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The Perfect Storm of Sex, Class, Power, Money, Media, and Politics How the Duke University Lacrosse Team Ignited a Powder Keg…and Paid the Ultimate Price.

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Presentation on theme: "The Perfect Storm of Sex, Class, Power, Money, Media, and Politics How the Duke University Lacrosse Team Ignited a Powder Keg…and Paid the Ultimate Price."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Perfect Storm of Sex, Class, Power, Money, Media, and Politics How the Duke University Lacrosse Team Ignited a Powder Keg…and Paid the Ultimate Price

2 Duke University Located in Durham, NC Atlantic Coast Conference for collegiate sports; D-1 school




6 Class/Money: The Duke Bubble Durham’s murder rate rapidly increasing – murder capital of NC 35 murders in 2005 Stark contrast between Duke students and surrounding community

7 Power and Politics: District Attorney Mike Nifong Nearing end of his term; wanted to run again Intense competition with popular Freda Black Election: Fall 2006 Needed some free Publicity: he was broke!

8 Power: Police Officers and Duke Students Sergeant Mark Gottlieb: Arrested 10X as many Dukies as 3 other officers combined Arrested Duke students at much higher rate than non-students

9 Money: Lacrosse Team and Reputation Players came from upper middle-class families; athletic, smart Top of social hierarchy at Duke: women, admiration, parties, and privilege


11 Sex After post-WWII industrial boom, Durham lost many jobs… …Stimulating the sex industry: escort services, strip clubs, etc.

12 Class/Race: Kim Roberts (aka Nikki) and Crystal Mangum Two poor, minority strippers with criminal records and wild imaginations Kim: began college, dropped out after pregnancy, divorced, and embezzled $25K Crystal “Precious”: Drug/alcohol abuser, NCCU student, mother of 2, evaded arrest on speeding charges KIM CRYSTAL

13 Igniting the Storm 3.16.06, 2:00 PM: Spring Break, bored Duke lacrosse students make phone call to Allure Escort Services Request placed for 2 strippers to come for Duke’s party that night at 610 Buchanan Blvd.

14 The Party House March 13, 2006 — Three co-captains of the Duke lacrosse team host a team party at their off- campus residence at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. during spring break. They hire two strippers to perform for two hours for $400 each. Approximately 40 other students attended the party; most, but not all, were team members.

15 Party House, cont. March 13, 2006 —The first stripper, Kim Roberts, aka Nikki, arrived at the party shortly after 11 pm. At approximately 11:40 pm the second dancer, Crystal Gail Mangum, aka Precious, was dropped off at the party house by her driver. Sometime just before midnight, the two veteran sex-workers entered the living room to begin their performance for the party attendees.


17 Disappointing Performance Crystal on a muscle relaxant, possibly drunk, falls over Kim Show becomes boring and not what everyone expected (broom, jokes, etc.) After Duke players request more, strippers become agitated and leave to go to the bathroom

18 Leaving March 14, 2006, 12:30:12 a.m — Crystal Mangum is standing outside the back door of the house. The team captains told police she was pounding at the door around that time, but they wouldn’t let her in. She is carrying the shaving kit of Dave Evans, perhaps due to her intoxicated state. Her clothes are intact.

19 March 14, 2006, 12:41 am — Mangum was helped to Roberts' car by some of the players and the night appeared to be coming to an end.

20 3.14, 2:30 AM: Rape Claimed at ER “Two males, Adam and Matt pulled the victim into the bathroom. Someone closed the door to the bathroom where she was, and said "sweet heart you can't leave." The victim stated that she tried to leave, but the three males (Adam, Bret, and Matt) forcefully held her legs arms and raped and [gang-raped her]. The victim stated she was hit, kicked, and strangled during the assault. As she attempted to defend herself, she was overpowered. The victim reported she was sexually assaulted for an approximately 30 minute time period by the three males...” –Police Report, 3.14.06

21 Police/Players Reaction Players shocked at rape claims Police: –Immediately conduct search of 610 –Lacrosse players completely compliant –Offer to let cops have anything –Pushed around and badgered by police

22 The Story Starts out as a small story in Duke Chronicle Duke students quickly catch on and begin demonstrations/protests outside 610 Parents of lacrosse players begin flying in to discuss strategy


24 Parents “Why are we even talking about the student newspaper! If this get out, it will be in every newspaper in America.” »Bruce Thompson, parent

25 Coach Pressler Coach of Duke lacrosse team 153-82 won-loss record 3 ACC championships 10 NCAA tournament berths 100% graduation rate for players

26 Pressler Adored and respected by players Advised players early to keep quiet, “all this will go away”

27 “Blue Wall of Silence” Players did not talk to media/reporters when ordered to take DNA testing Pictures taken of players, “no comment” was stated many times Story of DNA testing appears in Raleigh News-Observer next day



30 New York Times Headline: “Rape Allegation Against Athletes is Roiling Duke” –Case instantly gains national attention –Feminist groups, anti-discrimination groups demand action –Protesters take to homes of players



33 Mike Nifong’s Media Blitz Instantly begins giving interviews to camera crews, TV reporters Claims that Crystal has been violated by 3 guys in bathroom and demands them to step forward

34 Behind the Scenes… “All this scandal is worth a million in free publicity dollars”

35 Two Duke’s Duke basketball, football are “religions” 10% of Duke undergrads are there for athletics Duke-UNC rivalry is one of the most heated in sports Many know Duke for athletics only and see it as “wannabe” Ivy League school


37 Ivy League Schools Cornell Brown Dartmouth Yale Harvard Columbia University of Pennsylvania

38 The other Duke… Wanted to be seen as progressive, highly academic, elite institution of learning Able to compete with Ivy League schools to attract top students and professors from world

39 New President, 2002 Richard Brodhead – came from Yale Unsure how to balance athletics from academics/deal with radical faculty Wary of clout/opinions of professors: Harvard President Lawrence Summers

40 Perfect Offenders, Perfect Victim White, upper-class, privileged lacrosse players can afford Duke VS. Poor, underprivileged, helpless victim of racism and the system Social Progressive’s dream come true



43 The Media Turns On Duke Nancy Grace Internet, newspapers, etc. “Team’s Silence is Sickening” “Blue Wall of Silence – What are they hiding?” Depicted as privileged white males gang- raping poor, black woman trying to provide for her family

44 Duke Administration Turns on Players Athletic Director, President, Dean of Students seem to support students at beginning Remainder of season canceled Do not publicly support students Force Pressler to resign due to misconduct of players Why?


46 No Match DNA tests come back in late April and reveal no match with any of players Not enough to silence rabid critics or Nifong Support begins to shift in favor of players

47 Changing the Story 12/06- Crystal can’t remember if there was any penetration or not Rape charges dismissed

48 Aftermath No apology from Duke administration No apology from Group of 88 No apology from Crystal

49 Important Issues Charges of Rape/Credibility Jealousy/envy of power, money Mistrust in justice system? Media’s unbelievable influence Innocent until proven guilty Duke faculty/professors justified in forming Group of 88? Inaction of Duke administration

50 Important Issues, cont. What will people do to get elected?

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