean just speculating because at this point the case is still open. As everybody on the show has been saying the D.A. could progress with this and has indicated that he has evidence to do so.

So at this point everybody is now speculating, well is this going to continue? Is it going to suddenly resolve tomorrow? And what are the broader issues that have to be addressed in the wake of even a quick resolution?

And so, in essence I don't know if there will be a quick resolution and I think that students are anticipating this might be something that will influence campus discourse for quite some time.

KING: Thank you. Thanks Seyward Darby and thanks Dr. Kobilinsky. Jason Carroll will return. Stacey Honowitz and Trent Copeland will remain. And we'll be joined by Mary Fulginiti and Mark Geragos, all that ahead. Don't go away.


JOE CHESHIRE, ATTORNEY FOR DUKE LACROSSE PLAYERS: It is a false accusation that has been made for some reason against these boys and I think that it has been used to hurt their lives forever and to tear this community apart.



KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. Let's meet the panel for this half hour. In Durham, North Carolina, our CNN national correspondent, Jason Carroll. We'll get an update from him in a moment. I just said that.

Still with us in Miami, Florida, is Stacey Honowitz, the Florida assistant state attorney, specializing in sex crimes and child abuse. Here in Los Angeles, Trent Copeland, the criminal defense attorney. Good to welcome back Mary Fulginiti, the former federal prosecutor and also in L.A. our old friend, Mark Geragos, defense attorney of some note, past clients have included Scott Peterson, Wynona Rider and Michael Jackson. Jason, what's the update?

CARROLL: When I think of the story I remember what one of the defense attorneys told me last week. He said he couldn't wait for this day. This was the day that those DNA test results came back which showed, according to the defense attorneys, no match between any of the lacrosse players and the young woman who alleges that three of the lacrosse players raped her at a team party.

Should also mentioned the district attorney told me last week even if it came back without a match, it did not mean a sexual assault did not take place. Earlier today upstairs, he made every indication that he planned to pursue this case even though you have the defense attorney saying it would be better for the players and community at large so they can begin healing if the DA would simply drop the case but no indication he is doing that.

KING: One other thing. What are the people saying? What do the everyday people say, the students, what are they saying?

CARROLL: We've been talking to them the past two weeks. I heard the mayor say he thought this was an issue that was not really having that much of impact on the community in the way he heard in the report. I have to disagree with that. We have spoken to students and people in the community and something they feel deeply about.

What it has done is, it has magnified the underlying distrust that has existed for many years in this community, distrust between those who attend Duke university, many who are white and many of those who live in the surrounding community who are black, not to say there are times they don't get along, obviously they do. There has been a lot of underlying distrust between the two groups. This case, in some way, seems to have magnified that.

KING: Thank you, Jason, on the scene, doing superb person work.

Mary Fulginiti and Mark Geragos are new to the panel because Trent and Stacey remain. What do you make of this, Mary?

MARY FULGINITI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I agree with Stacey with regard to the hoopla surrounding the DNA. DNA doesn't necessarily finger a defendant or exonerate a defendant from criminal activity. A prosecutor would like to have-.

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Can you imagine if the DNA had come back --

FULGINITI: He's interrupting already!

GERAGOS: Give it up, game over, this case is toast, the only reason the D.A. is still trying to hold on to this thing he has 50 hours worth of interviews he's done nationally he's been out there condemning these guys, investing in something and stirring it up.

It's a joke. He should walk away from this before it becomes a bigger spectacle.

FULGINITI: Such a true believer.

GERAGOS: What more do you need. They have pictures and a timeline, they have DNA that says it's not there. The defense lawyers tell you there's not any DNA. They know the fact the women lied through their teeth. Why is this an issue? This is a reject.

FULGINITI: Now let me tell you what they do have. Let me finish. They hired two strippers here obviously and used and alias doing it. Listen.

We do have that they lied to these women, telling them they were part of different teams as opposed to the lacrosse team. The prosecutor will argue that shows some kind of deceit and hiding. We also have a forensic nurse used to and obviously a specialist in examining rape victims who said there are symptoms, signs and injuries consistent with rape and sexual assault allegations.

