Mike Nifong is the Durham Country District Attorney who prosecuted three Duke University lacrosse players on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual assault, based on the allegations of Crystal Gail Mangum, an exotic dancer.
At the time, Nifong was running for re-election as District Attorney and was behind in the polls. After deciding to prosecute the case and making a series of high-profile media appearances in which he made strong assertions about the guilt of the players and stressed the racial element of Mangum's accusations (Mangum was African-American; the players she accused were white) his rating in the polls went up significantly, and he went on to win the election.
However, Nifong committed substantial misconduct in the case. The public statements he made asserting the guilt of the players were an ethics violation (as confirmed later by Bar hearings). In addition, it was revealed at a December 15, 2006 that Nifong had concealed evidence from the defense and from the court, a violation of North Carolina laws on discovery.
After the State Bar notified him that he would face ethics charges, Nifong recused himself from the case. The Attorney General of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, began an independent investigation of the charges, and found "no credible evidence to support the allegation that the crimes occurred."
Subsequently, Nifong faced Bar hearings. He was found guilty of 27 of the 32 ethics charges against him and disbarred. During the hearings he was also removed as the Durham Country District Attorney.
On July 26, 2007, he is scheduled for a criminal contempt hearing to face charges of willfully making false statements to the court.
- ↑ Summary of Conclusions, Office of the Attorney General of North Carolina.
- ↑ http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/634530.html