Each passing day a new piece of information is revealed about the alleged rape of a woman at a party in Durham, and it's almost always bad for the prosecution.
Reade Seligmann has claimed he left the party before the attack would have occurred, and has some pretty convincing evidence to back it up. The dancers arrived at the party at midnight, and shortly after Seligmann called a cab on his cellular phone at 12:14am -- which would leave concrete proof in the records of the telephone company as to when that call was made, and to where -- a cab arrived five minutes later and picked up him and a friend of his. The cab driver agrees with this time line, and in fact has said that he personally observed the second dancer leaving the party when he arrived, establishing her lack of presence at 12:19am, apparently just before she called 911 to report something that wasn't even a crime.
"She looked, like, mad," he said of the woman. "In her face, the way she walked, the way she talked, she looked like mad." It was an an admitted attempt to get the people at the party in trouble, because she was angry at her treatment while inside, and the story she gave the 911 dispatcher was a complete lie.
At some unknown time, the two women reunited and ended up at a grocery store parking lot, where again 911 was called at the behest of the second dancer because her companion whom she did not know would not get out of her car. The alleged rape victim was so intoxicated that the responding police officer declared the woman drunk and totally unresponsive.
The defense believes it has photographic proof that at least some of the physical injuries the alleged victim sustained were present at the time she arrived at the party, raising the possibility she was assaulted earlier in the evening, which would correspond with the negative DNA testing results performed on every person present at the party.
The second dancer -- currently out of jail on bond pending charges that she violated the terms of her probation for a conviction of embezzling $25,000 from a Durham company she worked for -- had the 15% fee she owed to the bonding agent waived by a judge after her statements to the prosecutor became more favorable than her initial testimony.
The woman has stated she did not see and could not identify Seligmann, and had originally told the Associated Press that "I was not in the bathroom when it happened, so I can't say a rape occurred and I never will." She recently reversed by stating her belief that "In all honesty, I think they're guilty."
After Seligmann left the party at 12:19, cooberated by phone company records and statements by the cab driver, he went to a bank ATM to withdraw cash, despite being accused of also stealing money from the alleged victim. The missing money was found inside the home at which the party occurred. In the cab with a friend, they proceeded to a fast-food restaurant, and then were dropped off by the cab at a Duke University dorm, where Seligmann has been proven to enter his room by electronic security systems at the campus.
The second dancer has stated she did not previously know the alleged victim until they met that night, and says that although she does not believe the alleged victim was intoxicated when they arrived, virtually everyone else present at the party says that is not true.
It seems there is preciouses little time between when they arrived at the party at 12:00am, and 12:19am when Seligmann left the party, for the two women to dance, be harassed, leave the party, return to the party, the alleged victim to become stone-dead drunk and raped for half an hour, and finally for the second woman to leave the party a second time. All in the space of 19 minutes.
It just doesn't seem possible that Seligmann could have possibly been a party to any alleged crime that took place that night, and the stunning failure of the DNA tests adds up, in my mind, to a cover up of an assault that occurred earlier in the night.
It has also been reported that the alleged victim could not visually identify a single person in the bathroom with her, and the only identification supposedly came from body features.
The case was weak on evidence before the failure of the DNA tests, and the alibi of one of the accused attackers, who was not identified by face, seems ironclad. I would not be surprised if the case is dismissed for lack of evidence in a summary motion before it ever gets to trial.