Defense: 2nd Duke Dancer Changed Story

Caption Kim Roberts answers questions during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, April 21, 2006. Roberts was the second exotic dancer at a Duke lacrosse team party at which another stripper claims she was raped. Two members of the team have been indicted.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP
A second stripper in the Duke University rape case told police early in their investigation that the accuser was out of her sight for only five minutes that night and that her allegations were a "crock," according to a court papers filed Thursday.

The statement by Kim Roberts about the March 13 lacrosse team party was cited in a filing by lawyers for Reade Seligmann, 20, one of three team members charged in the case.

According to a March 20 statement written by a Durham police investigator, 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."

The defense lawyers argue that prosecutors omitted that statement when they got court permission in March to obtain photographs and DNA samples from team members.

District Attorney Mike Nifong's office declined to comment Thursday on the defense allegations.

Both women had been hired to perform at the party as strippers.

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. But she added, "In all honesty, I think they're guilty."

The accuser has told police she was dragged into a bathroom and raped, beaten and choked for a half hour.

Seligmann, of Essex Fells, N.J., 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.

Defense attorneys have said they believe Roberts changed her story to gain favorable treatment in a separate criminal case. She was arrested March 22 on a probation violation stemming 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 Nifong signing a document saying he did not oppose the change.

The papers filed Thursday also raised questions about the accuser's sexual activities in the days leading up to the party. A police investigator's statement said 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.

The court papers included a five-page handwritten statement from a man who said he accompanied the accuser to three "appointments" at area hotels during the weekend prior to the team party. The man 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 by team members. 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.