Crystal Mangum, the 35 year old woman who in 2006 infamously made false allegations of rape against three former Duke Lacrosse players, was found guilty of second-degree murder. Mangum stabbed her 46 year old boyfriend Reginald Daye on April 3, 2011. He died 10 days later at Duke University Hospital. Mangum claimed she acted in self-defense during a fight at Daye’s apartment, and that Daye died because of medical complications.
Domestic-violence expert witness, Kit Gruelle, explained to the jury why some women stay in violent relationships. She believes “childhood sexual abuse affected Mangum and that she saw a pattern of Mangum being involved in abusive relationships.”. This expert witness testified that “[m]en routinely controlled and threatened [Mangum].”
However, the details of Mangum’s troubled childhood are ambiguous. In a report, Fox News stated that although Mangum claimed she was kidnapped and raped at age 14 by three men, the case was never pursued. Relatives claim she “backed away from the charges out of fear for her life.”. The report by Fox News continued, saying, “Mangum’s ex-husband, Kenneth Nathanial McNeill, who is 14 years her senior, has said he believes the 1993 rape accusations are true”. Although Mangum’s father doesn’t believe that she was raped or injured, Mangum’s mother believes that the incident did happen. However, she believes, “it happened when her daughter was 17 or 18.”
On cross-examination, when asked if men could be victims of sexual abuse, Gruelle answered yes. She qualified her testimony by stating “85 percent of the cases involve men abusing women.”. Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks, “challenged Gruelle’s conclusion that Mangum was a victim, noting that she was the aggressor against [ex-boyfriend Martin] Walker.”. Walker testified that during his relationship with Mangum, they got into an argument where he grabbed her neck. This led her to attack “him with a chair, a step stool, cut the tires of his car, [smash] his windshield and [lunge] over a police officer screaming she was going to stab and kill him.”
However, Gruelle testified that “there was violence going both ways in that relationship,”. In simpler terms, both parties were abusers as well as victims. Gruelle was unable to testify “as to whether Mangum’s past relationships affected her actions in Daye’s stabbing or whether those actions were consistent with those of an abuse victim.”. Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway ruled that she did not have sufficient academic training. Furthermore, she hadn’t conducted enough research to provide expert witness testimony on the matter.
Mangum was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years and two months to a maximum of 18 years in prison.