GERAGOS: A stripper having sex with somebody else?

FULGINITI: Its could have been somebody else, Mark. Listen.

KING: One at a time, hold it! FULGINITI: We have forcible penetration, which is being alleged and everybody is assuming it's a body part. There's also allegations that a broom was brandished.

GERAGOS: Tell me one thing. If there is rough sex or if there is penetration, or if there is scraping, where is the DNA? You don't need the DNA?


FULGINITI: It's called forcible penetration, it doesn't need to be bodily. We don't know that.


GERAGOS: Sorry, we didn't have DNA.

KING: Stacey, does Mark have a point?

No, absolutely not. Mark never has a point.

HONOWITZ: What I'm saying, Mark, Mark. Let me talk for a second. You understand, you've tried rape cases before, there's cases all the time. What if the person didn't ejaculate, that's the first thing, they didn't ejaculate, number one. Number two, what if there's not enough scrapings. And three where is the allegations of rough sex? These boys said there was no sex at all. How do you explain the tears in the genitalia. Either they had sex with her consensually or they didn't. They said they had no sex at all.

GERAGOS: Guess what, you can focus all you want on the statements, the problem is you have the statements of the woman and the woman said they had the sex. It doesn't matter. This guy could say he had sex with a buffalo. This woman said she had sex, she said they ejaculated and they didn't get DNA. Sperm isn't the only thing that produces DNA.

KING: Trent, if you listen to Mark, looks like a duck, walks like a duck, dismiss it tomorrow morning.

COPELAND: It's one of those cases, remember there is more than just what's going on in this case, this prosecutor is facing an election in just a few short weeks. I'm not certain whether or not he's trading on the hostilities in the community and doesn't want to lose this case. He's put his neck on the line in this case and done something pretty extraordinary, Mark and Mary know this.

This is a prosecutor who has gone out and he's vouched for this victim. You don't do that as a prosecutor. We all want to believe in the best of people and believe this girl would have told the truth and not made up these kinds of accusations. This is a case where there isn't anything there. If Stacey or Mary were arguing on the other side and these DNA results came back, you would have said you don't find DNA without any sexual contact.

The fact is we don't have any. Not just from one of the persons, but from any but from all three.

KING: We'll take a break and we'll have more. The first half was so calm. Don't go away.


MICHAEL NIFONG: I have furnished the results as I am required to do by statute to the attorneys for all the people who were asked to submit to the testing order, it would not be appropriate for me to go into those results. If any of them are interested in doing so, they have a right to do so. You just need to contact the individual attorneys or individual players.


KING: We're going to go back to Durham now, spend a few moments with John Dagenhart, president of the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association. Trinity Park is the area in which this alleged rape occurred. He has lived in Durham since 1978.

Describe the neighborhood, John.

JOHN DAGENHART, PRESIDENT, TRINITY PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, DURHAM, NC: Good evening, Larry. The neighborhood is roughly a 40- block area comprising roughly 1,200 addresses and around 700 single family homes.

KING: Have you had problems with students in that neighborhood?

DAGENHART: Yes, Larry, we have. We have had problems for years. This is one episode amongst many years of problems that we have had with a small number of students causing a large problem. And it's -- although it's a small number of students, not representative of the university as a whole, it's caused a lot of problems in the neighborhood.

KING: Is there a close relationship between Duke University and Trinity Park?

DAGENHART: There is a close proximity physically. The neighborhood is next door; they're to the west and we're to the east. And there are quite a few employees of Duke University, both professors and other employees that work at the university, amongst other neighbors of -- and it's a very diverse neighborhood.

KING: What about the response generally of the local police to student partying?

DAGENHART: The local police have been very helpful to us in the past. We've worked with them diligently to try to get a handle on things. We thought we were turning the corner with both the Durham Police Department and the university security. We're starting to patrol outside the neighborhood, and we thought we were turning the corner on some of these issues, and with the university purchasing the property and the judicial department working on some of the problems just recently. We really thought we had turned the corner, and this unfortunate situation happened.

