A little old-fashioned Karma may be coming down on the prosecutor in the Duke rape case
IF THERE'S anything to be learned from the twists and turns in the Duke lacrosse rape case, it's that it's foolish to pass judgment on anyone before the legal process runs its course. Still, it's fair to say that the professional future of Durham County district attorney Mike Nifong does not look bright. Last Friday, three weeks after he dropped rape charges against the three players accused of assaulting an exotic dancer last March—and eight months after he was reelected—Nifong recused himself from the crumbling case and handed it over to the North Carolina attorney general. (The players still face kidnapping and sexual assault charges.) "He still believes in the case," Nifong's lawyer said. "He just believes his continued presence would hurt [the accuser]."
That's because Nifong, 56, who has been DA since 2005, is now on the defensive himself. Last month the North Carolina bar charged him with ethics violations, citing improper comments he made to reporters. Nifong may have also violated rules by failing to tell the defense last spring that DNA from four unidentified men was found on the accuser's body and underwear.
Nifong, who faces a May 11 hearing, could be disbarred, and the families of the indicted players could sue him. " Mr. Nifong, you've picked on the wrong families," Rae Evans, the mother of David Evans, one of the accused players, told 60 Minutes on Sunday. "And you will pay every day for the rest of your life."