A relative of the woman who accused three Duke University lacrosse players of brutally raping her last fall told ABC News exclusively Sunday night that she believes the defense team and their clients are trying to "break'' her cousin and force her to drop out of the case.
"I think a lot of this is intimidation,'' the accuser's cousin Jakki, who would not allow her last name to be used, said on Sunday night. "I think they want her to break, to say, 'Enough is enough.'"
Jakki spoke to ABC News after watching a segment on CBS's "60 Minutes," in which the three men charged with rape in the case, Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, said they are being framed for a crime they did not commit. Also on the program, the accuser is seen dancing on a pole in a strip club two weeks after the alleged attack, according to video aired for the first time Sunday night.
The second dancer at the party that night, Kim Roberts, told the news program she never saw any indications that the accuser had been assaulted. Roberts, who drove the accuser from the party, has previously called the rape charge a "crock.'' Roberts also denied a claim made by the accuser to police that the pair of dancers were "pulled apart'' right before the alleged attack.
Asked why a woman who said she was brutally raped and beaten by three men just two weeks before would return to nude dancing, Jakki said her cousin "has to survive.''
"She's a mother too, and she's a student, and … she has to make a living. She has to survive and that's unfortunate.''
"I think people forget that she's a human being," Jakki said. "It's really hard because she is my family, and she's a person. These boys said that 'this has destroyed my life.' That hasn't even touched on what has been done to my cousin's life.''
Jakki said that her cousin has been forced into hiding because of the notoriety of the case. "She can't go out and get milk like a normal person," she said.
She said the accuser has lost significant weight and is suffering emotional problems as a result of the attention the case has garnered.
The last time she spoke to her cousin, Jakki said, "her state of mind wasn't that good."
Jakki said that she has never doubted the veracity of her cousin's story, but said she could not explain the many apparent inconsistencies in the woman's story. Among other things, the accuser told authorities at one point that she had been raped by five men, at another point she said it was three men, and once said that "no one forced'' her to have sex.
Jakki appeared most frustrated when talking about Roberts, who she pointed out had never met her cousin before the two met at the party to dance. She said that Roberts "has shown time and time again that she wants to make money'' from her involvement in the case. "She sees this as a golden opportunity. Nothing she says surprises me anymore."
After initially telling police she thought the rape allegations were a "crock,'' Roberts appeared to change her opinion, insisting later in an interview with National Public Radio she believes that "something happened'' that night. She has maintained throughout that she never saw any assault take place. The NPR interview surfaced after Roberts had been jailed on a probation violation and saw her bail reduced when District Attorney Nifong -- in what local lawyers said was an unusual move -- agreed to a significant reduction.