Reade Seligmann’s Full Testimony: Prosecutor Nifong’s Ethics Trial
Reade Seligmann’s Full Testimony at Prosecutor Nifong’s Ethics Trial
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Reade Seligmann testified how he was sure that the DNA tests would clear his name. He broke into tears during his testimony, while he described finding out that he had been indicted and thinking about how he was going to manage breaking that terrible news to his mother. Mr. Seligmann, 21, gave emotionally moving testimony about the anguish of having to face false charges that interrupted a year of his education and could have sent him to prison for 30 years.
Mr. Seligmann choked up and repeatedly wiped back tears as he described hearing the news of his indictment and telling his parents. “My dad just fell to the floor, and I just sat on the ground,” Mr. Seligmann said. “And I said, ‘My life is over.”
Mr. Seligmann recounted how last winter, Mr. Nifong refused to meet with his lawyer who had evidence that he was not even at the party when the assault supposedly occurred. He said that Mr. Nifong had said he was not interested in such “fiction” and that the district attorney had “smirked” on another occasion when the evidence was offered.
Mr. Seligmann described how people in familiar restaurants, as well as on the Duke University campus, turned against him after the charges were filed. Mr. Seligmann said people in a restaurant that he used to eat in every day, and who he considered to be his friends, put up a “Wanted” poster showing the entire Duke lacrosse team.
“The feeling on campus was as lonely as you can imagine,” he said.
Immediately following the conclusion of Seligmann’s testimony, Nifong voluntarily resigned from his position as the Durham County Prosecutor. The North Carolina State Bar has charged Nifong with withholding critical DNA test results from defense attorneys, lying to the court and Bar investigators and making misleading and inflammatory comments about the players. If the Bar’s three-member Disciplinary Hearing Commission decides that he violated ethics rules, he could be disbarred.
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