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Friday, June 30, 2006

Duke Case: Cosmic Cantina

updated: 2:30 p.m., June 30, 2006

Mr. Finnerty's lawyer said his client was at a restaurant several blocks away when the women were dancing. - NY Times

Car route to Cosmic Cantina from Duke Lacrosse House
Collin Finnerty's parents were interviewed on NBC's Today Show this morning by Dan Abrams. They reaffirmed Collin's complete innocence. They also said he had a 100% solid alibi that included witnesses, commercial receipt(s), dorm card, and cell phone records.

They have not released this evidence on the advice of their attorneys.

So far it is just an unconfirmed rumor that Collin Finnerty was at the Cosmic Cantina restaurant when the alleged rape occured.

The Cosmic Cantina is a Mexican food, California style, Low-fat foods, organic restaurant just across the Duke campus from the Duke lacrosse house.

1st update:

WRAL reports - Parents Of Charged Player Maintain Son's Innocence:
The parents of one of three Duke University men's lacrosse players charged with raping a woman at a team party said their son has evidence to prove his innocence and has passed a polygraph test indicating he didn't commit the crime.

In an interview with NBC's "Today" that aired Friday, Kevin Finnerty would not reveal specifics of his son's alibi. But he mentioned the cell phone records of his son, Collin Finnerty, at the time in question and electronic records showing when his son returned to his dormitory that night.

"He has numerous eye witnesses every step of the way, every minute of the night," Kevin Finnerty said. "So his whereabouts are totally verified every minute of the night."

2nd update:

Transcript of Dan Abrams interview with Maryellen and Kevin Finnerty (courtesy boards.courttv.com)

DAN ABRAMS:

I got to sit down with Mary Ellen and Kevin Finnerty at their home now that 1,800 pages of documents have been turned over from the prosecutor to the defense...they say they are even more convinced than ever that no rape occurred in that house. I asked them how they first found out that Collin could be in trouble.

KEVIN FINNERTY:

Two days before Easter, we got a phone call from our lawyer saying that for some unknown reason he had found out that Collin was on a short list. He didn't know who short the list was. So we were with Collin from that point on.

DAN ABRAMS:

When you first heard that Collin was on this short list of people who might be indicted, what'd you think?

MARYELLEN FINNERTY:

Terrified. Devastated. Didn't make any sense to us. We knew that he had nothing to do with it and nothing had happened. And…you know…why this nightmare was beginning? We had no clue.

DAN ABRAMS:

Have you ever for a moment wondered what…if it was possible that he could be involved in something like this?

MARYELLEN FINNERTY:

No.

DAN ABRAMS:

Now we’ve heard a lot about Reade Seligmann…about one of the other young men indicted. His alibi. Photographs, ATM, their witness accounts, telephone records, the time he swiped his card into the dorm. And we haven’t heard anything about Collin’s alibi. Does he have one?

KEVIN FINNERTY:

He does. And a very good one. From the outset, our legal team, our counsel, is adamant that they will not reveal the evidence in the media. Collin has taken and passed with flying colors…no surprise…a polygraph test. Numerous eye witnesses every step of the way…every minute of the night. Clearly there were 2 DNA tests done and, obviously, no DNA. He has numerous phone calls around the time in question. Many incoming. Many outgoing. He has receipts. And he also swiped himself with his card into his dorm. For every minute of the night

DAN ABRAMS:

So, what you’re saying is that he, like Reade Seligmann, has an alibi that would make it impossible to have committed this crime.

MARYELLEN FINNERTY:

Yes.

KEVIN FINNERTY:

Impossible.

DAN ABRAMS:

The accuser looked at a photo lineup of various Duke lacrosse players. Collin’s photo was shown. She stopped…and she said “that’s one of the guy’s.” Why do you think that she stopped on Collin?

MARYELLEN FINNERTY:

Could have been anybody there. I just think it was sort-of “pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey” and there was no other. Everybody knew that it could have been anybody on that team.

DAN ABRAMS:

You think it was totally random?

MARY ELLEN FINNERTY:

Yes.

KEVIN FINNERTY:

It was totally random. And everybody knew that they were looking for somebody. That the DA was committed to having three people arrested. And, as you’ve read, they only showed pictures of lacrosse players…they basically said “pick three.” Pretty unbelievable.

DAN ABRAMS:

The DA says that he is convinced there was a rape. That he believes her story. And he’s moved forward in this case against your son. You think it was political?

MARYELLEN FINNERTY:

Yes.

KEVIN FINNERTY:

Personally, we do. I think that this man was looking for a case that he could hold out to the public. This came along and he ran with it.

DAN ABRAMS:

It’s been months now and the two of you have remained silent. You’ve been asked to do interviews again and again. Why have you decided to go public now?

KEVIN FINNERTY:

Having seen what is theoretically all of the evidence that they have…that the DA has in their case…we realize that there is no case. There shouldn’t be a case. We know that Collin is innocent. We’ve actually been waiting patiently to get the story out there. Collin does in fact have a lot of exculpatory evidence.

DAN ABRAMS:

Are you angry?

MARYELLEN FINNERTY:

Sure. I’m angry that my family and the Seligmanns and the Evans are going through this right now. But I have faith in the justice system. I trust the system and I have faith that the truth will prevail and we will all move forward when this nightmare ends.

DAN ABRAMS (back at the Today show)

Collin Finnerty will be back in Washington, D.C. on a separate assault case on July 10th. His parents did not want to discuss that case on their advice of their attorney.

source:
video [msn.com]

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