Local News

Duke Defense Asks Court to Note Evidence Withheld

Posted February 27, 2007

— The Duke lacrosse case has been handed over to a special prosecutor, but the defense is still on the attack, asking the court Tuesday to take special note of the prosecution's not having turned over DNA evidence that the defense says shows their clients are innocent.

In a motion, the lawyers told the court that  results from 11 of 22 tests done on samples from a rape kit taken from the victim the night of the alleged crime were not provided until January.

The defense wants that information in the court record for certain, they said.

The rape kit was taken at Duke Hospital the morning of March 14, 2006, the morning after a lacrosse team party at which a woman hired as a stripper claimed she was attacked in a bathroom.

Collin Finnerty, David Evans and Reade Seligmann are charged with sexual assault and kidnapping. They had been charged with rape as well, but Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped those charges in December after the woman’s story wavered, his office said then.

Nifong recused himself from the case in January and it has since been turned over to special prosecutors in the state Attorney General's office.

In the motion, defense attorneys did not blame the special prosecutors for the issues, saying they had no direct knowledge of evidence being withheld.

On May 12, 2006, DNA Security, a private laboratory in Burlington, reported the results of one of 22 tests.

The defense then filed a motion asking for the remaining tests, citing evidence that that the DNA of multiple males was found on the victim's body and that it did not match that in samples given by any of the defendants or their lacrosse teammates.

On Jan. 9, Dr. Brian Meehan from DNA Security gave the defense attorneys an amended report, saying it was the complete file.

This story is closed for comments.

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  • harris6j Mar 3, 2007

    The accuser nor DA Nifong can't keep their lies straight... And it is those lies that will land them sharing a jail cell.It seems that they were made for each other.

  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 28, 2007

    This is still being prosecuted because, even though none of the evidence points to anything, someone is going to have to go down for something. The woman lied, it was proven she lied, but that doesn't matter to "The Community" they want something out of this fiasco. I'll be surprised if they don't riot.

  • Pandoras Box Feb 27, 2007

    Hey Happyday. I was a stripper and I still frequent strip clubs with my husband - often. I STILL THINK SHE IS LYING - HENCE MUTIPLE STORY CHANGES. The defense has and had the right to these tests the minute she accused their clients. If not how could there ever be a fair trial. It is called withholding evidence. No one can choose what evidence they wish to enter. She may be a victim - but only in life and it has nothing to do with this case or these people. This is not a judgement, but a obvious conclusion. Furthermore what woman - who was raped - would have sex with others evidently after - and get pregnant one month after the fact? It doesn't add up and it never did. The prosecution botched this one up even before it began.

  • Love my boys Feb 27, 2007

    Personally, I don't think that if I had been ganged rape by 3 people at one time that I would want to have sex again. I'm sorry for this woman who had no other resources she could turn to other than becoming an exotic dancer. BUT she alleges she was raped and then 9 or 10 months later, has a baby? Come on! When are the prosecutors going to get a clue?

  • C6-YA Feb 27, 2007

    Can someone from WRAL explain why an approver is required on some stories and not others?

  • happyday Feb 27, 2007

    How about this to the bill of rights touter! the Bill of Rights and the Constitution provide a right to privacy. The "defense" as you call it has no right to view those DNA samples unless they belong to their clients. And as for you jerks impeaching the VICTIM yes i said VICTIM in this case. If you're going to judge her for her "career" choices then you need to judge the LAX players for using her services as well. Like none of your or your husbands have ever been to this type of establishment. I can't stand holyer than thou people who judge others when they should be judging themselves.

  • giepa Feb 27, 2007

    I could tell you why but they would not post my comments just A short for the reasson, OJ

  • cbhopper122859 Feb 27, 2007

    What a surprise Nifong still has evidence.Wral when are you going to tell the truth about Nifong.Its time you brought to light the injustice Nifong has done.

  • der_Marv_meister Feb 27, 2007

    I am not sure why the defense team is waiting for something that is, in my opinion, non-existant? I am sure Nifong was very thorough in his investi...... sorry, I slipped off my chair laughing so hard trying to finish that sentence.

  • jeezohpete Feb 27, 2007

    Why does WRAL gloss over this story, but mentions the falsely accused by name twice? This story is about 22 samples of DNA collected from in and on the accuser and only the results of 12 being reported -- all exculpatory. It also indicates that the accuser had sexual relations with at least one other male, not a LAX player. Wonder how this fits into the latest story she told the Special Prosecutors? These guys should never have been indicted and yet the Special Prosecutors keep dragging this out. North Carolina needs some redemption - our legislative and judicial systems are now the fodder of jokes around the world. When will someone have the courage of their conviction and start doing the right thing? Why can't our NC politicos uphold the Constitution? How about the Bill of Rights? This is screaming for another Federal Investigation.