Where are they now?

A look at the main characters involved in the lacrosse case

<p>Former community members who were involved in the case have taken divergent paths.</p>

Former community members who were involved in the case have taken divergent paths.

This story is part of our coverage of the 10th anniversary of the lacrosse case. Our other coverage can be found here.

Ryan McFadyen 

After returning from the March 13, 2006 lacrosse party, Ryan McFadyen, Trinity ’08—at the time a sophomore—sent an email to the members of the lacrosse team that joked about cutting the skin off strippers. McFadyen has said the email was a reference to the popular movie “American Psycho.” The day after the email’s release, Mike Pressler resigned as coach of the lacrosse team, and President Richard Brodhead decided to cancel the men’s lacrosse season.

Although McFadyen was not one of the three players accused of rape, his email gained national media attention and resulted in his suspension from the University in March 2006. However, McFadyen resumed classes as a student in Fall 2006, continued to play on the lacrosse team and played as tight end on the football team during the 2008 season with Coach David Cutcliffe. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of arts degree in history and received a master's degree in liberal studies from Duke in 2010. A 2014 article in Vanity Fair profiled McFadyen and revealed that he had changed his name to John in an effort to distance himself from the email.

“I’ve been through a lot,” he said in the article. “I put most of it behind me, but I don’t think anybody can really comprehend, because to really understand what happened to me, how it affected me—I’m still not fully realizing what I’ve been through six years down the road.”

McFadyen was also interviewed for the ESPN 30 for 30 special “Fantastic Lies” about the lacrosse case.

According to his LinkedIn account, McFadyen is currently an associate developer for Post Road Residential. McFadyen did not respond to The Chronicle’s requests for an interview.

David Evans 

David Evans, Trinity ’06, was a co-captain of the 2005-06 men’s lacrosse team and was the third player charged with first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense and first degree kidnapping May 15, 2006—one day after his graduation. Evans was also one of the three members of the team who leased the house on 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the location of the party that hosted members of the team and strippers Crystal Mangum and Kim Roberts.

In a press conference after he was indicted, Evans asserted that the charges brought against him and his teammates were “fantastic lies.” The charges against him and his teammates were dropped April 12, 2007.

Evans received his master’s in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 2013. According to his LinkedIn page, Evans is currently a principal for the consumer team at Apax Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm, in New York. Evans has remained out of the media spotlight after settling with the University for an undisclosed amount in June 2007. Evans could not be reached for comment. 

Collin Finnerty 

Collin Finnerty, a sophomore on the men’s lacrosse team at the time, was charged with first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense and first degree kidnapping April 18, 2006. Finnerty turned himself in and was released on a $400,000 bail. Charges against Finnerty and his teammates were dropped April 12, 2007.

Although he was allowed to return to Duke for classes in Spring 2007, Finnerty transferred to Loyola College in Baltimore, Md., where he continued to play lacrosse and started every game of the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He was named co-captain his senior year, and graduated in 2010 with a degree in communications.

He currently works in equity sales trading for Deutsche Bank, according to his LinkedIn page. In recent years, Finnerty has remained out of the media spotlight after settling with the University for an undisclosed amount. The Chronicle was unable to contact Finnerty for comment.

Reade Seligmann

Reade Seligmann, at the time a sophomore on the men’s lacrosse team, was charged with first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense and first degree kidnapping April 18, 2006. Like Finnerty, Seligmann turned himself in and was released on a $400,000 bail. Charges against Seligmann and his teammates were dropped April 12, 2007. Although he was allowed to resume classes at Duke in Spring 2007, Seligmann did not return to campus.

Seligmann transferred to Brown University in 2007, where he continued to play lacrosse and graduated in 2010 with a degree in history and public policy. He attended Emory Law School and is currently an associate for Alston & Bird LLP in New York City, according to his LinkedIn page.

Since his wrongful accusation during the lacrosse case, Seligmann has been involved with the Innocence Project—a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals. Seligmann raised $50,000 in 2010 for the Innocence Project and organized the Eyewitness Identification Symposium at Brown, which focused on discussing ways to improve the accuracy of the eyewitness identification process.

