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Friday, March 31, 2006
Report: Charges may be delayed in Duke rape case

ESPN.com news services

While DNA tests in the rape investigation involving members of the Duke men's lacrosse team may be completed next week, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong said Friday that it could be an additional week before he decides what charges to bring, the Durham Herald-Sun reported in its Saturday edition.

Nifong reiterated Friday that the results of the DNA tests will not necessarily determine who gets charged, the newspaper reported. On Thursday, Nifong said he was not sure if he would make the DNA test results public.

The Herald-Sun also reported that some lacrosse players gave accounts of what transpired on the night of the alleged attack to university administrators. Nifong told the newspaper that he would ask the school to disclose those accounts voluntarily. If the university withholds the information, Nifong would seek a court order to obtain the testimonials.

In related news, Durham Police Department officers on Friday night warned residents outside of houses on North Buchanan Boulevard of potential threats of violence targeted at Duke University students, The Duke Chronicle reported on its Web site Friday.

Buchanan Boulevard is the street where players allegedly raped an exotic dancer at a March 13 party.

"Duke and Durham police have substantially increased patrol coverage of the area, including Trinity Park, Ninth Street and East Campus," wrote Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, in an e-mail sent to students.

Durham police desk officer D. Myatt told The Chronicle that the threats could not be traced to a credible source.

"Officers are being proactive with all this mess with the lacrosse team going on," Myatt told the Duke student newspaper. "They're asking people to use commone sense, to not be a target in the nighttime."

Earlier Friday evening, a passenger riding in a car on Buchanan Boulevard extended his arm from the vehicle, making his hand into the shape of gun, and pointed it at residents gathered at a house near the one where the alleged rape took place.

"We had been sitting on the porch hanging out," Duke senior Bryan Cappelli told The Chronicle. "And at least three cars went by flicking us off, saying, 'You'll see.'"

Many of the students living on Buchanan Boulevard have left their residences for the night, Monetta told the Chronicle.

Also Friday, published reports said there were two shootings in Durham near Duke's campus. Neither incident could be connected to the suspicious activity on Buchanan Boulevard, or the ongoing rape investigation. The second shooting, which occurred sometime before 3:40 p.m., was just blocks from the corner of campus on Sedgefield Street.

According to The Chronicle, police stopped and searched cars at the corner of Sedgefield Street and West Markham Avenue, an intersection that is on the corner of Duke's East Campus.