Local News

Attorney says Nifong won't pay lacrosse players

Posted August 15, 2008

— An attorney for Durham's former prosecutor says the three former Duke University lacrosse players his client sought to prosecute on rape charges should not expect any money as a result of a civil rights lawsuit they filed last year.

"These creditors, certainly their counsel, have to know they will never collect so much as $35 from Mike Nifong," James Craven said in a 20-page federal court document filed Friday. "They must know that, yet still they come."

Craven says the matter should be handled in bankruptcy court instead.

Nifong won indictments against Collin Finnerty, David Evans and Reade Seligmann in 2006 after a stripper, hired to perform at a team party, reported being raped. The case unraveled in the face of the accuser's constantly changing story and a lack of evidence.

The state prosecutors who eventually took over the case dropped all charges and declared the players innocent victims of Nifong's "tragic rush to accuse." He was later disbarred for his handling of the case and spent a night in jail for lying to a judge.

The three men filed the lawsuit in October, alleging Nifong, the city of Durham and others conspired to keep a weak case alive as Nifong faced election in the Democratic primary for district attorney in 2006.

Nifong filed for bankruptcy in January, which temporarily protected him against litigation, but a U.S. bankruptcy judge later ruled the lawsuit could proceed.

Charles Davant IV, an attorney representing Evans and Finnerty, had no comment Friday afternoon about the latest filing from Nifong. However, he said attorneys for the players will respond in their own court filings, due Sept. 15. David Rudolf, an attorney for Seligmann, also had no comment, saying he had not yet seen Craven's papers.


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  • NCPictures Aug 15, 2008

    And who do we have to thank for bringing us the likes of Nifong? Yes thats right our wonderful Governor Easley. Thanks Gov for another wonderful decision!

  • HarleyMan66 Aug 15, 2008

    They may not get any money, but a civil judgement against Nifong will follow him the rest of his sorry life. Nifong may as well go live in a cave, that's the only way he MIGHT ever get any peace.

  • glo Aug 15, 2008

    Nifong is a low life and should be prosecuted himself for what he did to these young men. Duke University needs to shoulder a lot of responsibility, also, as they presumed all their students guilty from the start. This esteemed Hall of Learning has apparently not realized it is located in the USA where we are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. After this case, I feel like I moved to a rather backward third world country called North Carolina.

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Aug 15, 2008

    Excuse me while I shed a tear for Nifong.

  • lane817 Aug 15, 2008

    a wise fellow once said forgive if you wish to be forgiven. he didnt say it would be easy. let it go guys and go on with your lives.

  • IzzMad2016 Aug 15, 2008

    I saw the interviews Ed Bradley did on 60 Minutes before he passed away. Dave Evans said something to the effect that proven innocent or not, his name would forever be associated with this case. Years from how his obituary might read "he did great things in his life" but it would also say "accused of rape during his college years at Duke." He's right. There's probably never going to be a day in the rest of their lives that this doesn't affect them some way or somehow. For that and the rest of the wrongs these boys endured Nifong deserves to be held accountable in the courts whether he has the means to pay any judgement rendered or not.

  • freddie cadetti 72 Aug 15, 2008

    Pay up, Nifong. You ruined reputations and in some cases , lives. My Brother was shafted in like manner in a case against him last year. Nothing in place to protect victims of false accusers.

  • teacher-mom Aug 15, 2008

    I do not know what they expected. Maybe Duke will come up with something although I doubt it. The important thing is that were were proven innocent. That is the most important thing.

  • GWALLY Aug 15, 2008

    These guys are smart enough to know they will never collect anything......but with a judgement against him Nyfong will NEVER be able to hold any assets....ever!! Remember OJ and his civil judgement.....that's a heck of a way have to live.

  • Deacons Aug 15, 2008

    they should AT LEAST get what it cost them in legal fees,lost income for the parents while away on the trial, etc.