New DNA Results Don't Link Duke Players to Rape Accuser, Lawyer Says

May 12, 2006 — -- A lawyer for one of the players on the Duke University lacrosse team said the results of the second round of DNA testing in the investigation of rape allegations showed "no conclusive match" with any player on the team.

"Categorically, this report shows no conclusive match between any genetic material taken on or from the false accuser and any genetic material of any Duke lacrosse player," said Joe Chesire, an attorney for one of the team members not accused in the case, at a news conference hours after the results of the new testing were released.

A vaginal swab from the accuser did find genetic material from one "single male source," but that source was not any member of the lacrosse team, Chesire said.

District Attorney Mike Nifong turned over the results late Friday afternoon, and attorneys for all the players on the team were notified that they could pick them up at the Durham County Courthouse around 5 p.m.

After a first set of DNA tests failed to link two lacrosse players to the alleged crime, it was widely considered that DNA evidence would not be part of the case. New results from this second round of testing will help the prosecution's case, sources close to the investigation said.

New DNA Tests 'Helpful' to Prosecution

The potential evidence -- a DNA sample found under a fake fingernail worn by the alleged victim and linked to the lacrosse player -- was recovered from the off-campus home where the alleged attack took place. The fingernail was found in a garbage can in the house, sources close to the investigation told ABC News.

Last month a grand jury indicted two sophomore lacrosse players, Colin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, on charges of kidnapping, rape and sexual assault.

Defense: DNA 'Inconclusive' and 'Misleading'

Defense sources said the results from an initial round of DNA testing had failed to produce any DNA evidence. They point out, to this day, that no DNA evidence matching the lacrosse players has been found on the alleged victim. They insist that results from this set of DNA tests are also inconclusive and that there is no match, and that to say otherwise is "very misleading."

They also say it would not be unusual to find players' DNA in the bathroom or garbage can of a house where some of them lived and many others spent time.

The defense will almost certainly argue that these new DNA results should not be permitted in court, because they are not a perfect match. In cases where DNA evidence is not a perfect match it is sometimes considered inadmissible as evidence.

The case -- tinged with class, race and social issues -- has riveted the city of Durham. N.C., and drawn national media attention since the allegations first surfaced nearly two months ago. The accuser, a mother and a student at nearby North Carolina Central University who was working that night as an exotic dancer, is black, and the accused players are white.