Duke Rape Suspect May Have Alibi


One of the two Duke University lacrosse players arrested on charges of raping and kidnapping a 27-year-old woman at an off-campus party had been arrested in the fall for assaulting a man in Washington, D.C., and the other was not present when the alleged crime occurred, sources told ABC News.

Multiple sources told ABC News that Reade Seligmann, 20, was not present in the house at the time the alleged victim says the crime occurred. Sources say this is established through different witness accounts, as well as cell phone and credit-card records.

The other man arrested, Collin Finnerty, 20, was charged with simple assault, along with two others, in November for allegedly punching a man in the face and body because he told them to "stop calling him gay and other derogatory names," according to the police report and court records.

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Finnerty's North Carolina arrest could have an impact on the outcome of the D.C. case at an April 25 hearing, a source in the U.S. attorney's office prosecuting the case told ABC News Radio.

"The judge was going to iron out the community service that the three defendants ... were going to do in the District of Columbia," the source said. "And now, obviously, this is going to create some issues there."

The source said the hearing will still take place "but now we will be discussing other issues."

Steven McCool, Finnerty's attorney in the D.C. case, told ABC News Finnerty had been charged with "simple assault," a misdemeanor. McCool reached an agreement with the U.S. attorney to have Finnerty placed in a "diversion program," he said, and the charge would be expunged if Finnerty completed 25 hours of community service and did not get arrested again.

McCool said the U.S. attorney would now have to decide whether or not to go to trial in this case. Legal sources unrelated to the case cautioned, however, that the outcome of the D.C. case will probably depend on what happens with the charges in North Carolina.

McCool said he has not received official notice of the April 25 hearing, but he was aware it could happen.

Whether the D.C. incident would be admissible in the North Carolina court remains to be seen. The judge must always weigh the probative value of evidence concerning a previous conviction -- if Finnerty does get convicted for the misdemeanor assault -- versus the way it would prejudice the jury.

Indictments against Finnerty and Seligmann were unsealed Tuesday. Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong would not discuss details, but did reveal he was pursuing charges against a third man.

"It had been my hope to charge all three of the assailants at the same time, but the evidence available to me at this moment does not permit that," Nifong said. "Investigation into the identity of the third assailant will continue in the hope that he can also be identified with certainty."

ABC News has obtained the district attorney's motion from April 12 to seal indictments that claims, for both Finnerty and Seligmann, that "the severity of the punishment he faces create a substantial risk that he would attempt to flee the jurisdiction ... if he learned that an indictment had been returned against him.''

ABC News also has obtained Durham County Superior Court receipts showing both men were freed after posting $400,000 cash bonds.

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