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Friday, March 24, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Athletes tested in gang rape inquiry

For year-long coverage of Duke/Nifong Hoax see: TJN archives or the frontpage for latest developments.

Update - April 18, 2006: Two Duke Lacrosse Players Are Arrested and Charged

Last updated to this page: April 1, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Athletes tested in gang rape inquiryThe Raleigh North Carolina newspaper, the News & Observer is reporting (3/24/06), DNA Tests Ordered for Duke Athletes:
Durham police had 46 members of the Duke University lacrosse team DNA-tested Thursday in the suspected gang-rape of a woman at an off-campus party last week.

Police think at least three of the men could be responsible for the sexual assault, beating, robbery and near-strangulation of one of two women who had an appointment to dance at the party March 13, according to a search warrant.

Such a broad DNA sampling early in an investigation is unusual, several local lawyers said.

The assault allegedly happened in a house shared by three members of the men's lacrosse team, Duke officials said.

All but one member of the team reported to the Durham police crime lab downtown at 4 p.m. Thursday to be photographed and "to provide identifying information," said John Burness, Duke University senior vice president for public affairs. The team member who did not report was not ordered to the screening, Burness said without explaining why.

"Duke University is monitoring the situation and cooperating with officials, as are the students," Burness said.
The victim, a 27-year-old black women, had worked for an escort service to help support her two children and pay for classes at N.C. Central University and the night she was attacked was the first time she had been hired to dance for a group. The victim said her three attackers were white. More details from wwaytv3.com:
A search warrant said the woman, who nearly was strangled, was hired this month to dance at a house where three members of the team lived.

Duke spokesman John Burness says team members reported to police yesterday to provide samples and be photographed. No charges had been filed by late yesterday.

According to the search warrant, two women went to the house to dance before the men became aggressive. The women started to leave but were asked to return by a suspect who apologized. When they went back inside, they were separated and the victim was forced into a bathroom and was assaulted by three men.
This is an earlier report of the crime by newsobserver.com - Assault victim says she was robbed, too:
A woman who told police she was raped by as many as three men at a house party near Duke University also said she was robbed, according to a police report.

According to the report, the victim, who told police she was raped March 13 at a party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., was also robbed of a $300 cell phone and a large amount of cash.

It is The News & Observer's policy not to identify victims of reported sex crimes.

No suspects have been named in the case, but Sgt. Mark Gottlieb of the Durham Police Department said Tuesday that police are following several leads and that the residents of the rental house, which faces the university's East Campus, are being cooperative.

About 30 people were at the party, which started late March 13 and went into the early morning, and alcohol was involved, Gottlieb has said.
The Duke Chronical had this earlier report - "Suspects in alleged rape unidentified" from March 21st:
One week after a young woman was allegedly raped at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the Durham Police Department is still investigating the situation, saying "the suspects have not been clearly identified."

The house, which was recently purchased by University subsidiary Durham Realty, was the site of a party that involved both Duke students and non-students, said Sgt. M.D. Gottlieb of Durham Police District 2 Investigations.

Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the University will not take action until the police department's investigation is finished.

"From what I understand, the situation is under investigation by the Durham Police Department, and we will await that investigation," she said...

Gottlieb said any man that attended the party March 13 would be a viable suspect but refused to go into further detail.
UPDATE, March 29th: Duke Lacrosse Team's Season Halted Over Rape Allegations

Duke lacrosse players practice Monday, March 27, 2006, on the campus in Durham, N.CCBS News:
Duke University's president has suspended the school's highly ranked lacrosse team from play until school administrators learn more about allegations that several team members raped an exotic dancer at an off-campus party.

"In this painful period of uncertainty, it is clear to me, as it was to the players, that it would be inappropriate to resume the normal schedule of play," President Richard Brodhead said Tuesday.

The Duke Lacrosse Captains issued a statement on Tuesday, Mar. 28th:
We also stated unequivocally that any allegation that a sexual assault or rape occurred is totally and transparently false.

The team has cooperated with the police in their investigation. We have provided authorities with DNA samples. The understanding is that the results of the DNA testing will be available sometime next week. The DNA results will demonstrate that these allegations are absolutely false.

Because of the intense emotions surrounding these allegations, we feel it is in the best interest of the University, the community and our families that the team should not play competitively until the DNA results verify our unequivocal denial of these allegations.
Statement from Captains of Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team [duke.edu, Mar. 28, 2006]

The above statement was unsigned. The Duke Lacrosse captains are:

David Evans, Senior
Dan Flannery, Senior - represented by attorney Butch Williams
Bret Thompson, Senior
Matt Zash, Senior - represented by attorney Kerry Sutton

Kerry Sutton, who is representing Matt Zash, said her client was one of the three captains who gave police a lengthy interview and written statement and offered to take a polygraph test.

Matt Zash and Daniel Flannery lived at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd with one of the other captains.

Duke University Men's Lacrosse - 2005-06 Roster - [goDuke.com] The roster has 47 players listed. The one player not asked to submit a DNA sample for the investigation was the only African-American on the roster.

