Crystal Mangum, the woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006, is headed to prison for the murder of her boyfriend. A jury in Durham, N.C., last Friday found Mangum, 34, guilty of second-degree murder and a judge sentenced her to 14 to 18 years in prison.
Mangum stabbed her 41-year-old boyfriend, Reginald Daye, on April 3, 2011, and he died 10 days later. Mangum argued she was acting in self-defense when Daye flew into a jealous rage.
The Duke lacrosse rape case made national headlines in March 2006 after Mangum, who is black, accused players Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and Dave Evans, all white, of sexually assaulting her. Prosecutor Mike Nifong and many others, including media outlets, claimed Mangum was a victim of a racially motivated hate crime. Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler resigned under pressure from the school, and university President Richard Brodhead canceled the 2006 lacrosse season.
More than a year after the accusations were made public, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed the charges and declared the players innocent. Cooper said that Mangum’s inconsistent testimony and the players’ airtight alibis led to his decision. A disciplinary committee stripped Nifong of his state law license in June 2007 for “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation" in relation to the case.
In 2010, Mangum was convicted of child abuse, injury to personal property, and resisting a public officer and was sentenced to 88 days in jail.