Two Duke lacrosse players were charged today with degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense and kidnapping and have been taken into custody. The DA is seeking charges on a third once a ‘positive ID’ can be made on the third suspect:
More than a month after a woman told police she was raped at Duke University lacrosse party, two players, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, were charged with first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense and kidnapping, according to George Naylor, director of the Durham County Jail.
Bond was set for each player at $400,000, Naylor said.
District attorney Mike Nifong did not speak publicly about the arrests, but he issued a written statement.
“It had been my hope to be able to charge all three of the assailants at the same time, but the evidence available to me at this moment does not permit that. The investigation into the identity of the third assailant will continue in the hope that he can also be identified with certainty. It is important that we bring the assailant to justice but also that we lift the cloud of suspicion from those team members who were not involved in the assault,” the statement said.
Seligmann, a sophomore from Essex Fells, N.J., and Finnerty, a sophomore from Garden City, N.Y., emerged from a sheriff’s deputy vehicle and were led, handcuffed, into the magistrate’s office at 4:54 a.m. today.
(General curiosity question: what’s up with calling it “forcible rape”? Isn’t rape, by its very definition, forced sex against a woman’s will?)
ABC11TV out of the Raleigh-Durham area has examined time-stamped photos which were allegedly taken inside at the Duke lacrosse party in question:
The photos are believed to be authentic and taken by one of the students at the March 13 party. The time stamps on the photos appear to be accurate. Pictures of a wristwatch magnified for clarity correspond with the time on the photos. The players are sitting on three couches in a semicircle with the dancers in the middle.
11:02 p.m.: The first picture shows at least 10 students hanging out in a living room, apparently waiting for the dancers to arrive. Most of the students appear to be drinking. By the number of people in this photo, it appears only a fraction of the 47 lacrosse team members are there.
12 a.m.: This is the first picture of the strippers. Students are watching the show, but not grabbing or attempting to touch the women. Bruises are clearly visible on the legs and thighs of the alleged victim.
12:00:40 a.m.: Another picture taken 40 seconds later shows bruises on the accuser’s knees. Her right knee appears to have an open cut.
12:03:57 p.m.: About four minutes after arriving, a picture shows the strippers leaving the room. The photo clearly shows that the alleged victim left behind one of her shoes.
Between 12:10 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.: No photos were taken between this time.
12:30:12 a.m.: The next photo shows the alleged victim on the back porch, carrying what appears to be her purse and a makeup bag. Her clothes are intact.
12:30:47 a.m.: A photo taken 30 seconds later shows the alleged victim on the porch and she appears to smile.
12:31:26 a.m.: But 30 seconds after that, a photo shows the alleged victim stumbling down the back steps of the house.
12:37:58 a.m.: A series of photos are taken, all showing the woman lying on her left side on the back porch, seemingly passed out or asleep. She had visible cuts on her legs and buttocks that did not appear in the previous photos.
The cuts may be from falling. The cuts on her buttocks line up with the edge of a screen door she may have hit on the way down.
12:41 a.m.: The final photo shows the accuser and the second dancer in a black car. The accuser is in the passengers seat.
Many of the photos taken on the back porch show pink splotches, which the defense says is undried nail polish. They claim the accuser was polishing her nails in the bathroom between 12:10 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. – – not being raped.
Hat tip: La Shawn Barber, who has tons of updates on this story.
Related Toldjah So posts: