Defense Attorneys Awaiting DNA Test Results in Duke Sex-Assault Case

Defense attorneys are still awaiting DNA test material in the Duke lacrosse rape case, according to a motion filed Tuesday.

The lawyers contend that the private laboratory handling the evidence has given only partial evidence to the defense, according to the News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

Click here to read the News and Observer report.

The DNA evidence was taken from the body of the accuser, an escort service dancer who says she was sexually assaulted by three men in March 2006 at a party attended by members of the Duke University lacrosse team. She at first said she was raped by the players, but a few months ago, said she was not sure. Rape charges were dropped against the players, but they still face sexual assault and kidnapping charges.

The players — David Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md.; Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J.; and Collin Finnerty, 20, of Garden City, N.Y. — have maintained their innocence.

Last month, the North Carolina State Bar said Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong had withheld DNA evidence from the defense.

On Tuesday, Duke University's Campus Culture Initiative Steering Committee issued a report recommending the school make changes in the wake of the lacrosse scandal.

Among the recommendations: "Re-orient social life on campus to reduce the centrality of alcohol and enable more non-alcohol events and venues" and restructure housing and dining rules to promote a sense of community.

"The questions for this conversation are deeply important," Duke President Richard Brodhead said in a statement. "How can we create a Duke where every student will get the richest development of his or her personal powers while contributing to and benefiting from the larger community? How can we strengthen the values of inclusion, respect and mutual engagement?

"How can we build on what's already excellent to make the best Duke we can imagine? Not everyone will agree on the details of every answer, but we need to recognize the value of the questions and have the courage to ask them."

Brodhead said the school's board will study the recommendations.

Click here to read the school's report. (PDF)