Lawyer: Duke Accuser Wasn't Raped

Attorneys Bill Thomas, right, and Butch Williams, center, representing the captains of Duke's lacrosse team, leave City Hall in Durham, N.C., Thursday, April 6, 2006, after a city council meeting. The investigation of allegations of a sexual assault of a woman hired as a private dancer at a party attended by lacrosse team members on March 13 was discussed at the meeting. (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis) AP

Time-stamped photographs will show an exotic dancer was already injured and "very impaired" when she arrived at a party where she claims she was raped by members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team, an attorney for one of the players said Sunday.

Durham attorney Bill Thomas said some of the photographs, taken when she arrived at the house, indicate the woman was injured before getting to the party March 13. They show extensive bruises and scrapes on her legs, especially around the knees, he said. And Kerry Sutton, an attorney representing the lacrosse team's co-captain suggests it's possible the alleged victim is making the story up, CBS News correspondent Trish Regan reports.

"This young lady was substantially impaired. She had fallen several times during the course of the evening," Thomas said.

He declined to identify the player he represents and said he would not release the photos, taken by at least two cameras, until pending DNA tests are completed.

He also wouldn't say whether the photos were taken by a lacrosse team member or someone else; court documents have indicated that only team members were present at the party.

No one has been charged in the case, but the allegations that members of the nearly all-white team raped the woman, a black student at a nearby university, have rocked both Duke and Durham.

The allegations have led to the resignation of coach Mike Pressler, the cancellation of the lacrosse season and the suspension of one player from school.

Several dozen people gathered Sunday outside the house where the party took place, and pledged to return each Sunday until the case is resolved.

"Whether I want to believe it, or whether you want to believe it, something took place in there," said Johnny Williamson, 36, of Durham. "Something indecent took place."

District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was expected to return this week from an out-of-town conference and has not commented on the case in the past several days, has said previously he is confident a rape occurred. Court documents said a medical exam of the alleged victim found injuries consistent with sexual assault.

The victim has not returned repeated messages seeking comment, but her father said Sunday she hasn't changed her story.

"I expect them to say that," he said of the lawyers' contentions his daughter is lying.

Woody Van, who represented the alleged victim four years ago when she was accused of stealing a taxi and trying to run over a police office, says he "believes her to be a credible person."
  • Gina Pace

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