Stripper who cried rape charged with murder

The woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of raping her was charged yesterday with murder in the death of her boyfriend.

Crystal Mangum was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder and two counts of larceny. She has been in custody since April 3, when police charged her with assault in the stabbing of 46-year-old Reginald Daye. He died after nearly two weeks at a hospital.

Mangum falsely accused the lacrosse players of raping her at a 2006 party at which she was hired to perform as a stripper. The case heightened long-standing tensions in Durham, North Carolina, about race, class and the privileged status of college athletes.

Prosecutors declined to press charges for the false accusations, but Mangum’s bizarre legal troubles have continued.

Last year, she was convicted on misdemeanour charges after lighting a fire that nearly torched her home with her three children inside. She told officers she got into a confrontation with her boyfriend at the time and burned his clothes, smashed his car windshield and threatened to stab him.

Friends said Mangum has never recovered from the stigma brought by the lacrosse case and has been involved in a string of questionable relationships in an attempt to provide stability for her children.

Vincent Clark, a friend who co-authored Mangum’s self-published memoir, said he hoped people didn’t rush to judgment – echoing one of the oft-cited lessons of the lacrosse case itself.

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