Local News

Report: Nifong Hasn't Changed Mind About Duke Lacrosse Case

Posted June 18, 2006 8:22 a.m. EDT
Updated January 7, 2007 12:06 p.m. EST

— Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong says he still believes a woman hired to perform as a stripper at a Duke lacrosse team party was raped, apparently dismissing questions raised about his case by the defense.

"None of the 'facts' I know at this time, indeed, none of the evidence I have seen from any source, has changed the opinion that I expressed initially," Nifong said in an e-mail to Newsweek, which appears in a story to be on newsstands Monday.

In April, Nifong was unequivocal in numerous interviews about his belief the woman, a 27-year-old student at North Carolina Central University, was assaulted at a March 13 team party.

Since early April, Nifong has generally refused to talk about the case. In the past month, he has consistently refused requests for comment from The Associated Press. In his e-mail to Newsweek, which the magazine described as "angry," he refused to be interviewed.

Nifong's comments to the magazine come as defense attorneys continue to strongly proclaim their clients' innocence, challenging various aspects of the prosecution's case in court filings that seek access to any evidence Nifong might not yet have released as required.

Last month, Nifong provided nearly 1,300 pages of discovery to defense attorneys, saying that was all he had to turn over.

In April, a grand jury indicted team members Reade Seligmann of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty of Garden City, N.Y., on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. David Evans, a team co-captain from Bethesda, Md., was indicted on the same charges in May.

The three players all have court hearings scheduled for Thursday, although none are expected to attend in person and will instead be represented by their attorneys.