A concise version of the lawsuit filed by Bob Ekstrand on behalf of Ryan McFadyen, Matt Wilson, and Breck Archer as it pertains to Duke's involvement in the affair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Conspiracy to Interrogate without Counsel

The following excerpt outlines the complaints against Duke in the conpsiracy between Duke Police Defendants, Duke Officials Defendants and Durham Police Defendants to "orchestrate the mass interrogation of uncounseled students" (p. 126).
Duke Police and Duke Officials understood and agreed to:
(1) Deliver all 47 team members to Gottlieb and Himan, at a designated location, to be interrogated by Durham Police;
(2) Create a false sense of security in the team members by minimizing the seriousness of the investigation and the charges being investigated, and encourage team members not to seek legal counsel or to reveal the planned interrogations to anyone;
(3) Provide no information to the Plaintiffs or their teammates about the nature or scope of the interrogations;
(4) The team members would not be informed that, during the interrogations, every one of them would be asked to volunteer to give their DNA and a “mug shot” photograph, or that a team of CSIs from the Durham Forensic Services Unit (“FSU”) had been mobilized for purpose of taking DNA swabs, mug shot photographs, and pictures of any scars or marks on the team members’ arms and torso.
(5) The team members would also not be advised that if they submit DNA samples and mug shot photographs voluntarily, they waive their right to a report of the results of all DNA testing and photo identification procedures as soon as they are available; and, further, that they could have that right merely by requesting a Nontestimonial (“NTID”) Order be obtained for the same purposes; and, further that, absent an NTID Order, a right to that information would not arise again unless the individual is indicted, and then only pursuant to constitutional and/or statutory discovery; and
(6) Provide a primary location and/or a satellite location(s) for isolated interrogations of individuals (p. 127) .
The Durham Police were then to report to Duke Police and Duke Officials "with information relating to their charging decisions" (p. 128). Duke Police and Duke Officials implemented the plan according to the agreement. At 7:00 pm on March 21st the players were instructed to report to the Duke Police Department at 3:00 pm the next day, leaving little time to consult significantly with counsel. They were told they were "going in to answer one or two questions" (p. 129), leaving out the plan to take DNA samples and photographs and subject the team to harsh and deceitful interrogation. Ekstrand alleges the advice given to the captains the week before by Wasiolek, the effect of which was "'you don't need a lawyer,' and "'don't tell anyone this is happening, not even your parents'" (p. 129), had been disseminated to the rest of the team. The rest of the team, however, did not know the purpose of the questioning or the severity of the allegations, and certainly not that they could all be charged as accomplices based on their presence at the party. Duke administrators, it seems, were demonstrably well aware of and acting in accordance with these intentions:
The University Officials’ agent responsible for coordinating the mass interrogation was directed to notify the Durham Police that the team members were told of the planned interrogations without sufficient time to discuss it fully with their parents (p. 130).

The disaster that likely would have resulted from these interrogations was averted only by the exhausting overnight efforts of Bob Ekstrand and his paralegal, Stef Sparks.

Next, Ekstrand alleges a conspiracy by both Duke Officials and Durham Police to retaliate against the players for delaying the interrogation to speak with their parents and counsel before being questioned by police, principally through public statements.

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