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Demontestament's picture
Joined: 2006-10-03

[QUOTE]RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN) -- All charges have been dropped in the sexual assault case against three former Duke University lacrosse players, North Carolina's attorney general announced Wednesday.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges against any of the players.

"The result of our review and investigation shows clearly that there is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges," he said. (Watch Cooper exonerate the players )

"Today we are filing notices of dismissal for all charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans.

"The result is that these cases are over and no more criminal proceedings will occur.

"We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges."

Seligmann, Evans and Finnerty were charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual offense after an escort-service dancer accused them of raping her at a team party.

"Rape and sexual assault victims often have some inconsistencies in their account of a traumatic event," Cooper said. "However, in this case, the inconsistencies were so significant and so contrary to the evidence that we have no credible evidence that an attack occurred in that house on that night."

Attorneys for the students have insisted from the start that their clients are not guilty.

The three former players and their families were expected to hold a news conference later Wednesday.

In January, Cooper's office took over the case from Michael Nifong, the Durham County district attorney who had been handling it. Nifong faces multiple ethics complaints from the state bar over his handling of the case.

Wednesday, defense sources told CNN the defense plans to pursue civil suits against Nifong no matter what decision was announced.

The same sources said there were no plans to sue the accuser, who was described as "a troubled soul."

Cooper would not comment on possible civil suits, but said, "I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies to other people. I think that those people ought to consider doing that."

Case began a year ago
The dismissal of the charges ends a yearlong battle fought in the North Carolina courts.

The allegations of rape, which sparked controversy in the Raleigh-Durham area and quickly moved into the national spotlight, were made last year when one of two women hired to dance at a March 13, 2006, party accused the students of raping her.

The woman initially said the three raped her in a bathroom, but the rape charges were dropped in December after she told prosecutors she could no longer testify that she had been penetrated with a penis, one of the defining factors of rape under North Carolina law. In addition, two DNA tests have found no evidence linking any of the three men to their 28-year-old accuser.

The North Carolina state bar filed ethics complaints against Nifong in December and January, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence from the players' defense attorneys and of "making misrepresentations to the presiding judge."

Other ethics complaints said Nifong had made inappropriate comments to the media about evidence, testimony, and the students' character and credibility. (Full story)

Nifong will be tried by the bar in June and could be disbarred if he's found guilty, AP reported.

The case prompted national outrage and discussion about racism and the rowdy behavior of privileged students at a prestigious university.

The accuser, a student at nearby North Carolina Central University, is black; the three accused men are white.

When the case began, Seligmann, of Essex Fells, New Jersey, and Finnerty, of Garden City, New York, were both sophomores. Evans, the team captain, who is from Bethesda, Maryland, graduated a day before turning himself in to face charges.

In January, Duke invited Seligmann and Finnerty to return for spring semester. They had been placed on administrative leave after the dancer made her accusations. Neither accepted the invitation, according to AP.

Evans became the first accused player to speak out, vehemently proclaiming his and his teammates' innocence as he turned himself in on May 15.

"It did not happen," he said. "I will be acquitted of all these charges because I have done nothing wrong, and I have told the truth. I have told the truth from day one."

Nice. I hope she is nailed with charges of filing a false police report, lieing under oath, defimation of character and a ton of other charges. Then I hope her attorney is disbarred for the **** he tried to pull during the trial. These guys have had their lives and careers ****ed up because of on stupid bitch.

I wonder what Jesse Jackson is going to have to say about this one, since he backed the woman and pretty much tried to paint these guys as rapists and white supremacists. The only thing the woman did was make it harder for rape cases to go through successfully for women who were actually raped. God I hope the schollarship she got because of this is pulled.


RIP Ernest Gary Gygax July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008

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