Note: Duke Univ. has removed the Men's Lacrosse 2005-06 Roster from their web site [goDuke.com]. Here are the players who are on the Duke Lacrosse roster:

38 Breck Archer MIDFIELDER 6-0 190 Jr.
31 Bo Carrington MIDFIELDER 6-4 220 So.
37 Casey Carroll DEFENSE 6-2 180 Jr.
29 Mike Catalino MIDFIELDER 6-0 200 Fr.
17 Tom Clute DEFENSE 6-1 190 Fr.
46 Kevin Coleman DEFENSE 6-2 185 Sr.
19 Josh Coveleski ATTACK 6-4 205 So.
22 Ned Crotty MIDFIELDER 6-1 180 Fr.
40 Matt Danowski ATTACK 6-0 190 Jr.
8 Ed Douglas MIDFIELDER 6-2 170 Sr.
15 Kyle Dowd MIDFIELDER 5-9 175 Sr.
6 David Evans DEFENSE 5-10 190 Sr.
13 Collin Finnerty ATTACK 6-3 175 So.
12 Dan Flannery ATTACK 5-11 190 Sr.
7 Gibbs Fogarty ATTACK 5-10 175 Fr.
25 Zack Greer ATTACK 6-2 185 So.
23 Erik Henkelman DEFENSE 5-10 175 Sr.
49 Jay Jennison DEFENSE 6-4 205 So.
26 Ben Koesterer MIDFIELDER 6-1 195 So.
11 Fred Krom MIDFIELDER 5-10 185 Jr.
1 Peter Lamade MIDFIELDER 5-9 180 Jr.
36 Adam Langley ATTACK 5-9 165 So.
2 Chris Loftus ATTACK 5-8 160 So.
4 Dan Loftus GOALIE 5-9 160 Jr.
34 Kevin Mayer DEFENSE 6-0 185 So.
44 Tony McDevitt DEFENSE 6-0 205 Jr.
41 Ryan McFadyen DEFENSE 6-6 225 So.
42 Glenn Nick DEFENSE 6-1 190 Sr.
77 Nick O'Hara DEFENSE 5-10 190 Jr.
28 Dan Oppedisano MIDFIELDER 5-11 195 Jr.
32 Sam Payton MIDFIELDER 5-11 185 Fr.
18 Brad Ross MIDFIELDER 6-0 190 So.
5 KJ Sauer MIDFIELDER 6-1 190 Sr.
20 Steve Schoeffel MIDFIELDER 5-8 165 Fr.
30 Rob Schroeder GOALIE 6-0 210 So.
45 Reade Seligmann MIDFIELDER 6-1 215 So.
50 Devon Sherwood* GOALIE 5-10 160 Fr.
47 Dan Theodoridis DEFENSE 6-1 205 Fr.
24 Bret Thompson MIDFIELDER 6-0 185 Sr.
3 Chris Tkac DEFENSE 6-0 185 Fr.
14 John Walsh MIDFIELDER 5-11 190 Jr.
9 Michael Ward MIDFIELDER 6-0 195 Jr.
48 Rob Wellington MIDFIELDER 6-3 200 So.
21 Matt Wilson MIDFIELDER 6-0 185 Jr.
43 William Wolcott DEFENSE 6-0 190 Sr.
27 Michael Young MIDFIELDER 6-0 180 So.
10 Matt Zash MIDFIELDER 5-11 190 Sr.

*Devon Sherwood is the only black player on the team.
Timeline of Events:

SATURDAY, MARCH 11: Duke Lacrosse Team (ranked #3) defeats Loyalo (#20), 9-7, in San Diego.
"This is a very good win for us," said Duke head coach Mike Pressler. "The weather conditions caused some poor footing tonight, but we battled through it. Now we look ahead to one of the most difficult weeks in Duke lacrosse history with North Carolina next Saturday followed by a Tuesday game with Cornell and then Georgetown the following Saturday."
Zash Guides No. 3 Duke Past No. 20 Loyola, 9-7 [laxpower.com]

MONDAY, MARCH 13: police say two dancers showed up at 610 North Buchanan Blvd. just before midnight.

TUESDAY, MARCH 14: at 12:53 a.m., police got a call from a woman who says she was passing by the house.

"Hi, I don't know if this is emergency or not necessarily, but I'm in Durham driving down near Duke's campus," the caller said.

Seconds into the call, the woman said she wasn't driving.

"It's right in front of 610 Buchanan St. and I saw them all come out like a big frat house and me and my black girlfriend were walking by and they called us n--------," the caller said.

Two minutes after the 911 call, police arrived to find an empty house.

911 Call, Timeline Raising Questions In Rape Investigation [wral.com, Mar. 31, 2006]

At 1:22 a.m. in the morning, there was another call:

"The problem is there's a lady in someone else's car and she won't get out," the caller said.

A security guard at a Kroger grocery store, on Hillsborough Road, says a woman named Kim pulled up and was worried about her friend. The guard said a woman in a car - the alleged victim - refused to exit the vehicle, which did not belong to her. The caller also said the woman seemed "intoxicated" or "drunk."

Police say the woman identified on the 911 call as Kim who drove the alleged victim to that Kroger was the second dancer at the house that night.

