After David Evans became the third of the Duke Three, he boldly and quickly appeared in public and delivered a statement. For more, read on ...
After David Evans became the third of the Duke Three, he boldly and quickly appeared in public and delivered this statement:
"I want to thank you all for letting me speak to you today.
"My name is Dave Evans, and I'm the captain of the Duke University men's lacrosse team. I have to say that I'm very relieved to be the person who can come out and speak on behalf of my family and my team and let you know how we feel.
"First I want to say that I am absolutely innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me today; that Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty are innocent of all the charges that were brought against them. These allegations are lies, fabricated, and they will be proven wrong.
"If I can go back to two months ago when the police first came to my home, I fully cooperated and have continued to try to cooperate with them. When they entered in and started to read the search warrant, my roommates and I helped them find evidence for almost an hour, and told them that if they had any questions we would gladly answer, to show them that nothing happened that night.
"After that I went down to the police station and gave an uncounseled statement, because I knew that I had done nothing wrong and did not feel that I needed an attorney. After going through photos of my teammates and identifying who was there, I then submitted, perfectly willingly, DNA samples to the police. I then turned over my e-mail account, my AIM account, any kind of information that they could have, to show that I had not communicated in any way that anything had happened, because it did not happen. After that I asked to take a polygraph, which was refused by the Durham Police Department.
"Over the past several weeks I have repeatedly through my lawyers tried to contact the district attorney. All of my attempts have been denied. I've tried to provide him with exculpatory evidence, showing that this could not have happened. Those attempts have been denied.
"And as a result of his apparent lack of interest in my story — the true story — and any evidence proving that my story is correct, I asked my lawyer to get me a polygraph. I took that polygraph, and it was administered by a former FBI top polygrapher with over 28 years of experience. He's done several hundreds of sexual cases, and I passed it absolutely. And I passed that polygraph for the same reason that I will be acquitted of all these charges, because I have done nothing wrong and I am telling the truth, and I have told the truth from day one.
"I'd like to say thank you to my friends and family, my coach and members of the community who have stood by us, through everything from the initial weeks to now. Their support has given me the strength to come through this. But the thing that gives me the most strength is knowing that I have the truth behind me, and it will not faze me.
"If I can close, I have always taken pride in my name. I take pride in my name today, and I will gladly stand up to anything that comes up against me. I've never had my character questioned before. Anyone who's met me knows that this didn't happen, and I appreciate your support.
"As for my teammates, I love you all. The honor of being voted captain of all of you — the 46 best guys you could ever meet — it's been the greatest honor of my life.
"If I can clear things up and say this one more time, I am innocent, Reade Seligmann is innocent, Collin Finnerty is innocent. Every member of the Duke University lacrosse team is innocent.
"You have all been told some fantastic lies, and I look forward in watching them unravel in the weeks to come as they already have in weeks past and the truth will come out.
"Thank you for your time."
The good news is that David will be proved right.
In America, an accused person is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but sometimes he (or she) is presumed guilty in the courtroom of public opinion until proven innocent and it behooves him (or her) to prove themselves innocent, for example, by taking a polygraph test and appearing in public to demonstrate that he (or she) is not the monster he (or she) is being portrayed as, especially when the prosecutor is declining to conduct a polygraph test (presumably because that prosecutor would become a national laughstocking if his witness, the accuser, took one, and a defendant himself if he took one).
The first two of the Duke Three (Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann) could (and should) have made similar statements, but they did not. From that, David and his advisers learned that: being innocent is not enough, that standing up to public scrutiny is demanded in the courtroom of public opinion, and he stood up strongly not only for himself, but for Collin and Reade too, and to their accuser and prosecutor.
Collin and Reade learned from the captain that taking a polygraph test (and passing) is a good thing to do, especially when the prosecutor doesn't want you to do so. They were tested, and Collin's father announced on television at the end of June that they had passed.
Meanwhile, the accused, Crystal Gail Mangum, is hiding (no polygraphing her!); the prosecutor, Michael B. Nifong, having won his primary, wants to wait
until after the general election to discuss his prosecution of the Duke Three; and Judge Kenneth Titus did what the NAACP of Durham wanted: he shamelessly gagged potential witnesses, including the Duke Three!
The gag order must be lifted, so that Collin and Reade each can do what David did: introduce himself to America, so that America can be comfortable with him instead of worried about them as possible threats to common decency.
Should Collin and Reade do MORE than David did: let surrogates for their prosecutor cross-examine them?
No. There's no need for that now.
Americans don't need the details yet. The great majority of Americans want to be assured that all of the Duke Three personally that they are innocent of the heinous charges against them. They know the accuser is an ex-convict stripper/"escort" in hiding. But they wonder why Collin and Reade are so quiet and expect the innocent to proclaim their innocence, especially when the charges are so heinous.
The gag order is a good reason for the Duke Three to be quiet now, but the motion to modify was submitted four days after the order was issued suddenly and America too should demand it be granted.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.