Local News

Warrant Confirms Search Of Second Duke Lacrosse Player's Dorm Room

Posted April 21, 2006
Updated December 9, 2006

— A search warrant shows that on Tuesday, Durham police searched the dorm room of another Duke lacrosse player who is charged with the alleged rape of a woman at an off-campus party in March.

On Friday, police released the search warrant, which details items confiscated from Reade Seligmann's room. This included an iPod, various computer-related items, a CD titled "Loser," and two pictures, one of Seligmann with a blonde-haired girl.

This second search at Edens 2C Residence Hall occurred just hours after Seligmann and another player, Collin Finnerty, were arrested and charged with first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping.

Records indicate that the purpose of both searches was to locate any clothing that may have been worn the night of the party, as well as cameras, video recording equipment and e-mails referencing the party.

On Thursday, police released details of a search of Finnerty's dorm room, during which they took into evidence a New York Times newspaper article and an envelope postmarked September 2005 bearing the address of a woman at Boston College.

Defense attorneys are awaiting the results of a second round of DNA test of evidence secured in the investigation. District Attorney Mike Nifong sent the samples to a private lab for more extensive testing than the state could offer. Those results were expected by the end of the week.

Initial DNA testing failed to match evidence collected from the alleged victim to members of the lacrosse team.

Details Emerge About Controversial Photo Lineup

After the exotic dancer told police she was raped at a party, police photographed of all but one of Duke's lacrosse team members. Those pictures were the only ones shown to the accuser during a photo line-up.

According to the identification report, mugshot-style pictures were displayed one at a time in a Power Point type format, with a blank frame separating each photograph.

State guidelines suggest that investigators use a picture of the suspect, as well as seven pictures of people who bear a resemblance, in a photo line-up. Defense attorney Mark Edwards, who is not involved in this case, said the line-up used could be problematic for the state's case.

"I think police made a big mistake on this one," said Edwards. "There will be motions filed to try and exclude her out of court and in court identification based on the way this was done."

The accuser identified her alleged attackers three weeks after reporting the rape. The report says that two investigators asked Nifong if unrelated pictures should be included in the line-up. According to the report, Nifong responded that since they knew they were dealing with a specific group -- the lacrosse team -- to use that group only.

Famous Lawyer Joins Player's Defense Team

Another high-profile Triangle attorney has signed on to the Duke Lacrosse case: Wade Smith has joined Collin Finnerty's defense team.

 Smith's previous clients have included Ann Miller Kontz and Fatal Vision killer Jeffrey MacDonald. Finnerty is also represented by Bill Cotter.
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