Local News

Duke Lacrosse Captain Pleads Guilty To Alcohol Charge

Posted May 8, 2006 2:38 a.m. EDT
Updated January 7, 2007 12:50 p.m. EST

— A captain of the Duke men's lacrosse team lost a deal Monday that would have kept him from being charged for alcohol and noise violations after prosecutors said he had violated the terms of the agreement by hosting a party where an exotic dancer says she was raped.

David Evans, 23, had been granted deferred prosecution on charges of having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle in August 2005 and for violating the noise ordinance in Durham in January. The deal required Evans to complete 60 hours of community service, pay $310 in court costs and fees and stay out of trouble. In exchange, the state agreed to dismiss the charges.

Assistant District Attorney Ashley Cannon argued Monday to Judge Ann McKown that Evans violated the agreement by hosting a party in March for fellow members of the lacrosse team. Many of them were not of legal drinking age, but were still allowed to consume alcohol at the party, Cannon said.

"He had control of the premises, and he allowed this conduct to go on," she said.

McKown reinstated the alcohol charge and Bannon entered a responsible plea on behalf of Evans, who did not attend the hearing. McKown fined him $100.

Members of the team also hired a pair of exotic dancers to perform at the party. One of the dancers later said that three members of the lacrosse team forced her into a bathroom and raped her.

A grand jury indicted sophomores Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual assault. Both have been released on $400,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court May 15, which coincides with the next grand jury meeting and the expected results of further DNA testing.

District Attorney Mike Nifong has said he plans to charge a third person in the case.

Evans, a graduating senior, faces no charges in connection with the party.

The rape case was not mentioned directly Monday, but defense attorney Brad Bannon did say that Evans had been cooperative in a separate, unrelated investigation. He argued that was evidence of good conduct.

"We do not really know why we're here," he said.

Kerry Sutton, another lawyer for Evans, said after court she had never had a deferred prosecution deal withdrawn after a client had met the community service and financial requirements.

"I've never understood that it (deferred prosecution) required perfect behavior," Sutton said. "I will certainly caution my clients in the future."

Six other players may also be back in court on previous charges unless they can prove they were not at the party. Nifong said deferred prosecution deals are made and negated at the district attorney's discretion.