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Court filing: Accuser in Duke case had only minor injuries

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Lawyers for a Duke University lacrosse player charged with raping a stripper at a team party say another dancer at the party initially doubted the accuser's charges, and that a medical examination of the accuser revealed injuries inconsistent her story, according to a court filing.

The second dancer, Kim Roberts, told a police detective who interviewed her a week after the alleged assault that she was with the accuser most of the night and that the charges were a "crock."

The statement was cited Thursday in a filing by lawyers for Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., one of three team members charged with rape and kidnapping.

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Also included in the filing are 23 pages of sealed medical records regarding a medical examination of the accuser. In their filing, defense lawyers say the examination showed only a small scratch on the accuser's knee, a cut on her heel and vaginal swelling.

The lawyers also say the accuser told a nurse who examined her that she was not choked and that no condoms were used by her attackers.

At the time, the nurse was in training to specialize as an examiner of sexual assault victims.

Lawyers said they filed the documents under seal to protect the accuser's privacy, but asked a judge to make them public.

The accuser has told police she was dragged into a bathroom and raped, beaten and choked for a half hour at the team party that began on March 13.

Seligmann and two other players _ Dave Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., and Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y. _ have been charged with first degree rape, sexual offense and kidnapping in the case.

Also in the filing is a March 20 statement written by Durham Police Investigator Benjamin Himan, in which the detective writes that Roberts "stated that she heard that (the accuser) was sexually assaulted, which she stated is a 'crock' and she stated that she was with her the whole time until she left."

Defense attorneys Kirk Osborn and Ernest Conner argue that prosecutors ignored and omitted that statement when they got court permission in March to obtain photographs and DNA samples from team members.

In an April interview with The Associated Press, Roberts said she initially doubted the accuser's story but had changed her mind.

"I was not in the bathroom when it happened, so I can't say a rape occurred _ and I never will," Roberts said then. But she added, "In all honesty, I think they're guilty."

Defense attorneys have said they believe Roberts changed her story to gain favorable treatment in a criminal case against her. She was arrested March 22 on a probation violation from a 2001 conviction for embezzling $25,000 from a Durham employer.

In April, a judge agreed to drop a requirement that Roberts pay a 15 percent fee to a bonding agent to get out of jail, with District Attorney Mike Nifong signing a document saying he did not oppose the change.

Nifong's office declined to comment Thursday on the case; the district attorney has not spoken publicly about it in months.

The filing Thursday also raises questions about the accuser's sexual activities in the days and hours leading up to the lacrosse team party. A statement from Himan attached to the filing says the accuser told him "she had not had sex a week prior to the incident" but that she did perform for a couple in a hotel room in which she danced and used a sex toy on herself.

Also attached is a five-page handwritten statement from a Jarriel Johnson, who said he accompanied the accuser to three "appointments" at area hotels during the weekend prior to the team party. Johnson also told investigators he had sex with the accuser, though he said that took place more than a week before the party.

Defense attorneys have suggested that any evidence of sexual activity on the accuser's part may have resulted from encounters before the party, not an attack there. They have also said DNA tests showed material recovered from the victim matched a single male source who was not a member of the team.


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