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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Another Duke Player Indicted

David F. Evans, right, at a news conference Monday with his lawyer, Joseph B. Cheshire V. Mr. Evans's parents stood behind him.

3rd Duke Lacrosse Player Is Indicted in Rape Case

Published: May 16, 2006

DURHAM, N.C., May 15 — A third lacrosse player was indicted Monday in the rape investigation that has raised racial and class tensions between Duke University and its hometown.

David F. Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., a team captain who lived in the house where a black woman says she was sexually assaulted by three white players during a party, was charged with rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping. Mr. Evans was indicted on the same charges as two of his teammates, Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., who surrendered April 18.

Mr. Evans graduated from Duke on Sunday but did not attend the commencement ceremony. Before turning himself in on Monday, he emphatically denied guilt at a news conference, becoming the first indicted player to speak publicly.

"These allegations are lies, fabricated, and they will be proven wrong," he said. "Every member of the Duke University lacrosse team is innocent."

Mr. Evans said that he and his roommates had voluntarily helped the police when officers executed a search warrant at their house, and that he willingly provided DNA, spoke to investigators without a lawyer present and offered to take a polygraph test, which officials declined.

He said that he and his lawyer, Joseph B. Cheshire V, had tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to contact the district attorney, Michael B. Nifong, before Monday's indictment.

"As a result of his apparent lack of interest in my story, the true story," Mr. Evans said, he and his lawyer had arranged for a private polygraph test. "I passed it absolutely," he said, adding: "I've never had my character questioned before. Anyone who's met me knows that this didn't happen."

Mr. Evans was accompanied by his parents, Rae F. and David C. Evans, and by the seven other seniors on the lacrosse team, who stood behind him with solemn, almost military bearing, uniformly dressed in khaki pants and oxford shirts. Neither Mr. Evans nor his teammates took questions.

Mrs. Evans, chairwoman of the Ladies Professional Golf Association board of directors and founder of the Evans Capitol Group, a Washington lobbying firm, wore on her suit lapel a large button with her son's photograph and jersey number. Her husband is a Washington lawyer. Their son graduated in 2002 from the Landon School, a private boys preparatory school in Bethesda.

Mr. Evans's indictment came three days after defense lawyers received the results of a second round of DNA tests that they said failed to link any lacrosse players to the alleged crime. Tests on a fake fingernail found at the scene showed DNA from multiple sources and could not affirmatively exclude Mr. Evans, the lawyers said.

"That, according to our expert, is about as weak a DNA analysis as you could ever have," Mr. Cheshire said. He said the nail had been found in a trash can and could have been contaminated by used tissues or other items carrying the players' DNA.

As former prosecutor Wendy Murphy said last night, if they were so convinced they were innocent, why are they not moving for a speedy trial.

They want this to go away. Having Evans speak was a mistake. Because while the Duke players have support in DC, the Evans are noted Bush supporters, the folks in Durham have issues with them and Duke. But their whole strategy is, like so many rich suburban parents, to make this disappear

As far as the private polygraph test goes, let's see the questions and answers.

The problem for these guys is no matter how hard they try to buy a door out of this, they aren't finding it. Calling the woman a liar has one effect, pissing off Crazy Nancy Grace.

Now, you can say what you want about her prosecutorial skills, legal ethics and Paul Bunyan-like personal story, but you also have to say this: she's no racist. And that's not a small thing. Because if she was, that show of hers would be a total nightmare. That victim has no better friend in the media than Crazy Nancy. Because everytime one of the defense lawyers or some junior assclown conservative from Duke goes on her show, they get eaten alive.

All of Bob Bennett's pull has been used to try to make this go away and Crazy Nancy keeps reminding people that these guys are well, accused of a crime and are not the victims here.

Nifong has more than we know, because he's under a ton of pressure to make this go away and instead he indicts a 3rd player. That's no small thing.

posted by Steve @ 11:14:00 AM

11:14:00 AM

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