DA won’t charge former ASU footb...

DA won’t charge former ASU football players accused of rape

There are 28 comments on the The Charlotte Observer story from May 18, 2012, titled DA won’t charge former ASU football players accused of rape. In it, The Charlotte Observer reports that:

An investigation into allegations of rape against two former Appalachian State University football players is complete, the local district attorney said Thursday, and no charges will be filed.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Charlotte Observer.

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Bob

Carolina Beach, NC

#1 May 18, 2012
How can the University suspend these students, but yet there not be enough evidence to prosecute them criminally? Does App have a lower standard of evidence? From my understanding, it's just these two females word against the male students' word. I'm not saying that these guys are innocent, but where's the proof? There's not enough evidence to even bring the cases to trial, but there's enough evidence to suspend these guys for multiple semesters? Anybody, please inform me if there is more to the story that I'm missing.
Mistakes

Gaffney, SC

#2 May 18, 2012
Too many women who are raped do not get tested and that is why there is no conviction.

Even if a lady never accuses or mentions a name or even knows what she wants to do with the proof...she should get tested immediately. Evidence can be preserved and held until needed or just held. At least u have it if needed.
John

Morganton, NC

#3 May 18, 2012
Sounds to me like we need a new DA in that county. I hear there is a case in Avery County as well that he is not going to prosecute that came back from the Supreme Court and this guy is going to be released from prison. This case was tried in Watauga County a few years ago and the guy was found guilty. You all may remember it, was Brantley Lewis.
DWI Enforcer

Jefferson, NC

#4 May 19, 2012
Personally, I feel it's the "DA's Office"! I don't know the entire story here, but I do know that being an observer in court (for DWI cases)that there has been individuals in the past that have been found guilty of "Driving Impaired" in District Court. From my observations, seeing the overwhelming evidence brought out in court & speaking with officers, they are guilty and the District Judge did his job by rendering judgment. There are quite a few cases such as this, but two in particular, one had a blood alcohol level of .16 and the other had a .14, both guilty! The cases were appealed by there attorneys to Superior Court, but the cases never reached Superior Court! D.A. Gerald Wilson, dismissed the cases for a lack of evidence! These are only two cases,there are a lot more!.......What I'm saying is, if these ladies were raped and the officer's did there job and the evidence was enough for them to be charged, why were they "let go"? It's within the D.A.'s office and nowhere else! This is only my opinion, but our prosecution system in Watauga County is really screwed up!
Bob

Carolina Beach, NC

#5 May 19, 2012
DWI Enforcer wrote:
Personally, I feel it's the "DA's Office"! I don't know the entire story here, but I do know that being an observer in court (for DWI cases)that there has been individuals in the past that have been found guilty of "Driving Impaired" in District Court. From my observations, seeing the overwhelming evidence brought out in court & speaking with officers, they are guilty and the District Judge did his job by rendering judgment. There are quite a few cases such as this, but two in particular, one had a blood alcohol level of .16 and the other had a .14, both guilty! The cases were appealed by there attorneys to Superior Court, but the cases never reached Superior Court! D.A. Gerald Wilson, dismissed the cases for a lack of evidence! These are only two cases,there are a lot more!.......What I'm saying is, if these ladies were raped and the officer's did there job and the evidence was enough for them to be charged, why were they "let go"? It's within the D.A.'s office and nowhere else! This is only my opinion, but our prosecution system in Watauga County is really screwed up!
First off, I don't believe that these young men were ever charged.
Second off, what is the purpose of a observer of DWI cases? Do you get paid for your observation duties? Or, do you just have nothing else to do? Maybe you provide the police officers with juice and cookies on those long, dangerous nights of manning DWI checkpoints in such harsh conditions.
Insider

Farmingdale, NY

#6 May 19, 2012
I believe Watauga County needs revamping altogether. I would love to see a new DA and Sheriff. Too many things are falling through the cracks and being swept under the rug. As bad as these rape cases sound, that is just a drop in the bucket from what happens every day in Wataruga County justice.
Insider

Farmingdale, NY

#7 May 19, 2012
Watauga
Bob

Carolina Beach, NC

#8 May 19, 2012
Insider wrote:
I believe Watauga County needs revamping altogether. I would love to see a new DA and Sheriff. Too many things are falling through the cracks and being swept under the rug. As bad as these rape cases sound, that is just a drop in the bucket from what happens every day in Wataruga County justice.
Too many things? Like what?
Snuggy

Morganton, NC

#9 May 19, 2012
I hope fox news gets wind of this ....just sayin...
Apples to Oranges

