Cabler acquires rights to lacrosse story

HBO has acquired rights to Stuart Taylor Jr. and K.C. Johnson’s book “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.”

Book, about the prosecution of three Duke U. lacrosse players for the alleged gang rape of a stripper at a team party on campus, was just published by the St. Martin’s Press imprint Thomas Dunne Books.

Paybox will develop a movie exploring the dynamics of racism and class issues that made the case a national story.

Durham, N.C., district attorney Michael Nifong demonized the defendants in the media and fanned racial hatred to win black votes in his re-election campaign, according to the book. Worse, he withheld or ignored crucial evidence that disproved his flimsy case. He was subsequently disbarred and disgraced, and all charges were dismissed by the attorney general of North Carolina, who declared the players innocent.

Josh Maurer, whose HBO credits include “The Pentagon Papers” and “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” will exec produce with Alixandre Witlin.

Taylor is a legal commentator who writes for Newsweek, and Johnson is a professor of history at CUNY.

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