Duke University Wants Accused Lacrosse Players to Return to School


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Duke University has invited two of the lacrosse players accused of sexual assault to return to school as students in good standing, a defense attorney said Wednesday.

Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann had been barred from attending class during the fall semester while their case made its way through court. The third player charged in the case, Dave Evans, graduated in May, the day before he was charged with raping a stripper at a team party in March.

Rape charges against all three players were dropped last month, after the accuser said she could no longer remember some details about the case. The men are still charged with sexual assault and kidnapping.

"As circumstances have evolved in this extraordinary case, we have attempted to balance recognition of the gravity of legal charges with the presumption of your innocence," Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president for student affairs said in a letter to Seligmann dated Jan. 2.

"Now with the approach of a new term, we believe that circumstances warrant that we strike this balance differently. At this point, continued extension of the administrative leave would do unwarranted harm to your educational progress."