Local News

Duke Lacrosse Suspect Arrives in North Carolina

Posted April 10, 2007

— In what could signal a new development in the Duke lacrosse case, one of the three accused players arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Tuesday afternoon.

Reade Seligmann and his family arrived just after 3 p.m. on an American Airlines flight from Newark, N.J. They had no comment.

Defense attorney Wade Smith told WRAL that  the families of all three suspects—Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans—have remained hopeful and are cautiously optimistic that charges could be dropped.

Evans and Finnerty were expected to arrive soon in Raleigh, too. Finnerty's father, Kevin Finnerty, told WRAL that he was flying to Raleigh Tuesday evening.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office, which took over the case in January after Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong recused himself, has yet to announce whether it will proceed with the case.

A spokeswoman told WRAL Tuesday that no news conference about the case has been scheduled. Defense attorneys told WRAL that they have received no official notice about a news conference, but anticipate that it could come as early as Wednesday.

Several sources told WRAL that the indicted players and their families would be present when an announcement comes.

Special prosecutors have spent the past few months examining evidence, interviewing witnesses and talking to defense attorneys about the yearlong investigation. The three suspects face first-degree sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping charges in connection with allegations made by an exotic dancer hired to perform at a March 13, 2006, lacrosse team party.

Rape charges against all three players were dropped in December after the accuser waivered in key details of her story.

National network news crews, including CBS News, converged on Raleigh Tuesday in anticipation of a development.

"If and when the attorney general's office makes an announcement, Raleigh-Durham will be ground zero for national news media," CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts said.

Pitts said the high level of interest in the case is understandable and pointed out that it deals with issues that transcend the Triangle.

"It says as much about our nation as it does about Raleigh-Durham and how we deal with race, class and fairness," he said. "And it's about the justice system."

61 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • keepitsimplestupid Apr 11, 4:27 p.m.

    wral censures all comments that are for the players.

  • keepitsimplestupid Apr 11, 4:26 p.m.

    I hope the players sue the acusser, the district attorney,wral, and anyone else that convicted them before their trail.If this was about a black raping a white girl it would not get the press coverage.WAKE UP AMERICA.

  • Trivr Apr 11, 3:48 p.m.

    I hope Duke University, Mr Nifong, and the accuser are made to pay for what happened. The accuser should receive the greatest scorn. Duke rushed to judgment, Niforg was incompetent, but the accuser intentionally fabricated this story and nearly destroyed the lives of these three boys! I hope she spends many years in jail and isn't able to take advantage of the free college education provided by Jesse Jackson.

  • airbornegirl16 Apr 11, 2:57 p.m.

    In the beginning I was on the accuser's side. However that is because I got swept up in the media and propaganda of this story. Now I am angry. Not at the accused but at the accuser. How dare she play on the feelings and emotions of this state. It sickens me now to know that if something like this happens (for real) to someone else, the odds of that person being believed is a million to one. It makes me angry and an african-american and a woman, that someone can do something so stupid and hurtful and expect things to be okay. And as for Mike Nifong, I hope he gets what is comimg to him. He cashed in on the hurt feelings of a community for his own personal gain. How dare he. Now I feel as though there is no longer a voice for the black community for this "woman" has silenced it forever.

  • happyday Apr 11, 2:41 p.m.

    this is rediculous, i guess i know what i need to do when i need to get out of going to jail for a CRIME I COMMITTED. Go on 60 minutes, and attend Duke! NC you all dropped the ball on this one, bring back Nifong!!!!!

  • gonefishin2020 Apr 11, 6:22 a.m.

    Nifong's an IDIOT! Nuff said!

  • lucky22 Apr 11, 6:06 a.m.

    The accuser in this case I think was out for money from the beginning. Mike Nifong used this case to get the black vote, this is after he agreed not to seek office. Mike Nifong is an idiot in my opinion. God forbid if we have more like him serving in the justice system. That's scary to think about. Where is Jesse Jackson now? As if I really care. Mike Nifong got the racial stuff started and should be held accountable. As far as the player's commiting rape, from the beginning I said they didn't do it. I think the player's should sue the pants off Jesse Jackson for pain and suffering after he run his mouth. What does it tell you about the accuser when 3-4 other DNA samples were found on her. I say it pretty much tells me she a piece of trash.

  • boblucas Apr 11, 1:22 a.m.

    It's already ended, but I still want to know who all those people were who had DNA inside the accuser

  • moose13 Apr 11, 12:50 a.m.

    I agree with a lot of you, this needs to end, we should all know by now that she is lying about it, i say innocence to the guys involved, its just too bad that this will affect their lives no matter what the decision is

  • Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Apr 11, 12:12 a.m.

    Re: "In addition to everything else... perhaps we should say that Durham itself got "Nifonged" in that the reputation of the city itself has been damaged for years and years to come... think about it, even from a financial perspective, how much in property values (and TAX dollars!) has been lost thanks to Nifong's shenanigans? Would you relocate YOUR company to Durham now? Or your family? (assuming you were not already here.. and had the choice to live in neighboring communities such as Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Cary, etc. instead of Durham)."

    I think you're going a bit overboard here. I'm looking for a house now in Durham. The last thing I think of when looking for a house is the Duke Lacrosse scandal. Trying to blame Nifong or this case for some sort of financial loss for "years and years to come" is a bit ridiculous.

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