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Accuser in Duke Case Filed '96 Complaint

April 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. — The woman who says she was raped by three members of Duke's lacrosse team also told police 10 years ago she was raped by three men, filing a 1996 complaint claiming she had been assaulted three years earlier when she was 14.

Authorities in nearby Granville County said Thursday that none of the men named in the decade-old report were ever charged with sexual assault there, but they didn't have details why.

A phone number for the accuser has been disconnected and her family declined to comment to the Associated Press.

But relatives told Essence magazine in an online story this week that the woman declined to pursue the case out of fear for her safety.

The existence of the report surprised defense attorneys, one of whom has sought information about the accuser's past for use in attacking her credibility.

"That's the very first I've heard of that," said Bill Cotter, the attorney for indicted lacrosse player Collin Finnerty, who along with fellow Duke sophomore Reade Seligmann is charged with first-degree rape, kidnapping and sexual assault. He declined additional comment.

Attorney Joe Cheshire, who represents one of the uncharged players on the team, said he wanted to know if prosecutors in the current case knew about the earlier allegation, or if the accuser told them about it.

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