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Rape allegations force cancellation of 2 games

The No. 2 men's lacrosse team forfeited today's home game against No. 6 Georgetown in the wake of gang-rape allegations during a party held at an off-campus house March 13, according to a statement released by the University.

The team will also forfeit Tuesday's game against Mount St. Mary's.

"I am dismayed by the party on March 13 held by members of the men's lacrosse team at an off campus residence," Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said in the statement. "The Durham Police's investigation of the matter continues and we await its results."

The announcement of the forfeitures comes just two days after 46 of 47 team members were ordered to report to the Durham Police crime lab downtown for DNA tests. The one player not tested was the team's only black male and the victim had identified the suspects as white.

No charges have been filed, but the police warrant, issued March 16, alleges that the attendees of a party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd verbally harassed two hired dancers. When several members of the group became "excited and aggressive," as the warrant states, the dancers chose to leave the house out of fear for their safety.

One of the men came outside to the dancers' car to apologize, and urged the two women to rejoin the party. Once inside the house, the pair was separated and the victim was forced into a bathroom, where she was allegedly sexually-assaulted and sodomized by three men.

University officials said Friday that they would let the legal system run its course before deciding on further punishment. Men's lacrosse head coach Mike Pressler also said Friday that his team was fully focused on preparing for its scheduled game against Georgetown.

Saturday morning, however, Alleva said the allegations were enough to warrant disciplinary action causing him to cancel the game.

"We understand that to date, no one has been charged with any crime," Alleva said in the statement. "We continue to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly to further developments as the facts become known.

"Several players who were present acknowledge, however, that they did hire private party dancers and that underage drinking occurred. The judgment of the team members to host and participate in this event is inconsistent with the values of Duke Athletics and Duke University and is unacceptable."

The statement also said that President Richard Brodhead has been notified of the decision and "fully supports it."

Check back to The Chronicle Online for further updates about the ongoing investigation.

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