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Duke Forfeits Lacrosse Games After Rape Accusation

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DURHAM, N.C. — The athletics director at Duke University said the men's lacrosse team would forfeit two games as police investigate allegations that team members raped a dancer who was hired to perform at a party.

In a statement released by Duke, athletics director Joe Alleva noted that the players deny the rape allegations and no one has been charged. But he said several players admitted hiring dancers for the party and that underage drinking occurred.

"I am dismayed by the party on March 13," Alleva said in the statement, adding that the behavior is unacceptable.

As a result, the team forfeited its Saturday game against Georgetown and its Tuesday's game with Mount Saint Mary's.

The woman who accused the men said she'd been hired to dance for only five men at a bachelor party. Instead, she said, she and another dancer were surrounded by men when they got there and later got separated.

In a written statement released Saturday, Duke University President Richard Brodhead said he supported Alleva's decision to forfeit the matches, and that those responsible for the alleged crimes would face very serious penalties if the charges against them are verified.

"Physical coercion and sexual assault are unacceptable in any setting and have no place at Duke," Brodhead said. "The criminal allegations against three members of our men’s lacrosse team, if verified, will warrant very serious penalties."

No charges have been filed. About 46 members of the men's lacrosse team submitted DNA samples to authorities this week, but police have not said how long it would be before the results of those tests were known.

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