Local News

Duke Rape Suspect Wants To Be A Lawyer, CBS Reporter Says

Posted June 22, 2006
Updated January 7, 2007

— Reade Seligmann has remained very upbeat in the midst of a high-profile rape investigation involving him and two other Duke University lacrosse athletes, according to a CBS News correspondent.

"He's a very confident young man," reporter Trish Regan told WRAL on Thursday. "His parents told me he's the kind of person who always looks at the glass as half-full."

Regan said Seligmann, 20, has been spending his time away from Duke University finishing his coursework and working out -- and he hopes that he will be able to play lacrosse again.

"And interestingly, he told me he wants to be a lawyer," Regan said. "He had thought about being a lawyer prior to this, and this entire incident has convinced him that this is his calling."

Regan, who has been covering the Duke lacrosse investigation since March, recently spent about five hours with Seligmann and his parents without a news camera and details the interview in an article posted on CBS News' Web site.

In the article, Seligmann's mother, Kathy Seligmann, told Regan that she does not blame the exotic dancer who told Durham police that she was raped and sodomized by three men at an off-campus party on March 13.

"That was really something that struck me the most," Regan said. "Kathy Seligmann said that despite everything her family has been through ... she really doesn't harbor any ill will toward her son's accuser."

Regan said Kathy Seligmann believes the woman "panicked and perhaps, came up with this lie to get out of a situation."

Seligmann, as well as Collin Finnerty, 19, were each indicted in April on first-degree assault, kidnapping and rape charges. A month later, a grand jury also indicted David Evans, 23, on the same charges.

In an affidavit filed Wednesday by Reade Seligmann's attorney, Seligmann's father, Philip Seligmann, wrote about the "unbelievable and horrendous emotional toll" the investigation has had on his family, who borrowed $400,000 from a close friend to post their son's bond.

During court proceedings on Thursday, a Durham County Superior Court judge reduced the bond to $100,000 so that the family could pay back the friend, who was losing money on the interest the $400,000 could be earning.

Philip Seligmann also wrote about his son's character, calling Reade "a good citizen" with a "strong sense of community," citing examples of community service as a camp counselor for several lacrosse camps and how, as a junior in high school, he traveled to "help the poorest of the poor in the United States, the mountain children of eastern Kentucky."

Reade Seligmann's attorneys have maintained their client's innocence, pointing to ATM surveillance video, university dorm-entry records and a written statement from a cab driver to support that he was not at the house on North Buchanan Boulevard at the time that the accuser alleges she was raped.

Still, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong has publicly stated that he does believe a sexual assault occurred and has said the case against the three athletes could go to trial as early as the spring.

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