LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Duke University said Monday that it had reached an undisclosed financial settlement with three former lacrosse team players falsely accused of raping an exotic dancer, the LA Times reports.
David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were indicted on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual offense after the woman told police she was attacked at a March 2006 team party. Evans, a senior, graduated the day before he was indicted. Finnerty and Seligmann, who were sophomores, were suspended. The school in Durham, N.C., also canceled the remainder of the team’s games that season and forced the coach to resign.
All three players proclaimed their innocence from the start.
“We welcomed their exoneration and deeply regret the difficult year they and their families have had to endure,” Duke President Richard Brodhead and the Board of Trustees said in a statement. “They conducted themselves with great dignity during their long ordeal…. It is in the best interests of the Duke community to eliminate the possibility of future litigation and move forward.”
North Carolina Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper dropped all charges against the players in April, saying they were the victims of a “rogue prosecutor” who engaged in a “rush to condemn.”
On Saturday, a disciplinary committee of North Carolina’s State Bar stripped Durham County Dist. Atty. Mike Nifong of his law license and banned him from practicing in that state after finding him guilty of withholding evidence, lying to the courts and making prejudicial pretrial statements in the case.