Posted April 6, 2006 - The Duke University Lacrosse coach resigned Wednesday amid rape charges against his team, which ramped up another notch with the discovery of an email from one of the accused players that campus officials called "sickening and repulsive."
As protests in support of the alleged victim heated up at Duke and nearby North Carolina Central, Coach Mike Pressler announced he would no longer coach the Blue Devils Lacrosse team. In addition, University President Richard Brodhead canceled the rest of the season for the celebrated team. Last week he suspended the season until it was clear that charges were not justified.
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In the latest twist, police disclosed the contents of an e-mail, which they found while investigating charges of first-degree forcible rape, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree forcible sexual offense, common law robbery, felonious strangulation and conspiracy to commit murder.
The investigation was sparked by a young Black woman, a student at North Carolina Central, who said she was hired March 13 as an exotic dancer at a post-game lacrosse team party on the Duke campus in Durham. She told police she was dragged into a restroom, where she was choked, beaten, and raped by at least three members of the team. She also alleges that the teammates called her racial slurs and robbed her.
In the e-mail to his team members, leaked to the news media on Wednesday, one of the players said he wanted to hire strippers and kill them.
"Tomorrow night, after tonight's show - [I've] decided to have some strippers over," the player wrote in the e-mail, found by police in the dorm of one of the players "...All are welcome. however there will be no nudity. i plan on killing the b----es as soon as the[y] walk in and proceed to cut their skin off."
The e-mail said the player would find the killing sexually gratifying, The Associated Press reported. The player identified himself in the e-mail by signing it with his jersey number, according to AP.
But an attorney for one of the team's captains said the e-mail proves the players story, that they had no intention of raping anyone at the party, but just hired dancers who left the party early.
Meanwhile, Brodhead, in a statement, indicated that the university would immediately suspend the student whom police believe wrote the e-mail.
"In situations where a threat to the safety of an individual or members of the university community exists, ... an interim suspension" is issued, Brodhead said.
In a letter to the school Wednesday night, Brodhead also announced an investigation into "reports of persistent problems involving the Men's Lacrosse Team, including 'racist language' and a pattern of alcohol abuse and disorderly behavior."
What do you think is the appropriate action the school should take against the team members under suspicion of rape?
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