Duke Welcomes Back Suspended Lacrosse Players

Published: January 7, 2007

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University says two lacrosse players who had been suspended after being charged with the rape of a North Carolina Central University student and stripper may now return to campus, as the rape charges against them have been dropped. A third lacrosse player who was also facing the same charge graduated from the university last spring.

In a prepared statement, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead said that now that the circumstances of the rape case have changed, the students should have the opportunity to continue their education.

The rape charges against the players were dropped when it was revealed that Michael Nifong, Durham, N.C. district attorney, had withheld evidence showing their DNA did not match the DNA samples retrieved from the accuser’s underwear. He now faces an ethics complaint from the North Carolina State Bar for professional misconduct.

Nifong still plans on pressing sexual-assault and kidnapping charges against the three defendants. According to Brodhead, the two students will still be disciplined if they are found to be criminally responsible for any of the pending charges.

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