KING: Now, you know -- you think, rather, that the vast majority of Duke students are good kids, right?

DAGENHART: Absolutely, Larry. They work hard. Many of them go out into the community and help in community events. 99.9 percent of them are upstanding citizens, and we're proud to have them as neighbors. It's just a small segment of the community that has caused a large part of the problem.

KING: Thanks, John. John Dagenhart, president of the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association. We'd all agree that Duke University is one of the great schools in the world, right?


KING: What do you think this will do to them? If anything?

FULGINITI: I don't think it helps, obviously, when there's scandal and allegations surrounding the student body. Clearly, students as well as their parents are going to, you know, look closely at this, you know, student body and find out what's happening.

GERAGOS: The opposite -- I think the idea that they suspended this lacrosse program, that the coach was forced to resign and these three students were presumed guilty, I think it's outrageous. I don't know why anybody would want to go to a school where the president took that kind of outrageous action, as opposed to getting to the bottle to of this. What happens -- you know, what if it turns out that this is a false allegation? What do you do with the coach? What do you do with the program? What do you do with the three students? Who do you go at that point to say, hey, I'm sorry, we just destroyed all your lives?

KING: Stacey, has the prosecutor been too public?

HONOWITZ: Well, I think most people would say that it was kind of a mistake for him to go out right off the bat and say he believed this victim. That was his personal feeling; that's his own opinion. But normally under most circumstances, the DA will come out and say it's pending investigation, I don't want to speak about it. We're going to get to the bottom of it, we're going to have the police go out.

So yes, it does present a problem, certainly if they are not going to file charges, and this DA came out and said that he has full faith in this victim.

GERAGOS: Yes, and that's what the problem is when you come out and you make all these statements. You make all these statements, and then DNA comes back negative. And if there's pictures that show a timeline, then the big problem you've got is, how do you not file a case after you've gone out publicly and vouched and done 50 hours worth of TV saying that it's there?

KING: Do you agree, Mary? Oh, Trent, I'm sorry, then Mary. COPELAND: Well, look, that's the big concern. I mean, I hope that this prosecutor will take one big step back. He won't concern himself with his own political fortunes and he's going to make the decision that, look, you know what, we just don't have enough evidence in this case.

You remember in the Kobe Bryant case, again, Larry, you know, the prosecutor came out, and we criticized him for moving too quickly. And Pamela Mackey, the defense lawyer, said no prosecutor should ever file a case that they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt. And there's clearly reasonable doubt in this case, even from the -- even from the (inaudible).

FULGINITI: First of all, we don't even know all the evidence. For any of us to say there is or isn't I think is entirely presumptuous, but on the other point, this prosecutor has taken a step back. Regardless of whether he has really evaluated his actions or not, he has taken a step back, he hasn't been in the limelight.

And he has also got an incredible, you know, track record. He's known mostly as being a very ethical lawyer who puts justice first in front of getting a conviction or winning. He's tried over 300 cases. Although we might all -- we might all be critical of him speaking out so early on, I think his track record will speak for itself.

KING: We'll get a comment from Stacey. We'll take a break first, and part of that break will be checking in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360," at the top of the hour, back after a week off. Welcome back.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Larry. It's good to be back. In about 14 minutes, the top of the hour on "360," we're going to look at the battle on the border, which continues. Today, it took to the streets. Hundreds of thousands of protesters in cities all across America, marching, making their voices heard to a Congress that can't seem to reach a deal on immigration reform. We'll take you to all the protests and take your calls on the issue that is dividing the nation.

And the tragic story out of Detroit, where a 5-year-old boy called 911 when his mother collapsed, but the dispatcher thought it was a hoax. Little Robert Turner's mother died. We have new developments there. We're bringing them to you. All that and more, Larry.

KING: Oh, boy. That's at the top of the hour with Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360." Back with more after this.


BILL THOMAS, ATTORNEY FOR DUKE LACROSSE PLAYERS: These photographs corroborate the statement of all 46 of these young men. It's very clear that the victim in this case came to the house with the injuries on her. It's also very clear that less than 30 minutes later, she was outside the door where the door was locked. So we are not releasing the photographs at this time, but we have stated, and I will state now that these photographs completely corroborate the statement from all 46 of these young men.



