Crystal Mangum Freed After Jury Deadlocks

Jesse James Deconto, News & Observer (Raleigh), December 18, 2010

Crystal Mangum, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse rape case, is free and will be reunited with her children after a jury deadlocked on the most serious charge she faced from a domestic incident this year.

Superior Court Judge Abe Jones sentenced Mangum to 88 days in jail–time she already served awaiting trial.

A 12-member jury found Mangum guilty of child abuse, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer, all misdemeanors. Under state sentencing guidelines, 90 days was the maximum sentence Jones could have ordered, but he decided she’d paid enough for her crimes.

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Questions the jury asked Jones during deliberations suggest the three dissenting jurors thought she was reckless in setting fire to a pile of her boyfriend’s clothing in their bathtub. That fire was set while Mangum’s three children and two police officers were in the apartment.

On the way out of the courtroom Friday, Mangum declined to talk to reporters. Supporter Victoria Peterson reiterated a claim by the Friends of Crystal Mangum that authorities were punishing Mangum for accusing Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006. Mangum was retaliating against her boyfriend, Milton Walker, for allegedly punching her in the face; Walker was never charged.

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