On July 23, 2006, I wrote "Paging Susan Lucci: Please Guest Star in 'the Duke Rape Case.'" The soap opera star has been a neighbor of the Finnerty family in Garden City, New York for a long time and is in a position to rebut the lies and allay the unwarranted suspicions about him being a dangerous young man.
On July 23, 2006, I wrote "Paging Susan Lucci: Please Guest Star in 'the Duke Rape Case.'" The soap opera star has been a neighbor of the Finnerty family in Garden City, New York for a long time and is in a position to rebut the lies and allay the unwarranted suspicions about him being a dangerous young man. I had been inspired to write the article by this Anonymous post at Friends of Duke University website (which I quoted at the beginning of my article): "To Collin's family: stop hiding him in the attic. IF he is innocent of all the charges let him hold his head high and face the courts and the cameras and the judges and proclaim to the world who he is. Time to grow up and face the charges like a man — even though you probably are guilty of nothing you need to jump off the speeding train or at least change tracks before they railroad you right into the BIG HOUSE. "
As I then wrote: "I didn't write it. I didn't ghostwrite it. But I fully agree." By that time, the case against the Duke Three was collapsing, Collin's father had announced that each of the Duke Three had passed a polygraph test, David Evans had publicly refuted the charges against all three of the Duke Three and described them as a "fantastic lie," Reade Seligmann had publicized his awesome alibi evidence and had the prosecution self-destructing (by harassing his black taxi driver alibi witness, giving favorable treatment to the second stripper and receiving the "benefit" of her changing her story and trying to shift the timeline) and only Collin was keeping quiet and keeping the details of his alibi secret (making him seem guilty, or perhaps guilty, to many who would recognize his innocence if he personally proclaimed or proved it).
"Collin Finnerty is innocent of all the crimes of which he was charged in both the District of Columbia and Durham, North Carolina. Of that, I am confident. He's been an exemplary student and athlete. He is now one of America's three most known lacrosse players. (Unfortunately, all of them are known for being charged with vicious crimes instead of spectacular lacrosse play.) At least 6 feet 4 inches tall, more than 200 pounds and to be 20 within a fortnight, he needs a vote of confidence from family and advisers instead of an admonition to choose among 'Yes, Your Honor,' 'No, Your Honor' and 'I don't have anything to say, Your Honor' if he absolutely must speak. He is not mentally or physically challenged, and does not need to be overprotected, no matter how lovingly.
"I think Collin must be of four minds these days: (1) appreciative of all that his family has done for him, (2) appalled over the terrible impact of he having been accused (unjustly) of crimes has had on his family and friends (as well as himself), (3) apprehensive about being framed in the Duke case and (4) eager to address the outrageous allegations against him and assure America that he is innocent, just as teammate David Evans did after he was indicted. Timidity is not a trait commonly associated with star athletes; overprotective is a trait commonly associated with caring parents and controlling lawyers."
Email from Joe T., New York, New York
"Specifically: 'Paging Susan Lucci: Please Guest Star In the "Duke Rape Hoax"'. Just wanted to compliment your writing, and say I agree with you 100 percent about the case (as I hope/believe most sane people do). In an otherwise perfectly-written piece, the only point I'd take issue with is citing Finnerty as "an exemplary student and athlete" as though those are both merits. The student part is indicative of good character, yes, but the athlete part doesn't mean anything since the list of criminals, even murderers, who've been fine amateur and professional athletes can go quite long. I just feel picking that as one of Finnerty's good points trivializes the matter, since it's just a neutral quality. But keep writing. You're very good. (And I do hope, ideally, the Duke guys, in the end, wind up OWNING Durham County through lawsuits).
"I'll also say that the Duke guys shouldn't have thought it's cute to go "slumming" with the less-fortunate (laughing at sleazy strippers) , and they've had to learn the hard way that sometimes the slum will come back and bite you and you can't shake it off at your convenience. (But I think they've been through enough, and- like I said- I hope it ends with them suing and nothing but disgrace for Nifong and the potbangers)."
My reply to Joe T.: Many thanks for your thoughtful comments.
I agree that being an athlete is not necessarily indicative of good character. Neither is being a student. I cited Collin Finnerty as "an exemplary student and athlete" because he was, both at an elite Catholic high school (Chaminade) and at Duke. My point was that there was no mental or physical reason to hide Collin in the attic. In addition, the adjective I chose was "exemplary" (defined as "deserving imitation : COMMENDABLE "). I don't classify an athlete lacking good character as deserving imitation or commendable, not matter how skilled, and I'm sure you don't either..
As for "the Duke guys [thinking] it's cute to go 'slumming' with the less-fortunate (laughing at sleazy strippers)," I too am disappointed, even disgusted, with such misbehavior, but I am not in a position to separate the wheat from the chaff, that is, any who thought that "cute" and/or laughed at "sleazy strippers."
Let's remember that (1) the 2006 Duke Men's Lacrosse Team consisted of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen; (2) the senior co-captains hosted the off-campus party last March and chose strippers as "entertainment"; (3) poor, black ex-convicts had not requested; and (4) underclassmen are expected to show up and not to be blamed for doing just that (although I'd give the gold star to any and all who knew that strippers would be stripping and stayed away or left as soon as they learned that).
Let's not blame the whole team for the "entertainment" choice unless the whole team made or ratified the choice (which I do not believe was the case). Let's remember that the entire team did not come and watch the "entertainment." And let's treat each team member as an individual instead of castigating them all collectively for the rotten taste and/or rudeness of some.
I appreciate your praise for my "Paging Susan Lucci" piece, especially since it proved to be controversial.
The Friends of Duke University moderator prompted pronounced it "excellent." His words: "Excellent article! I will post it on out site right away. Finnerty family will probably appreciate it. Many thanks."
It was quickly posted and then quickly removed.
When I inquired why, the moderator replied:
"Yes, I meant to write to you about that. A few people wrote in saying the part about Finnerty was insulting to Collin and his family. They requested that we take the article off from our list. I am sure when you were writing you had the best interest of the Finnerty family. In my case, I just did not want to offend anyone, so I took it off. Please do not take this the wrong way, emotions are running very high on this case, and we just want to be as sensitive as possible.
"I look forward to your next articles on the case, and I appreciate the continued support you have been providing on this issue. We just have to accommodate some real sensitive people on this case."
How much of that is true, I don't know. But the article was de-listed pretty quickly and the moderator did not get around to doing what he claimed to have "meant to" do [telling me] before I discovered it and inquired.
What the moderator appreciated (and I then did not) was that the July 17, 2006 order issued by Judge Kenneth Titus was a gag order. Media reports had indicated the order restrained publicity, and quoted one defense lawyer as saying it was NOT a gag order. But it gagged potential witnesses, including the Duke Three, and the defense quietly moved for modification four days later.
The modification motion is pending. Even though the gagging is unconstitutional and outrageous, Judge Titus is not in a hurry to ungag. So, if Ms. Lucci might be a character witness at the trial (assuming there is a trial), she would risk being held in contempt of court and disqualified as a character witness if she spoke to the media about the case now.
So, ladies and gentlemen, please let Judge Titus know that he should FREE THE DUKE THREE AND SUSAN LUCCI to speak (even though it's likely to make Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong to freak).
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.