KING: Stacey Honowitz, if -- and this is an if -- if this turns out to be a false accusation, is that a crime on the part of the person who made the accusation?

HONOWITZ: Yes, I mean, certainly, if the prosecutor can prove it's a false allegation, that the -- you know, that it never happened or it was a setup or something like that, sometimes there are crimes called false prosecution, malicious prosecution. So in this case, though, a case hasn't been filed yet, they haven't been indicted for anything, they haven't been arrested. So it's going to tough.

KING: Would you want to prosecute this case, Stacey?

HONOWITZ: I've been up against a lot tougher. I don't know, I didn't meet with the victim. We don't know all the facts of the case. But I can tell you that I've had cases where there is a lack of evidence, of physical evidence.

Certainly if the defense attorney came to me and presented so far what we've had, I'd take a second look at it and say the likelihood of conviction might not be there. But have I been up in cases where it's just the word of the victim, it's the credibility of the victim? Certainly I've gone to trial. And Mark, you don't know all the facts of this case, I know what you're going to say.

GERAGOS: Stacey, I don't know all the facts of the case.

HONOWITZ: You don't.

GERAGOS: Have you ever had a situation where strippers or escorts go to a location and either try to take money or when they get there, there's a fight and they leave? How many times have you had a case like that? Because I've had at least 20.

And inevitably what happens is, when there's a dispute, the young ladies who are there, whether they're an escort or a stripper, make wild accusations.

And generally what happens is it's a washout and the wild act is -- nobody's buying the wild accusations. And it sounds like that's exactly what happened here. They came there. For whatever reasons, there was a dispute and they left. But there hasn't been anything to substantiate the idea there was a sexual assault.

HONOWITZ: Mark, I'm telling you that I said we do not know all the facts of this case.

GERAGOS: That's absolutely right.

HONOWITZ: But I want to tell you something. Everybody's throwing out there, just like... GERAGOS: ... That hasn't stopped people from convicting these guys before they've heard any evidence.

HONOWITZ: Mark, I'm not convicting anybody. But let me tell you something, I've had cases where women have been prostitutes and have been raped and everybody said you can never rape a prostitute.

GERAGOS: And you and I both know you can rape a prostitute. You can rape a prostitute.

HONOWITZ: You're making the accusation that she's a stripper and because she's a stripper and she has a background like that.

GERAGOS: No. When a stripper comes to the house and the stripper ends up leaving the house and saying she was raped and there's no DNA, and they've got pictures that corroborate the 46 people's story, I would say to you that those people deserve a presumption of innocence.

KING: Would you want to prosecute them, Mary?

FULGINITI: You know, we don't know all the facts. But I just want to reinforce what Stacey has said. The mere fact that there's no DNA doesn't mean no crime occurred here. You can grab the door handle -- listen to me, you can grab the door handle of a door and there can be a break-in entry into that, and there can show no fingerprints. That doesn't mean that someone didn't grab that door handle and open the door to break in, it just means that obviously they weren't able to obtain the prints.

KING: Do you agree?

COPELAND: Well I agree, but that's just a misplaced analogy. The problem is, this is a case about sexual assault. And the fact is, you can't be assaulted by three different guys and have absolutely no DNA, no hair, no fibers, no microscopic indication of there being physical presence on those guys on that victim.

HONOWITZ: That's not true, Trent.


FULGINITI: That is absolutely untrue.


FULGINITI: Every sexual case does not have DNA period. If we had to wait until we had it, as Stacey has said, there would be many cases that would go...

KING: ... We've got to take a break. What's the problem?

GERAGOS: The biggest problem with this case is you've got an accusation that's easily made, which it has been here. You've got these guys identified, you've got their lives turned upside down. And everybody's willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and nobody's willing to give these kids the benefit of the doubt.

KING: You mean the girls?

GERAGOS: They're willing to give the girls and say, "It could have been, it could have been, it might have been, it should have been." What about the guys?

