Posted April 21, 2006 – Videos, photographs and a white high-heel shoe were among the items police were searching for in the dorm rooms of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, the two Duke University lacrosse players charged with raping an exotic dancer.
But what Durham Police confiscated in the hours after the two were arrested and escorted to jail in handcuffs Tuesday was a newspaper article and a letter from Finnerty’s girlfriend in Boston.
Police say that the dancer said she was missing a shoe, and investigators had hoped to find videos or photos documenting who attended the party, according to published reports. Exactly what the newspaper article and letter mean to the case was not immediately clear, and police did not elaborate.
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Cabbie: He Looked Mad at the Stripper
But what could be a potential key in the case is the testimony of cabbie Moez Mostafa, who said he picked up a calm and jovial Seligmann some time after midnight. Mostafa said that less than an hour later, around 1 a.m., he went back to the house after dropping off Seligmann to get four more players.
One of those passengers spoke in such a matter that made it seem as if someone had been hurt, Mostafa said, adding that he overheard someone referring to her as “just a stripper.”
“When I look back, he looked like he was mad at the stripper…It looked to me like somebody got hurt. But what kind of harm …I have no idea,” Mostafa said.
The accuser, a 27-year-old North Carolina Central student, who says she danced to pay her way through school, told police that she and another woman were hired to dance at the March 13 party.
"After a few minutes, the males watching them dance started to get excited and aggressive. The victim and her fellow dancer decided to take off because they were concerned for their safety," a document attached to an application for a search warrant in the case revealed.
"One of the suspects" came out to apologize and asked the women to come back in the house and continue dancing, the report said.
And they did, according to a neighbor who witnessed what was going on, CNN reported. And that's when things reportedly turned for the worst.
For 30-minutes, the woman said she was gang-raped by three White men, the police report stated.
But defense attorneys say it couldn't have gone down that way because they have time-stamped photos from the party, bank and cell phone records, and a taxi driver’s statement that put Seligmann and Finnerty away from the alleged crime scene.
Second Stripper Tells Her Side
Another exotic dancer, who performed at the team’s party, initially told police that she did not believe the accuser, who she did not know before that night.
Now Kim Roberts says she's not so sure it didn't happen.
"I was not in the bathroom when it happened, so I can't say a rape occurred, and I never will," Roberts told The Associated Press Thursday.
But in subsequent comments, which have defense attorneys charging the dancer with flip-flopping to get favorable treatment in a different case, she said, "In all honesty, I think they're guilty. . . I can't say which ones are guilty … but somebody did something besides underage drinking. That's my honest-to-God impression."
Roberts, 31, was arrested on March 22, eight days after the party on a probation violation from a 2001 conviction for embezzling $25,000 from a photofinishing company in Durham, where she was a payroll specialist, AP reported.
The grand jury will be back in a week to hear new information that could lead to the arrest of a third lacrosse player. Seligmann and Finnerty are expected back in court May 15.
They were indicted Monday but are free on $400,000 bond.