The DNA tests that failed to conclusively link Duke lacrosse players to a woman who alleges she was raped at a team party cost taxpayers nearly $23,000, according to court papers.

DNA Security of Burlington analyzed 23 "evidence specimens" at $450 apiece and 50 "reference specimens" that cost $250 each, according to papers filed in Durham County Superior Court.

The company's analyses last month found no evidence that the three players charged with rape — or any of the other team members — had sex with the accuser, defense attorneys have said.

The lab said it detected male genetic material from a male, who has been described as "known to police" but has not publicly identified.

David Evans, 23, an economics major from Bethesda, Md., who recently graduated, was indicted on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense, and first-degree kidnapping. Also indicted on the same charges are Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., who will be juniors next year.

Defense attorneys insist all the players are innocent.

The DNA Security tests discovered tissue "consistent" with Evans' genetic structure on an acrylic fingernail that was found at the house where the March 13 party occurred, but defense lawyers have said it was inconclusive and did not constitute proof of rape.

The three players are free on $400,000 bail each. Their trial could begin in spring 2007.

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