Creston, NC

#10 May 19, 2012
Simply accusing someone of a crime does not warrant vigorous prosecution. For any case to be brought before the court there must be a factual basis for the charges. If that wasn't the case, you would have to go through the court system for any and every accusation against you. If I didn't like you, all I would have to do is say that you assaulted me and you're going to have to bond yourself out of jail (if you can), hire an attorney, then attend court monthly until your case is finally disposed of. In the late 90's the FBI estimated that 8% of all rape accusations are completely fabricated (See first link below). More recently that statistic has been noted to be closer to 41%(Sell second link below). Imagine what would happen to your life if you were unjustly accused. Moreover, imagine how you life would be affected if you prosecuted by the court system even though there was no evidence to support the claim. I like to imagine that if were wrongfully accused, the D.A. of that area would acknowledge the lack of evidence in the the accusation and decline prosecution. I'm not trying to argue that a sexual assault did not happen, I'm simply providing you with a bit of evidence for you to consider when deciding whether or not the D.A.'s office justly declined prosecution.

As for Bob's first post, I completely agree. If our court system deems an individual to be either innocent or less than blameworthy, the university has no right to punish a student. If the person is found or pleads guilty, then absolutely, action should be taken. A student should not be punish based solely upon the university's whims, and certainly not in an effort to appease protestors and the media.

http://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/sp...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,194032,00...
Bob

Carolina Beach, NC

#11 May 19, 2012
Apples to Oranges wrote:
Simply accusing someone of a crime does not warrant vigorous prosecution. For any case to be brought before the court there must be a factual basis for the charges. If that wasn't the case, you would have to go through the court system for any and every accusation against you. If I didn't like you, all I would have to do is say that you assaulted me and you're going to have to bond yourself out of jail (if you can), hire an attorney, then attend court monthly until your case is finally disposed of. In the late 90's the FBI estimated that 8% of all rape accusations are completely fabricated (See first link below). More recently that statistic has been noted to be closer to 41%(Sell second link below). Imagine what would happen to your life if you were unjustly accused. Moreover, imagine how you life would be affected if you prosecuted by the court system even though there was no evidence to support the claim. I like to imagine that if were wrongfully accused, the D.A. of that area would acknowledge the lack of evidence in the the accusation and decline prosecution. I'm not trying to argue that a sexual assault did not happen, I'm simply providing you with a bit of evidence for you to consider when deciding whether or not the D.A.'s office justly declined prosecution.
As for Bob's first post, I completely agree. If our court system deems an individual to be either innocent or less than blameworthy, the university has no right to punish a student. If the person is found or pleads guilty, then absolutely, action should be taken. A student should not be punish based solely upon the university's whims, and certainly not in an effort to appease protestors and the media.
http://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/sp...
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,194032,00...
I completely see where you're coming from.Unless there is some sort of evidence, like another witness, DNA, etc, a rape case is pretty much "he said she said". I know that's a harsh way of looking at a crime as brutal as a sexual assault, but that's the way it is. And, even if there is DNA evidence, there isn't really proof of an assault. It could have been completely consensual, and then there be morning after regret. Sexual assault cases aren't cut and dry, like a property crime like larceny.
And to your statistics: I'm not sure how accurate that those are. Those stats might not reflect those wrongfully convicted, which would lower those stats, or those wrongfully cleared, which would raise those numbers. However, any percentage of false rape claims is disturbing and greatly reduces the credibility of those who were actually assaulted.
Now, as to the title of the article; it should read, "DA declines to prosecute former ASU students due to lack of evidence". The article makes it seem as if only ASU football players were involved, which isn't the case. So, due to media involvement, this case has been completely twisted around, sending this case down the same road as the Duke lacrosse case.
Apples to Oranges

Creston, NC

#12 May 19, 2012
Bob, I think the article's reference to ASU football players really makes the point here. Had this particular set of circumstances not involved a football player(s), nothing would have been said. The people of this community all want to become conspiracy theorists just because prosecution was declined regarding football players. Would there have been students protesting on campus had the accused been nothing more than an accounting major? Automatically assuming that someone is guilty just because they are an athlete is no better than covering up an athlete's discretion. What someone has or has not done, regardless of what their role may be, is to be determined based upon a certain set of facts. These facts are of the sort that no one in this thread is privy to.
Bob