After the police arrived, she accused three lacrosse players, whom she identified by first names, of forcing her into a bathroom at the house and sexually assaulting her for 30 minutes. The woman said she and [Kim] had been hired to perform as exotic dancers for a party at the house.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15: Duke begins looking into the incident less than 24 hours after it was reported, the university's president, Richard H. Brodhead, later said.

THURSDAY, MARCH 16: In an affidavit for a search warrant, Durham police investigator Benjamin W. Himan described the woman's account of rape, assault, kidnapping, robbery, strangulation and hate crimes. A magistrate approved the search warrant seeking DNA evidence, clothes, cameras, computers and other evidence in and around the house. After the search, three residents of the house, all lacrosse captains, were interviewed by the police and agreed to go to Duke University Medical Center to provide DNA samples.

In the search warrant (obtained by thesmokinggun.com) the accuser identifies her three attackers as "Adam, Bret, and Matt."

Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Search Warrent [thesmokinggun.com]

SATURDAY, MARCH 18: Duke defeated North Carolina, 11-8, at home.

TUESDAY, MARCH 21: Duke lost to third-ranked Cornell, 11-7, at home.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22: A lawyer for some of the players canceled a planned meeting between players and investigators. The district attorney obtained a court order to compel DNA samples. The police reveal that in their search of the house, they seized four laptop computers, five cameras, a bath mat, a bath rug, five broken artificial fingernails, a bottle of K-Y jelly and cash.

THURSDAY, MARCH 23: Forty-six members of the team reported to the Durham police crime lab to provide DNA samples and be photographed. Some were also interviewed.

FRIDAY, MARCH 24: The players attended practice after a two-day break that the coach attributed to the emotional loss to Cornell. "All our focus is on trying to beat the Hoyas now," Pressler said of the Georgetown game.

SATURDAY, MARCH 25: Duke University Director of Athletics Joe Alleva announced on Saturday that the men’s lacrosse team will forfeit today’s contest against Georgetown as well as Tuesday’s scheduled game with Mount St. Mary’s.
"I am dismayed by the party on March 13 held by members of the men’s lacrosse team at an off campus residence," Alleva said. "The Durham Police’s investigation of the matter continues and we await its results.

"The players deny the criminal allegations. We understand that to date, no one has been charged with any crime. We continue to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly to further developments as the facts become known.

Alleva said the team's roster would be removed from the university Web site.

Duke Announces Forfeiture Of Men’s Lacrosse Games [Duke.edu, Mar. 25, 2006]

Duke President, Richard H. Brodhead, applauds decision by athletic director and urges cooperation with police investigation while noting need to establish facts

Statement by President Richard H. Brodhead on Duke Men’s Lacrosse Team [duke.edu, Mar. 25, 2006]

Interview with accuser is published:
The accuser spoke Friday, struggling not to cry as she recounted the events of the early hours of March 14 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., next to Duke's East Campus...

The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week.

"It wasn't the greatest job," she said, her voice trailing off. But with two children, and a full class load at N.C. Central University, it paid well and fit her schedule.
Dancer gives details of ordeal - with audio of 911 calls [NewsObserver.com, Mar. 25, 2006]

SUNDAY, MARCH 26: About 100 protesters banged pots and pans outside the house and about 60 marched to the home of the university's provost to call for more action to protect the community.

MONDAY, MARCH 27: The police searched a second home where two lacrosse players live.

TUESDAY, MARCH 28: Brodhead met with the captains of the team and he said they denied having sex with the dancer. Brodhead announced the suspension of the season until the case was resolved.

Brodhead: "It Is Not the Time to Be Playing Games" [duke.edu, Mar. 28, 2006]
Duke Suspends Men's Lacrosse Games Pending Clearer Resolution of Legal Situation [Duke Press Release, Mar. 28, 2006]

The lacrosse captains issued a statement saying that DNA results would "demonstrate that these allegations are absolutely false."

Statement from Captains of Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team [duke.edu, Mar. 28, 2006]

Michael B. Nifong, the Durham County district attorney, said in a television interview with Dan Abrams of MSNBC: "I am convinced that there was a rape."

Duke lacrosse team accused of gang rape [The Abrams Report, MSNBC, Mar. 28, 2006]

AP reports: 15 Duke lacrosse players had prior charges

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29: Protesters taking part in a rally against sexual violence handed out fliers asking anyone with information about the incident to call the police. The lacrosse team resumed practice.


Brodhead Letter to Undergraduate Parents [duke.edu]
Brodhead Letter to Alumni [duke.edu]

FRIDAY, MARCH 31: Knight Ridder reported-
The father of the woman who has accused members of the Duke lacrosse team of sexually assaulting her said he didn't find out that his daughter was the reported victim - and that she is an exotic dancer - until a reporter visited his house.

The retired trucker who lives in Durham said he saw his daughter the day after the reported attack, but she didn't say anything was wrong. She even left her car at the house for several days because he said she didn't want to drive it...
Father learned daughter connected to Duke case from media reports [mercurynews.com, Mar. 31, 2006]

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