'A Transparent Coincidence'

These are the unedited remarks made by Joseph B. Cheshire V, a Raleigh attorney who represents one of the three Duke lacrosse team players implicated in the rape scandal. He spoke after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong dismissed the rape charges because the accuser told detectives she wasn't certain about key details of the alleged attack. Other charges against the players still remain.

"I have a few things I'd like to say to you all as a result of the dismissal today of the rape cases against Dave Evans and Colin Finerty and Reade Seligmann, and Wade Smith has a few brief comments to make and then we will accept questions from you.

"We don't intend to be here all afternoon answering your questions, but we'll try to answer the questions that you have.

"You all know that earlier today, Mr. Nifong filed a dismissal of the rape charges against these three young men, leaving in place the first-degree forcible sex offense charges and the kidnapping charges.

"Those charges still carry significant active prison time were these defendants to be convicted. The first-degree forceable sex offense still is what we call in North Carolina B-1 felony carrying in the presumptive range from 240 to 297 months.

"So some people have said, well, is the case over? The case is quite clearly not over. When this case began, the accuser in this case, to numerous medical personnel, stated that she had been penetrated by the penis of these young men in her anus, vagina and her mouth.

"In March -- on March 16th -- she told the investigator, Mr. Hyman, in his notes he relates that Brett and Matt -- and you will remember, she referred to the three people that assaulted her as Brett, Matt, and Adam -- that Brett and Matt put their penis in her anus and her vagina. And that Adam put his penis in her mouth.

"In her handwritten statement, her statement, handwritten on April 6th, she said that "Matt had sex with me in my vagina and then placed his penis in my anus for about three minutes. Brett had sex with me in my vagina for about five minutes and then put his penis in my anus for about two minutes. And Adam ejaculated in my mouth and I spit it on the floor."

"At the time she made her identifications, of the young men, she said, on tape, which you can get referenced on the motion to suppress, about one of these young men, quote, he put his penis in my anus and in my vagina. About one of the other young men, she said he was the one standing in front of me and made me commit oral sex.

"Almost the only consistent thing that the accuser has said, throughout the many varied different statements that she has made, was that a penis was used in the assault that she describes and that it was used in her vagina.

"Last week, it was clearly demonstrated that significant exculpatory evidence had been purposefully withheld from the defense in this particular case. It should not be lost on you all, who have covered this case, that significant exculpatory evidence proved that there was no sexual contact between these young men and this woman.

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