The North Carolina State Bar has accused Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong of violating ethics rules in media interviews he gave shortly after a woman accused Duke lacrosse players of raping her at a team party in March, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. The Bar complaint of pretrial prejudice is the first concrete action that could accomplish what critics have sought for months: Nifong’s removal from the case. He could lose his law license.
Three former Duke lacrosse players are charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault after an escort-service dancer said they took her in a bathroom and committed sex acts on her. Rape charges were dropped. Lisa Williams, a former Durham prosecutor turned defense attorney, believes the Bar’s accusations create a conflict of interest for Nifong, which state law says is grounds to have him removed from the case, if not from office. Nifong could be disbarred or lose his law license for up to five years if a Bar review board finds him guilty.