Update on Duke Rape Case

Here is the latest bit of news and it is big:

DNA testing conducted by a private lab in the Duke lacrosse rape case found genetic material from several males in the accuser’s body and her underwear _ but none from any team member, including the three charged with rape, according to a defense motion filed Wednesday.

The motion, signed by attorneys for defendants Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, complained that the information was not disclosed in a report on the testing prosecutors provided earlier this year to the defense.

“This is strong evidence of innocence in a case in which the accuser denied engaging in any sexual activity in the days before the alleged assault, told police she last had consensual sexual intercourse a week before the assault, and claimed that her attackers did not use condoms and ejaculated,” the motion read.

In an interview, defense attorney Joseph Cheshire said the report’s findings suggest the accuser had sex shortly before the March team party where she was hired to perform as a stripper. The woman has said three lacrosse team members gang-raped her in a bathroom at the party.

“None of (the DNA material) happens to be from lacrosse players who are supposed to have had sex with her, which is pretty significant,” said Cheshire, who represents Evans.

That’s pretty big news.

We might see a very rare thing in this case — we might see the story reporting the latest developments, which support the accuseds’ innocence, reported every bit as prominently as the original charges. That is indeed a rarity. Think of all the people who receive front page headlines after being accused of some horrible crime or ethical infraction, whether in politics or crime reporting, who are later cleared. The followup story is hardly ever as prominent as the initial story of the accusations. We might actually see a case where the bigger story becomes the one about an out of control DA who dragged innocent men through the mud to enhance his political standing.

This really is a scary case. Just imagine where those young men would be if DNA testing had not yet been developed.

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