Defense- Second DNA test also vindicates players

Saturday, May 13, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A second round of DNA testing in the Duke University lacrosse rape case came back with the same result as the first -- no conclusive match to any member of the team, defense attorneys said Friday.

Attorney Joseph Cheshire, who represents a team captain who has not been charged, said the tests showed genetic material from a "single male source" was found on a vaginal swab taken from the accuser, but that material did not match any of the players.

"In other words, it appears this woman had sex with a male," said Cheshire, who spoke at a news conference with other defense attorneys in the case. "It also appears with certainty it wasn't a Duke lacrosse player."

Cheshire said the testing did find some genetic material from several people on a plastic fingernail found in a bathroom trash can of the house where the team held the March 13 party. He said some of that material had the "same characteristics" -- a link short of a conclusive match -- to some of the players, but not the two who have charged with rape, kidnapping and sexual assault.

Two members of the team have been charged with raping a stripper hired to perform at the party.

The dancer, a 27-year-old black student at nearby North Carolina Central University, told police she was raped and beaten for a half-hour by three white men at the party. A grand jury has charged sophomores Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty with rape, kidnapping and sexual assault.

Defense attorneys have strongly proclaimed that all the players are innocent, consistently pointing to an initial round of DNA tests they said found no match between the 46 players tested and the accuser.

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