EXCLUSIVE: Duke Lacrosse Accuser Not Answering Investigators' Key Questions

ByABC News
March 16, 2007, 8:49 AM

March 16, 2007 — -- The woman who accused three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team of sexual assault is not being forthcoming with special prosecutors, law enforcement sources close to the case tell ABC News.

The accuser has met at least twice with prosecutors from the North Carolina attorney general's office, which took over the case from Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in January.

In those interviews she gave incomplete answers when asked about the events surrounding the alleged assault, according to sources.

The attorney general's office issued the following statement to ABC News:

"In discussions with our attorneys, the accuser has been cooperative in answering questions and providing information. More discussions are scheduled."

The same law enforcement sources also said, however, that Kim Roberts, the second dancer who attended the March 2006 party, had also refused to speak with investigators and had said she would do so only if subpoenaed.

Roberts has spoken to the media about the case, including doing an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America."

Although neither woman has been forthcoming up to this point, the sources stressed that this could change and that the accuser might still fully participate with investigators.

In the coming weeks prosecutors will conduct further interviews with those involved in the case, leaving open the possibility that the accuser might say more about what she remembers from that night.

The accuser's testimony is the only known evidence that an alleged sexual assault took place at the off-campus party held by the lacrosse team. Two rounds of DNA testing compared samples from the accuser's body with samples taken from 46 members of the Duke lacrosse team. None of those tests linked any lacrosse players with samples from the rape kit.

With so much of the case hanging on witness testimony, not having the full cooperation of the accuser or Roberts could seriously undermine any prosecutor's case in court. More immediately, it could bring an end to the investigation.

"But if you're coming up on trial and you have a victim that doesn't want to answer questions, to recount the story over and over again, that's going to be a problem in court," said Josh Marquis, an Oregon-based district attorney and ranking member of the National District Attorneys Association.