Forensic expert admits he made a big error in Duke rape 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 7 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.
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