Carolina Beach, NC

#13 May 19, 2012
Apples to Oranges wrote:
Bob, I think the article's reference to ASU football players really makes the point here. Had this particular set of circumstances not involved a football player(s), nothing would have been said. The people of this community all want to become conspiracy theorists just because prosecution was declined regarding football players. Would there have been students protesting on campus had the accused been nothing more than an accounting major? Automatically assuming that someone is guilty just because they are an athlete is no better than covering up an athlete's discretion. What someone has or has not done, regardless of what their role may be, is to be determined based upon a certain set of facts. These facts are of the sort that no one in this thread is privy to.
I couldn't agree more. Conspiracy theorists seem to rum rampant around here. So, based on what has been made public, there wasn't enough evidence to evidence to charge them, but hundreds of ASU students feel that they had enough information to stage a protest. IMHO, those protests and petitions were what motivated ASU to take a second look at the complaints. It appears as if there was a modern day lynching of these gentlemen. Not a physical execution, but more of execution of their reputations. It will be interesting to see if any actions are taken by the accused or the victims towards ASU.
Apples to Oranges

Creston, NC

#14 May 19, 2012
Yep, Bob, you're right. This is just like the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin cases. People watch TV and read newspapers and assume that they know more than both the Sheriff and the District Attorney. Thanks to CSI and Law and Order, the population is now filled with at bunch of Perry Masons. Inferences are only as good as the information on which they are based. The media's information is nothing more than second hand, and limited at that. Again, that's the point. Where did ASU base their reasoning for the suspension of, in the legal system's perspective, innocent students? If I were these kids, I would own Appalachian.
Apples to Oranges

Creston, NC

#15 May 19, 2012
DWI Enforcer wrote:
Personally, I feel it's the "DA's Office"! I don't know the entire story here, but I do know that being an observer in court (for DWI cases)that there has been individuals in the past that have been found guilty of "Driving Impaired" in District Court. From my observations, seeing the overwhelming evidence brought out in court & speaking with officers, they are guilty and the District Judge did his job by rendering judgment. There are quite a few cases such as this, but two in particular, one had a blood alcohol level of .16 and the other had a .14, both guilty! The cases were appealed by there attorneys to Superior Court, but the cases never reached Superior Court! D.A. Gerald Wilson, dismissed the cases for a lack of evidence! These are only two cases,there are a lot more!.......What I'm saying is, if these ladies were raped and the officer's did there job and the evidence was enough for them to be charged, why were they "let go"? It's within the D.A.'s office and nowhere else! This is only my opinion, but our prosecution system in Watauga County is really screwed up!
While I'm certain that your intentons are just, I question whether or not you truly understand what occurs during these district court sessions. You see, "DWI Enforcer," unless you are well versed in case law regarding DWIs, then you lack the compass in which to navigate an understanding of what a judicial ruling means. While I do value your opinion, I'm afraid your input does little to add merit to the aimless accusations of prosecutorial neglect.
Snuggy

Morganton, NC

#16 May 20, 2012
Don't think this is over ,I'm calling in the Big Dogs...I'm seeing true American Justice coming down "Hammer Time",because These folks think they are untouchable.
fed up

Boone, NC

#17 May 20, 2012
The DA can not prosecute when the detectives don't bring them cases that have been thoroughly investigated. The detective division at the sheriff's office has no one with over 2 years of dectective experience. The reason Dee Dee Rominger is a bitch to everyone that works for her. They have gone through 7 new groups since she has been in charge. She is a joke, but that goes for the rest of the law enforcement in this county. 8 or 10 officers at the WHS prom. What a joke. Frisking people as they went to the school sponsered after prom events. All they want to do is pick on high school kids. Scared of anyone else.
Bob

Carolina Beach, NC

#18 May 20, 2012
Ok, let's just entertain ourselves for a minute. Say that the DNA swabs that the Detectives collected matched DNA evidence from the victim. How did it get there? Unless these guys just straight up denied that any intercourse happened, that's not enough for a conviction. Now, say that the DNA swabs didn't match the victim, should the victim be charged with anything? I think that the public has a right to know whether DNA evidence collected was conclusive enough to prove if there was any contact between the two victims. And, WCSO and every other law enforcement agency in the county can claim that they're protecting rights or whatever, but that's complete BS. Every week, you were able to read arrest reports in the democrat, and now you can read them in the High Country Press. They smear your name in the papers before you're even convicted. And then, if charges are dropped, dismissed, etc, there is NOTHING in the paper. Talk about guily until proven innocent.
Snuggy

Morganton, NC

#20 May 20, 2012
They can either do their jobs or kick a stone down the road.
Bob

Carolina Beach, NC

#21 May 20, 2012
Snuggy wrote:
They can either do their jobs or kick a stone down the road.
No, that, I agree with. Len needs to do some house cleaning, and the voters need to ask some serious questions to see if they want the same people serving justice in this county. Len can start be making some age and weight requirements. If a Deputy shows up at your door, or pulls you over, it's either GI Joe, Humpty Dumpty, or what appears to be a spokesman for AARP.

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