“I’d like to say I’m a noble guy and I would have done all that stuff,” Seligmann said to the Newark Star-Ledger in 2010. “But I probably wouldn’t have gotten involved in that if my life hadn’t been so impacted by a similar cause.”

Seligmann settled with the University for an undisclosed amount in June 2007. In recent years, he has remained out of the media spotlight. Seligmann did not respond to The Chronicle’s request for an interview.

Joe Alleva 

Joe Alleva served as Duke’s athletics director from 1998-2008. He was responsible for many expansions in the athletic department during his tenure, but was highly scrutinized for his actions during the lacrosse case. During a press conference with Brodhead March 28, 2006, Alleva said the incident was just an example of “boys being boys”—a dismissal of the accuser’s story that attracted negative press attention. Alleva is also noted for forcing the resignation of Coach Mike Pressler.

“It will be part of his legacy," said Jon Jackson, associate director of athletics for communication, in a 2008 article in The Chronicle. "Any of us who touched that portion of our history, it's going to be part of all of our legacies."

Alleva was succeeded by Kevin White, who still heads the department today. Alleva is currently the athletics director at Louisiana State University. At the end of last year, Alleva received unflattering media attention during speculation that Les Miles, famed LSU head football coach, would be fired due to a three-game losing streak after an undefeated start to the season.

Richard Brodhead 

President Richard Brodhead, who has since retired, was less than two years into his presidency when the University was thrust into the national spotlight by the lacrosse case. During the early days of the case, Brodhead came under fire for being slow to respond to accusations against the players, and he later apologized for not better supporting the accused players and their families after the charges were dropped.

Brodhead noted that while the case was unfolding, the confidence with which former District Attorney Mike Nifong spoke about the accusations dispelled the initial belief that the case would die out.

“Anyone here would understand that the whole lacrosse episode is deeply associated with regret,” Brodhead said in a Towerview article published in June. “Whether in real time, things could have been handled dramatically differently, I’ll never know.”

Despite the case being one of the most turbulent moments of his presidency, Brodhead noted that many positive changes to the University resulted from it—including the creation of a new housing system, the construction of more public shared spaces and the improvement in Duke’s relationship with Durham.

“When you take a job like mine, you know that every high-level thing, for good or for bad, is a part of your legacy,” Brodhead said. “It was my job to try to steer this place through that. I hope that it becomes seen in a perspective with many other things.”

Crystal Mangum 

Crystal Mangum—a stripper enrolled in classes at North Carolina Central University at the time—alleged that she had been raped by members of the Duke men’s lacrosse team at a party held in a house near East Campus March 13, 2006. She reported being sexually assaulted for 30 minutes by three men in a bathroom and that party-goers yelled racial slurs at her.

The three accused players were eventually found innocent, and Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred for perjury and violating professional conduct.

After a lengthy media silence, Mangum released a memoir called “The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story” in October 2008 and maintained that she was assaulted at the party in March 2006.

In November 2013, she was convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing her boyfriend Reginald Daye. Mangum stabbed Daye in April 2011 in a fight at Daye's home, 10 days after which he died at Duke University Medical Center.

She was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway to a minimum of 14 years in prison after about six hours of deliberation by a 13-person jury.

Mangum claimed she was acting in self-defense at the time. She said Daye knocked her to the floor, threatening and choking her. She testified that she did not intend to kill him.

She is currently serving her sentence at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women in Raleigh.

Kim Roberts 

Kim Roberts was a second stripper at the Duke lacrosse team party at which Crystal Mangum alleged she was raped. That night, Roberts said she made a 911 call complaining that men at the party had called her racial slurs and later drove Mangum—whom she had only met that night—to a grocery store where Roberts asked a security guard to call 911.

During an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Roberts said Mangum was "talking crazy" after leaving the March 13 party. Roberts noted when she tried to forcibly remove Mangum from her car, Mangum told her, "Put marks on me. Go ahead. That's what I want."

