Police report shows Duke accuser's rape story changed several times
A woman who accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape initially told police she was attacked by five men and changed her story several times, at one point denying she had been attacked, according to a police report released Friday by a defense attorney.
Authorities said previously in affidavits the accuser reported she was raped by three men at a March 13 lacrosse team party where she was hired to perform as an exotic dancer with a second woman.
In the report by Durham Officer G.D. Sutton, dated in the early morning of March 14, the woman said she was one of four dancers at the party and that she was attacked by five men. The woman also said she had not been raped, according to Sutton's report.
District Attorney Mike Nifong won indictments against three players and has said they were the only ones implicated by the evidence.
Victims rights advocates say it's not uncommon for an assault victim to have trouble answering questions in the hours immediately after an attack, when they are often emotional and unable to focus on describing what has happened.
A Duke police office described the accuser in the lacrosse case as "crying uncontrollably and visibly shaken" when speaking with her at a hospital hours after the party.
"Victims in these cases often may very well say something somewhat inconsistent immediately afterward and might still be telling the absolute truth," said Stan Goldman, a Loyola Law School professor and former Los Angeles County public defender.
"But ... I've never seen a case go to trial with this many inconsistencies in the victim's sequence of events," he said.
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