DURHAM, N.C. – The father of a Duke University men's lacrosse player charged with rape says the case has "taken an unbelievable and horrendous emotional toll" on his family and that they're committed along with their son to do "everything necessary to restore our good name."
The family borrowed $400,000 from a close friend to post their son's bond. In an affidavit filed Wednesday, Philip Seligmann said his son, Reade, "has never been involved in the criminal justice system in any state before the filing of these charges."
The affidavit was filed in advance of a procedural court hearing scheduled for Thursday for Reade Seligmann and his co-defendants Collin Finnerty and David Evans. The players have received permission to miss the court date.
Their lawyers have also filed a motion seeking additional discovery evidence from District Attorney Mike Nifong. Nifong is expected to turn over at least 300 additional pages of information about the case to defense lawyers Thursday, The Herald-Sun of Durham reported.
Defense attorneys have suggested that Nifong has not given them all the evidence he might have, as required. Last month, Nifong provided nearly 1,300 pages of discovery, saying that was all he had to turn over.
Kirk Osborn, a lawyer representing Seligmann, said the defense is seeking Nifong's "complete file, basically, and the law enforcement officers' complete file."
In April, a grand jury indicted Seligmann of Essex Fells, N.J., and Finnerty of Garden City, N.Y., on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. Evans, a team co-captain from Bethesda, Md., was indicted on the same charges in May.
All three men are free on $400,000 bond. A trial isn't expected to begin before spring 2007 in the case, which began when a woman hired to perform as an exotic dancer at a March 13 team party told police she was raped by three men there.
At Thursday's hearing, Seligmann's attorneys will seek a bond reduction. In his affidavit, Philip Seligmann said the $400,000 was too much for him to post himself. He instead turned to an unnamed friend, who volunteered the money.
"I was prepared to do everything possible to prevent my son from spending time in jail for a crime he did not commit," he said.
In their discovery motion, Seligmann's attorneys specifically asked for access to the accuser's computer — which they said is believed to be in the possession of the Durham Police Department — and records from the Durham Access Center, where the accuser was taken for involuntary commitment in the hours after the party and before she told police she was raped.
The Thursday hearing will be the "first setting" for Finnerty and Evans, a hearing at which a judge makes sure a defendant has an attorney and handles other procedural issues. Seligmann's hearing is the "second setting," which is the deadline for filing pretrial motions not dealing with the suppression of evidence.