According to CBS news, Roberts—who was 31 at the time— was arrested March 22, 2006 on a probation violation from a 2001 conviction for embezzling $25,000 from a photofinishing company in Durham where she worked as payroll specialist. This incident occurred only eight days after the Duke lacrosse party.

During a segment on “60 Minutes” in 2015, Roberts told interviewer Ed Bradley that she never witnessed a sexual assault at the house party or any other form of attack. 

Mike Nifong 

Mike Nifong served as the Durham District Attorney at the time of the allegations against the Duke men’s lacrosse players and filed charges of rape against three of the players. In December 2006, he filed to drop the rape charges a week after the director of a private DNA testing lab admitted in court that he had withheld test results showing that the players' DNA was not found in the alleged victim's body or underwear.

On January 12, 2007, Nifong asked to be removed from the Duke lacrosse case and requested that the North Carolina state attorney general appoint a special prosecutor in his place.

The North Carolina State Bar later alleged that Nifong had lied to court and bar investigators, withheld DNA information and made misleading remarks in reference to the three formerly-indicted Duke lacrosse players.In June 2007, the North Carolina State Bar filed an order to disbar Nifong.

He was then found guilty of contempt in September 2007 and was sentenced to serve one day in jail by Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith. Smith found that Nifong had knowingly provided defense attorneys with an incomplete report of DNA testing of the men’s lacrosse players. The omitted data contained test results showing the DNA of four men—none of whom were Duke lacrosse players—on Crystal Mangum, the stripper who claimed she was sexually assaulted at a March 2006 party held by the lacrosse team.

Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans, Trinity '06, launched a civil lawsuit against Nifong and other defendants in October 2007. Shortly thereafter, Nifong filed for bankruptcy, attempting to shield himself from the lawsuits. However, two judges ruled that the players' claims should be heard in federal court, effectively nullifying his bankruptcy protection.

In May 2014, the city of Durham settled the long-running lawsuit, according to the Charlotte Observer. Under the terms of the settlement, Finnerty, Seligmann and Evans received no money but the city agreed to make a $50,000 grant to the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission. In addition, Nifong agreed to give the commission $1,000, settling the case against him.

In “The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, The Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities,” a book by William Cohan released in April 2014, Nifong said he still believes that Mangum was attacked in the bathroom at the party.

Mike Pressler 

Mike Pressler began coaching Duke men’s lacrosse in 1991 and was head coach when three lacrosse players were accused of rape in 2006. He led Duke to three ACC championships and two Final Fours. In 2006, he ranked within the NCAA's top 10 among active coaches in both winning percentage and overall victories. Because of the scandal, however, he resigned April 5, 2006.

Pressler later filed a defamation suit in 2008 against the University, which alleged that John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, intentionally made slanderous comments about Pressler after his coaching contract with the University was cancelled in 2006.

Burness told reporters from Newsday that the difference between Pressler and his successor John Danowski was "night and day."

The University settled with Pressler over the claims in March 2010.In 2014, Pressler discussed the scandal during an interview in CBS’ “60 Minutes” episode entitled “Rush to Judgment.”

Pressler took over as head lacrosse coach for Bryant College, a small Division I school in Smithfield, R.I. in August 2006, where he still coaches today.

John Burness 

John Burness served as senior vice president for public affairs and government relations for 17 years and was responsible for addressing the media controversy surrounding the allegations of rape faced by three Duke men’s lacrosse players in 2006.

In an article published March 27, 2006, Burness told The Chronicle that there were “two very different versions of what went on at the party."

"My understanding is that some people who have talked to the players have suggested it would be very much in their advantage to get their side of the story out in one way or another," he told The Chronicle.

Burness stepped down from his position in June 2008, opting to focus on writing and teaching on the topic of higher education.

In the summer of 2010, he left Duke to serve a one-year term as interim president of Franklin and Marshall—his alma mater in Lancaster, Pa.

In Fall 2011, he returned to Duke as a professor of the practice in the Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at the Sanford School of Public Policy—a position that he holds today. He teaches a class called “Higher Education and News Media.”

Editor's note: This article was updated December 2017 to reflect changes in Seligmann's career and to note that Brodhead had since retired as president.


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