Local News

Defense Attorneys Seek Toxicology Reports On Accuser In Duke Case

Posted May 23, 2006 7:18 a.m. EDT

— Lawyers representing one of three Duke University lacrosse players charged with rape want details about any toxicology tests performed on the accuser, asking in a motion filed Monday whether such evidence even exists.

"No such toxicology report, if it exists, was provided to the defense," wrote attorneys Kirk Osborn and Ernest Conner, referring to nearly 1,300 pages of evidence prosecutors provided to defense attorneys last week.

The attorneys represent Reade Seligmann, one of three lacrosse players charged with raping a woman hired to perform as a stripper at a March 13 team party.

Seligmann's attorneys want a judge to order prosecutors to provide any reports "generated from blood, urine or other biological samples" collected from the accuser. In the motion, they cited a story published in Newsweek earlier this month that said District Attorney Mike Nifong "hinted" such tests would reveal the presence of a date-rape drug.

Authorities have said a doctor and specially trained nurse performed a physical exam on the accuser that found evidence of sexual assault. But the nurse who filled out a report on that exam indicated no toxicology tests were performed, according to the defense motion.

"If there was a toxicology report available, it would've been included in the discovery I handed over to the defense," Nifong told WRAL on Monday.

Nifong told WRAL he had turned over all the evidence he has to-date and that when any new reports or documents come in, they too, would be handed over to the defense

Last week, he gave defense attorneys 1,278 pages of evidence, along with two VCR tapes and a CD of photos.

In a second motion filed Monday, the attorneys said information was missing, including "a substantial portion" of a report on the sexual-assault exam.

"It is clear from the discovery provided that discovery in this matter is nowhere near complete," the motion states.

Osborn and Wade Smith, who represents another suspect, Collin Finnerty, said they had reviewed the evidence provided by Nifong. Smith declined to comment to The Associated Press on its contents, but Osborn said he wasn't worried.

"I can say that, after reviewing all the discovery, there's nothing in there that causes us any concern," he said.