Posted Aug. 25, 2008 – There’s about to be a new chapter in the saga of the Black-college student who accused three White Duke Lacrosse players of rape two years ago.
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Crystal Mangum, whose claims were discredited in a high-profile, racially volatile charge, announced plans to release a tell-all book about the entire episode. “The Last Dance For Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story” will be released in October, said the book’s co-author Vincent Clark.
"It is "the only definitive account of the life and struggles of the woman at the center of the Duke Lacrosse case, the alleged accuser," said Clark, who is also Mangum’s manager, in a news release. "Were it not for the Duke Lacrosse Case, she likely would be described as a bright, young woman from Durham, North Carolina, who has had a difficult life." He said that the alleged victim plans to donate $1 from each book she sells to help battered women.
In March 2006, Mangum, a former exotic dancer and student at historically Black North Carolina Central University, claimed that the former players, who hired her to dance at an off-campus party, beat, raped and hurled racial slurs at her. Mangum’s charges sparked protests by women and Black leaders, who claimed that Duke University was handling the suspects too gently.
But the case against the players – David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann – began to unravel when Mangum’s stripper sidekick said she knew nothing about any rape, and prosecutor Mike Nifong’s timeline of the alleged crime proved improbable. Nifong, at the time the Durham County district attorney, was disbarred and jailed following the disintegration of the case.
All charges were dismissed after a review by the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.