Defense: Rape Charges Dismissed Against Duke Lacrosse Players

Durham, NC (AP) -- Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong has dismissed rape charges against three Duke University lacrosse players accused of attacking a woman at a team party.

That word comes from defense attorney Joseph Cheshire, who represents one of three players.

Cheshire says charges of kidnapping and sexual offense remain in place.

District Attorney Mike Nifong did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The accuser is a 28-year-old student at North Carolina Central University. She has said three men raped her in a bathroom at a March 13th team party where she was hired to perform as a stripper.

Attorneys for players Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann stressed for months that no sex occurred at the party. They have often cited the lack of DNA evidence in the case.

Evans has graduated from Duke. Finnerty and Seligmann were both sophomores who were suspended following their indictments.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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