April 11, 2007
Charges in the Duke lacrosse sex case are being dismissed after more than a year of investigations.
Defense lawyers say it is likely that the sex charges against three Duke
lacrosse players, that shamed the university and inflamed racial
tensions, will be dropped.
All three white former players, Colin Finnerty, Reade Seligman and
David Evans, had been accused of kidnapping and sexually violating a
black escort service dancer hired to perform at a team party.
They have always maintained their innocence.
"They apologized for their role in this, but certainly did not deserve
all the overreaction," said John Danowski, Duke Lacrosse Coach.
The three players were originally accused of rape, but those charges
were dropped earlier in the year, after the accuser changed her story
about what happened more than a year ago at a now vacant house.
But community leaders in the working class minority suburb where the 28-year-old accuser lives still say a crime was committed and blame the
district attorney for bungling the case.
"We have more questions than answers," said Reverend Melvin Whitley.
The state attorney took over the case earlier this year after district
attorney Mike Nifong left the case accused of ethics violations for
the way he handled it.
And as he fights to save his legal career now, the three men he
charged are fighting to recover their reputations.
"It's been a life-changing experience, the aftermath will be prolonged
for everyone involved," said Ed Douglas, Duke Lacrosse Captain.
And to pay off millions in legal fees for crimes they may no longer be accused of.