Collin Finnerty of Garden City, N.Y. and Reade Seligmann of Essex Fells, N.J., were charged with first-degree rape, sexual offense and kidnapping after a stripper who was hired to work at the March 14 said she was choked and raped in a bathroom at the off campus party. Both were released within hours after posting their $400,000 bail.
After a complaint against the players was filed, District Attorney Mike Nifong ordered DNA tests of 46 of the 47 players. The remaining player was black and was not tested because the accuser claims her attackers were white. Last week, the tests came back negative, showing no DNA connection to the players. However, Nifong continued with his investigation and is looking to indict a third team member in connection with the attack.
Nifong has also issued search warrants of the players’ dorm rooms in search of more evidence to connect the two to the crime. Ryan McFadyen, also a team member, was suspended last week after an email surfaced in which the player stated he wanted to kill and skin more strippers at another party.
Attorney Bill Cotter, who represents Finnerty says his client does not intend to plea bargain and will take his case to trial, “I don’t think there is any chance in hell that there will be a guilty plea. I can’t tell you about (everybody), but my client’s case is either going to be dismissed by the D.A. or go to trial,” he told the Associated Press.
Defense attorneys say they have time stamped pictures that show the accused at 12:30 a.m. fully clothed and smiling. Police were contacted less than an hour later, “Police initially thought the accuser was intoxicated but later took her to the Duke University Hospital emergency room. She had ”signs, symptoms, and injuries consistent with being raped and sexually assaulted vaginally and anally,” according to a district attorney’s affidavit,” reported the Associate Press.
As a result of these accusations, Duke University has cancelled the rest of the season and head coach, Mike Pressler resigned.