Looking back at the Duke lacrosse scandal 10 years later

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Sunday, March 13, 2016
Duke lacrosse players listen during practice in Durham, N.C., Monday, Sept. 4, 2006.
Duke lacrosse players listen during practice in Durham, N.C., Monday, Sept. 4, 2006.
Gerry Broome-AP

DURHAM (WTVD) -- It's been ten years to the day since members of the Duke lacrosse team held a party which ended in a woman, who was hired as a stripper, falsely claiming she was raped by members of the team.

The case sparked outrage from the Durham community as well as students and faculty at Duke University and was covered as a top story locally and throughout the country.

On March 13, 2006, North Carolina Central student and part-time stripper Crystal Mangum and another stripper, Kim Roberts, went to work at a party at an off-campus house owned by Duke University where captains of the team lived.

Mangum and the other woman left the party early after a dispute. Later Mangum claimed she was forced into a bathroom and raped. The next day Durham police began investigating and on March 15, 2006, officials made the investigation public.

On April 18, team members Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were arrested and indicted charges of first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense, and kidnapping. Almost a month later on May 15, former captain David Evans was arrested and indicted on the same charges.

Later that year on Dec. 15, district attorney Mike Nifong dropped the rape charges against the men due to the inconsistencies of Mangum's story. The other charges still stood. Eventually, on April 27, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper declared all three men innocent and dropped the remaining charges.

Nifong would later be disbarred after being found guilty of a battery of ethics violations for his handling of the investigation. Some of the things he was found guilty for were fraud, dishonesty, making false statements of material fact before a judge, and lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence.

During the investigation, the woman's claims deeply divided the community and the university, in part because Mangum is black and claimed her attacker was white. Others saw it as the epitome of affluent privilege of university students.

Mike Pressler, the coach of the lacrosse team, was forced to resign in early April, 2006. On the same day Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead suspended the team for the rest of the season.

Eighty-eight Duke professors, known as the Group of 88, signed an inflammatory advertisement which appeared in the school's student newspaper. The ad called for students to be vocal on issues of sexism, racism, and harassment.

Eventually the three men accused settled with Duke University in June of 2007. They also settled with the City of Durham in May, 2014.

Mangum was later convicted of second degree murder for killing her boyfriend in an unrelated case.

ESPN plans to debut a 30 for 30 documentary about the scandal called "Fantastic Lies," referencing wording in a statement made by one of the then-accused. It's directed by Marina Zenovich. ESPN describes the film: "Weaving historical footage and photos with piercing interviews of key participants, Zenovich builds suspense as the narrative changes from what people thought happened to what actually did happen."

It will first air Sunday night at 9 p.m.

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