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Durham DA Wants Inquiry in Duke Lacrosse Case

Interim Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin wants the state Attorney General's Office to determine if government officials should be prosecuted for their handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

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DURHAM, N.C. — The Durham County District Attorney's Office has asked state prosecutors to investigate whether criminal charges should be filed against anyone connected with the defunct Duke lacrosse case.

The State Bureau of Investigation would be expected to handle a probe if one is ordered. Potential targets would be anyone in law enforcement involved with the case, which includes members of the Durham Police Department and former district attorney Mike Nifong.

Attorney General Roy Cooper is reviewing the request, spokeswoman Noelle Talley said.

Hardin's request in a letter to Cooper came two days before Nifong was scheduled to serve a 24-hour jail sentence for criminal contempt of court for how he handled disclosures about DNA evidence while prosecuting the case.

Three members of the 2006 Duke University lacrosse team were indicted and arrested on charges of rape, sexual assault and kidnapping after a supposed attack at a team party held in an off-campus house in March 2006.

Nifong dropped the rape charges in December. Cooper's office took over the case in January, and he dropped the remaining charges in April, saying there was no case against the three men.

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