Duke Rape Suspect May Have Alibi


Seligmann posted bond shortly after his arrest, and his attorney waived his court appearance. Finnerty also posted bond and made a brief appearance in Superior Court shortly before 11 a.m. wearing a jacket and tie. The next court appearance for both players was set for May 15.

Attorney: 'Absolutely Innocent'

Both Seligmann, a 6-foot-1 sophomore from Essex Fells, N.J., and Finnerty, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Garden City, N.Y., were in handcuffs when they stepped out of a police cruiser before dawn.

Seligmann is "absolutely innocent," said his attorney, Kirk Osborn. "He's doing great. That's all I have to say."

Asked what led to the indictments, Osborn said: "Apparently it was a photographic identification. And we all know how reliable that is."

A message left at the Seligmann home by The Associated Press was not returned Tuesday nor was a message left on the answering machine at the Finnerty home in Garden City, N.Y. No one answered the door at the house, which sits in a cul-de-sac of million-dollar homes. A lacrosse net and equipment could be seen on the yard, which abuts a golf course.

"The next jury will hear the entire story, which includes our evidence, and we're confident that these young men will be found to be innocent," said Finnerty's attorney, Bill Cotter. "We're surprised that anybody got indicted, quite frankly."

Criminal defense attorney Michael Bachner told ABC News Now that attorneys on the case are sure to question the photo identification of the suspects, and it will be important to determine if the accuser chose Finnerty and Seligmann from a random line-up or a pool of all Duke lacrosse players. "[There are] serious constitutional issues here," Bachner said.

The alleged victim, who is black, is the mother of two children and was hired to dance at the party. She told police she was attacked March 13 by three white men in a bathroom at the party held by the lacrosse team. The racially charged allegations have led to near daily protest rallies.

The school canceled the highly ranked team's season and accepted the resignation of coach Mike Pressler after the release of a vulgar and graphic e-mail that was sent by an uncharged team member shortly after the alleged assault.

Defense attorneys have urged Nifong to drop the case, saying DNA tests failed to connect any of the 46 team members tested to the alleged victim.

Nifong has said 75 percent to 80 percent of rape prosecutions lack DNA evidence. According to court records, a medical examination of the woman found injuries consistent with rape.

Defense attorneys have said time-stamped photos taken the night of the party show that the alleged victim was injured and impaired before she arrived.

The charges come two weeks before Nifong, appointed to the job last year after nearly three decades as a lawyer in the district attorney's office, is up for election. On Monday, he repeatedly declined to comment on the case.

Disciplinary Findings

Seligmann is one of five lacrosse players at Duke from the Delbarton School, an all-boys Catholic prep school in Morristown, N.J. Delbarton won three state lacrosse titles while Seligmann was at the school, but he saw limited time on the field after arriving at Duke. He didn't start any games this season, playing in six and scoring one goal.

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