Local News

Motion: Second Dancer Initially Called Lacrosse Rape Allegations 'A Crock'

Posted June 9, 2006
Updated January 7, 2007

— New court filings in the Duke lacrosse rape case suggest that a second exotic dancer initially told Durham police that the alleged victim's rape claim could not be true and that it was "a crock."

According to the 32-page motion filed on Wednesday by defense attorney Kirk Osborn, the second dancer, Kim Roberts, told police that she was with the alleged victim the entire time at the March 13 party except for a period of less than five minutes.

But in Durham police search warrants made public earlier this year, the alleged victim told police she had been raped, beaten and sodomized for a 30-minute period by three Duke lacrosse players in a bathroom.

Roberts also initially told police, according to the motion, that the alleged victim never went back in to the house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., even though authorities have said in court documents that the two left the party and later returned at the urging of some of the partygoers.

Instead, the motion says, Roberts -- also identified as Kim Pittman -- locked the alleged victim in Roberts' Honda Accord while she proceeded to the back of the house to look for some of the accuser's personal belongings.

Osborn, who filed the motion on behalf of 20-year-old Reade Seligmann, also argues that investigators deliberately omitted information as they moved forward with the case.

Wednesday's motion also claims that the initial examination performed on the alleged victim did not reach a conclusion as to whether she was raped and that the only trace of physical trauma included a scratch on the alleged victim's knee and heel.

Osborn writes that the alleged victim said she was hit, kicked and strangled, but that the investigator in the case, Benjamin Himan, omitted that "the examining physician ... at 3:14 a.m. [on March 14] found no neck, back, chest or abdominal tenderness."

He also writes that the investigator's probable cause affidavit omitted that the sexual assault examination found that "no condoms, fingers or foreign objects were used during the alleged sexual assault."

The motion also states that the nurse who did the examination was not technically certified as a sexual-assault nurse, but that she was still "in training."

Osborn suggests that if investigators had included this information in their initial reports, a judge might not have issued the first set of identification orders for 46 players on the lacrosse team, who had to submit samples of their DNA.

The motion also states that prior to going to the lacrosse player's party that the accuser "had a function at a hotel room with a couple where she performed using a [sexual device], which clearly could have caused signs or symptoms of vaginal penetration."

Osborn also writes that had Himan interviewed a man, identified in the motion as her "driver" Jarrel Johnson, he would have "discovered sooner" that the alleged victim was also involved in some sexual manner with at least four different men during the weekend of March 10-12.

Seligmann, as well as Collin Finnerty, 19, were indicted in April on first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault charges in connection with the case. Last month, David Evans, 23, was also indicted on the same charges.

All three men have denied the rape allegations, and Evans spoke out about their innocence before surrendering to authorities last month.

"I am absolutely innocent of all the charges that were brought against me," Evans said. "These allegations are lies. Fabricated. And they will be proven wrong."

Each is out of jail on $400,000 bond.

Defense attorneys have claimed that Roberts initially told a member of the defense team that she did not believe the accuser's allegations, but has changed her story to gain favorable treatment in a criminal case against her.

Other than lacrosse players and the accuser, a 27-year-old student at North Carolina Central University, Roberts is believed to be the only other person at the March 13 party. Her testimony could be vital during any trial of the three suspects.

In an April interview with The Associated Press, Roberts, 31, said she does not know if an attack actually happened, but said she has "to wonder about their character," referring to the suspects in the case.

"I was not in the bathroom when it happened, so I can't say a rape occurred -- and I never will," she said.

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