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DNA Results Don't Link Duke Team To


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DNA tests performed on 46 members of the Duke lacrosse team in an investigation into an alleged rape at an off-campus party last month have come back negative, according to defense attorneys. Lawyers for the athletes said the tests failed to link any of the players to the alleged incident involving a stripper from a nearby college, according to the Durham Herald-Sun newspaper.

"This test clears these young men conclusively," Durham lawyer Bill Thomas said. "It is our hope that none of these young men will have to face criminal charges resulting from these allegations." None of the men's DNA was found on the woman's body, her clothing or belongings, according to lawyers for the players.

District Attorney Mike Nifong, who had earlier said he might still prosecute even if the DNA tests came back negative, said he is still "convinced" a rape occurred and downplayed the significance of the test results, according to the paper.

"There are no new developments and when there are new developments, we'll schedule a press conference," Nifong said, holding open the possibility of charges being filed later. Police said they are also still investigating the case, which has led to the top-ranked team's long-serving coach stepping down, the cancellation of the team's season, and ratcheted up long-simmering racial tensions between Durham townspeople and the elite university (see "Tensions High At Duke University As Rape Investigation Uncovers Violent E-mail").

The dancer, identified only as a 27-year-old black student from nearby N.C. Central University, has claimed that she was hired to dance at an off-campus party held by members of the men's lacrosse team on the night of March 13 and that three white team members raped and beat her in the bathroom of the house and shouted racial insults. She said she broke five artificial fingernails while clawing at the arms of one of her attackers, but defense attorneys said there was no evidence showing any of the players were touched by her fingernails. The lone black member of the lacrosse team was not DNA tested because the accuser said her attackers were white.

An emergency room physician and a sexual assault nurse specialist examined the woman on the night of the incident and medical records and interviews that the police obtained by subpoena showed the woman had injuries consistent with being raped and sexually assaulted, according to The New York Times.

The Durham Herald-Sun reported that a lawyer close to the case said the DNA tests returned on Monday were not all-inclusive and that another lab is also analyzing the samples.

The mother of the alleged victim said she doubted the initial test results. "I don't have a reaction because I know it happened," the woman's mother said Monday night. "They must have tampered with [the results] or something."

Defense lawyers said the lacrosse players were pleased but not surprised by the negative DNA results. "When you haven't done anything wrong, you're not surprised if the evidence shows you haven't done anything wrong," attorney Joe Cheshire told the Herald-Sun.

Over the weekend, defense attorneys said they had photographs showing that the accuser had cuts, bruises and other injuries when she arrived at the house party, and that time-stamped photos taken on the night of the alleged rape provided further evidence exonerating the players. In one, the Herald-Sun reports, the dancer is seen trying to get back into the house after the alleged assault took place.

The players have maintained their innocence and reportedly refused to cooperate with authorities, even as the investigation uncovered an e-mail from one player in which he wrote of inviting strippers to his dorm room and killing and skinning them. That player has been suspended.



I really loved when it was a white on black crime it was all over the media like no tomarrow, but now that the DNA is back and the lawyer is reporting this I had to dig a bit more to even find the story.

The way people are treating this, they are blaming the entire team and have messed up lifes. Instead of doing proper work and being reasonable people threw out the race card without question. :no:

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well of course they threw the race card out... im sorry but alot of women today are crazy and claim they were rapped... and alot of the times its just sex they regret (spelling?) so they claim rape... but this dancer was looking for a little more she wanted to ruin lives maybe the didnt pay her what she wanted or maybe they were making fun of her body or something... but shes 100% crazy

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