Local News

Duke, Lacrosse Players Reach Settlement

Posted June 18, 2007 3:15 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2007 8:05 p.m. EDT

— Duke University officials announced Monday that the school has reached a settlement with three former lacrosse players who were wrongfully accused of sexual assault.

Terms of the settlement between Duke and David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann weren't disclosed.

The three men were charged with kidnapping and sexual assault after exotic dancer Crystal Gail Mangum told police she was attacked by some players in March 2006 while performing as a stripper at a lacrosse team party.

Evans graduated before he was indicted in the case, but Finnerty and Seligmann were forced to leave school. Both were invited to return to class in January, after a rape charge against them was dismissed and the other charges were in doubt, but neither did.

State Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed all charges against the men in April and declared them innocent, saying there was no credible evidence that any assault occurred at the lacrosse party.

"These young men and their families have been the subject of intense scrutiny that has taken a heavy toll," Duke said in a statement. "The Board of Trustees and the president have also determined that it is in the best interests of the Duke community to eliminate the possibility of future litigation and move forward. For these reasons, and after considerable deliberation, the trustees have agreed to a settlement with each student."

"We hope that today’s resolution will begin to bring the Duke family back together again, and we look forward to working with the university to develop and implement initiatives that will prevent similar injustices and ensure that the lessons of the last year are never forgotten," the players said in the statement.

Earlier this year, Duke reached a settlement with Mike Pressler, who was forced to resign as lacrosse coach shortly after the sexual assault allegations were made. Terms of that agreement also weren't disclosed, but a school official called it, "a fair financial settlement."