Are the Duke lacrosse players innocent?

The Associated Press is reporting:

DURHAM, N.C. — DNA testing failed to connect any members of the Duke University lacrosse team to the alleged rape of a stripper, attorneys for the athletes said Monday.

Citing DNA test results delivered by the state crime lab to police and prosecutors a few hours earlier, the attorneys said the test results prove their clients did not sexually assault and beat a stripper hired to perform at a March 13 team party.

No charges have been filed in the case.

“There is no DNA evidence that shows she was touched by any of these boys,” said Attorney Joe Cheshire, who represents one of the team’s captains.

The alleged victim, a 27-year-old student at a nearby college, told police she and another woman were hired to dance at the party. The woman told police that three men at the party dragged her into a bathroom, choked her, raped her and sodomized her.

The Associated Press does not name alleged victims in sexual assault cases.

The allegations have led to the resignation of coach Mike Pressler, the cancellation of the lacrosse season and the suspension of one player from school.

The case also led to days of protests on and off the Duke campus, and some of the players have moved for safety reasons.

And to say that this case has caused a significant spike in racial tensions in Durham would be an understatement.

As of this writing, no one on the lacrosse team has been charged with anything. **If** what the defense attorneys are saying here is true, I don’t see how this case can go forward. More and more, the accuser’s story sounds like a fabrication.

We’ll find out more in the coming days. The DA will be speaking tomorrow at North Carolina Central University (the school the alleged victim attends) at a campus forum to discuss the case.

La Shawn Barber is all over this story and has tons of links – and, as always, gets to the heart of the matter.

Tuesday AM Update: The DA insists he will proceed with the case.

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