Durham City and Former Duke Lacrosse Players Settle False Rape Case


The city of Durham and former Duke Lacrosse players have settled a lawsuit with regard to a false rape allegation.

David Evans, Colin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann - 2005-06 Duke men's lacrosse players - were accused of rape charges in 2006. The players were accused of sexually assaulting stripper Crystal Mangum at a team party.

The charges filed against the players led to the cancellation of the 2006 season and firing of coach Mike Pressler.

However, in 2007, state Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped the charges against the players as they were found innocent. Cooper and team concluded that details of Mangum's story did not coincide with evidence presented to police and prosecutors.

In a 2007 lawsuit, the players claimed that police conspired with former District Attorney Mike Nifong to slap false charges against them. But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012 dismissed the lawsuit. Then the players filed a malicious-prosecution case against the two Durham Police Department detectives who'd handled the case, Herald Sun reports.

"When Attorney General Roy Cooper announced his decision ... the city expressed its concurrence in Attorney General Cooper's decision," the North Carolina City said in a statement. "Today, the City reaffirms that it fully concurs with the Attorney General's decision to dismiss the charges, and with his conclusion that Mr. Evans, Mr. Seligmann, and Mr. Finnerty were innocent of the charges for which they were indicted."

The city further said that police officials were required to investigate the allegations made by Mangum in 2006. Plus, neither the police officers nor any other city employee were involved in any unprofessional behaviour.

"The former District Attorney, Mike Nifong, was not a city employee, and Mr. Nifong was subsequently convicted of criminal contempt and disbarred for his actions," the City said.

As part of the settlement, Durham will make a payment of $50,000 to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission.

The Duke University and the three players reached an undisclosed settlement after the charges were dismissed in 2007.

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