HONOWITZ: That's because you're acquitting them here before anything even happens.


KING: Shouldn't they be presumed innocent?

FULGINITI: Absolutely right.

COPELAND: They are presumed innocent under our constitution, this is evidence 101. Whether we like it or not, we must follow the evidence wherever it leads.

KING: Let me get a break, we'll be back with some more moments. I'll be right back. Don't go away.


CARROLL (voice-over): The university's critics have been speaking out, saying given the team's past, school administrators have not been tough enough on the team or the coaches in the wake of the rape allegation. In a recent interview, Duke's president asked for patience as the facts unfold.

RICHARD BRODHEAD, DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: All the ingredients of humanity are present on campus. A university can't hope to be a place that never has unpleasant or stressful or deeply troubling episodes. All it can hope is that if and when such things happen, which God forbid, that they deal with in a way that gives everybody some further element of education.



KING: Mary Fulginiti, what does the prosecutor do now?

FULGINITI: Well the prosecutor evaluates all of the evidence and they try to determine whether or not they have sufficient cause, not just to charge this case, but to bring it and get a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.

KING: Does it go to a grand jury or just indicts if he feels there is cause?

FULGINITI: It will go to a grand jury, is what they'll do, most likely. Or they could -- you know, they don't have to. I don't know what the rules are necessarily in North Carolina. But typically in some states, they will take it before a grand jury and let them make a probable cause determination.

KING: Would you like to be their defense attorney, Trent.

COPELAND: You know, look, Larry, every defense lawyer is looking for a case where he can -- you know, it's right in his will house, he can hit the home run. This is one of those cases. I mean, I just don't think this case ought to go to trial at all. I think the case ought to really go away and let this community begins its healing process.

FULGINITI: I think it's way too premature to make that assessment given what we know and don't know. You need to -- I mean, there is so much we don't know and we also haven't brought up the fact, really, about the contents of this damning e-mail that came out, as well as the fact that this lacrosse team has got a history of some very bad disorderly and drunken behavior.


FULGINITI: Disorderly and very disruptive behavior. In fact, according to one news report over, you know, a third of the team or much of the team and I'm not saying this team, has been arrested and convicted for misdemeanors, et cetera.

KING: What do you say, Stacey?

HONOWITZ: I said, listen, Mark, talk to the neighbors. They'll tell you what's going on in that house. They don't know if a sexual assault took place. But certainly they can tell you the reputation of these guys. Mark, you want to make her out to be an exotic dancer who's lying and has a motive. So let's talk about the boys in the house, it's fair game, that's all.

GERAGOS: OK, let's talk about -- it is a college, and these guys are on a sports team. And you mean they might be drinking and they might be staying up late.

HONOWITZ: That's not an excuse, Mark.

GERAGOS: And the neighbors don't like them, so therefore that means they're rapists?

HONOWITZ: That's not an excuse that they're in a college and playing a game, so what?

GERAGOS: Nobody's saying it's an excuse.

HONOWITZ: They have to adhere to the rules just like everybody else.

GERAGOS: What does that have to do with the charge? It doesn't have anything to do with the charge.

HONOWITZ: No, it doesn't have anything to do with the charge, Mark, OK? But if you want to say that exotic dancers go into houses and they make up these lies and they're motivated, let's talk about that.

GERAGOS: If you want to just slander them, Stacey, you go for it.

HONOWITZ: I'm not being slanderous, you are.

GERAGOS: Right, talk to the neighbors.

KING: OK, guys, we're out of time. We have not heard the last of this. This could be a traveling road show. We'll bring all of them back. Thanks Stacey Honowitz, Trent Copeland, Mary Fulginiti, and Mark Geragos. When are you due, by the way?

FULGINITI: Oh, in six weeks, Larry.

KING: Mary will be a mother.

GERAGOS: Isn't that frightening? Who's going to let that kid out on parole?

KING: We'll see you tomorrow night. Anderson Cooper is standing by in New York to host "A.C. 360." Anderson, get me out of here, take over.


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