Duke Rape Scandal Stokes Racial Woes

At Duke University, this time of year is usually all about basketball.

It's March Madness time and, while the school's traditionally powerful men's team didn't fare well in this year's NCAA tournament, its women's team made the Final Four.

But, reports CBS News correspondent Trish Regan, rather than focusing on sports and studying for finals, for more than two weeks a different subject has been dominating campus life: the allegation that three white players from Duke's elite lacrosse team raped a black student from North Carolina Central University.

The student, an exotic dancer, was hired to work at a party in an off-campus home, where the alleged rape occurred.

So far, no one has been officially charged with a crime. Investigators are waiting for the results of DNA tests done on lacrosse players. Those results are due back from the lab this week. However, Regan notes, the district attorney says he won't be releasing those results. He also says that, should he file charges, he won't do it until at least April 10.

Freshman Charisma Nelson says the allegations have put a new strain on the already delicate relationship between the school and the community of Durham.

"I don't think we wanted to admit how fragile it was," Nelson told Regan. "I think this incident shed more light and just made it more evident."

In a town where most people make less money in a year than the $43,000 it costs to attend Duke, there's a perception that the university's students are privileged and elitist, Regan observes.

There's also the notion that Duke Students "get drunk and they get wild and they get crazy, and things happen," says Chasyaw Wortham, who lives near the campus.

What does the community think should happen?

"There should be a punishment for the team, everyone who was involved," Wortham says. "They shouldn't get a pat on their backs."

The university is concerned about increased tension, Regan points out.
  • Melissa McNamara

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