Defense in Duke Case Request Federal Investigation of Prosecutor Conduct

DURHAM, N.C. – Defense attorneys are calling for the U.S. attorney general to investigate prosecutor and Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong’s handling of the Duke lacrosse team rape case.

According to lawyers representing the three Duke lacrosse players charged with the March 13 rape of a North Carolina exotic dancer, the defendants’ constitutional rights were violated when Nifong withheld evidence showing that their DNA did not match the DNA samples retrieved from the accuser’s underwear.

Nifong announced on Dec. 22 that he was dropping the rape charges against the defendants after the accuser admitted to being uncertain about whether vaginal penetration took place the night of the incident. The statement differs from an earlier statement she made to police in April, when she claimed she was brutally beaten and raped at a lacrosse team party near Duke University. She and another exotic dancer had been hired to perform at the party.

Nifong says the accuser’s testimony still allows him to try the three defendants on kidnapping and sexual-offense charges.

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