The grand jury that debunked Tawana Brawley's tale of rape was dismissed Friday, with a juror saying the evidence included fibers under her nails suggesting she scrawled racial epithets on her own body.
"This thing wasn't a mere preponderance of evidence," said Anthony Montanari. "It was all the evidence that pointed to the conclusion that we drew."The 170-page grand jury report rejected the black teenager's claims that she was kidnapped and raped by a gang of white men last November.
In Chicago, Brawley advisers, the Rev. Al Sharpton and attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox challenged the report and said the teenager would appear at a news conference there over the weekend.
The report flatly stated Brawley had not been sexually assaulted. It said all evidence suggested that the teen-ager, found Nov. 28 with racial epithets and dog feces on her body, had inflicted this on herself.
But one of the two blacks on the 23-person grand jury said he was not convinced the 16-year-old was lying.
"The evidence wasn't there to support the conclusion," said Jimmy Powell. He said he wasn't the only grand juror to disagree with the report but wouldn't give any more details about the deliberations.
Grand jury reports do not have to be accepted unanimously. The New York Daily News reported the vote was 22-1.
Montanari would not discuss the vote, and Timothy Gilles, spokesman for Attorney General Robert Abrams, would not comment on the deliberations.
Brawley's advisers instructed her and her family not to cooperate with the grand jury, and they have denounced the panel's findings as a racist cover-up.