Prosecutors Drop Duke Rape Counts
On March 13th,2006, Duke University's lacrosse team threw a party and hired 2 exotic dancers. The next day, one of the exotic dancers accused several members of the lacrosse team of kidnapping and raping her. The accusations ignited an already volatile relationship between the university and the community. The accuser is a young black woman, a single mother, attending the local community college while the accused are young privileged white men attending a prestigious university. In a city where the population is evenly divided between white and black, the incident further divided the city and lines were drawn.
Of those accused, 3 were charged with rape, kidnapping and sexual assault. The accused are Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J.; co-captain David Evans, 23, of Bethesda; and Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y.
However, recently, there have been surprising revelations. The accused has recanted her testimony about the players raping her. DNA experts have been unable to match the DNA any of the lacrosse player with the DNA collected from the accuser's body and clothing. The police had used a bias line up of possible suspects. These latest developments forced the district attorney, Michael B. Nifong, to re-exam the case. Earlier this week, the Nifong dropped the rape charge against all 3 men. However, the charges of kidnapping and sexual assault remain.
Many are crying afoul saying that Nifong is using the case to launch his career without regard to the merit of the evidence.