Accuser in Duke Lacrosse Sex Assault Changes Story


DURHAM, N.C. (AP)- The accuser in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case told prosecutors in December that one of the three players charged did not commit any sex act on her during the alleged attack, according to court papers filed Thursday by the defense.

The attacker identified as Reade Seligmann only watched, she told an investigator, the papers said. While he was repeatedly urged to take part in the alleged attack, she recalled, he said he could not participate because he was getting married.

"The accuser's most recent recollection of events demonstrates clearly that she cannot accurately recall and describe her attackers and that any identification made by her is necessarily unreliable," the defense filing said.

The new description of Seligmann's role in the alleged assault was one of several changes the accuser made in her story during a Dec. 21 interview with an investigator from District Attorney Mike Nifong's office, the defense said.

In that same interview, the accuser also said she was no longer certain she had been penetrated vaginally by a penis, a necessary element of rape charges in North Carolina.

That led Nifong to dismiss rape charges against Seligmann and fellow defendants Dave Evans and Collin Finnerty. The players, who have steadfastly declared their innocence, remain charged with sexual offense and kidnapping.

Both Nifong and James P. Cooney III, an attorney for Seligmann, did not return a call seeking comment Thursday morning.