U. recruiting former Duke lacrosse player

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reade Seligmann, one of three former Duke University lacrosse players facing sexual offense and kidnapping charges stemming from conduct at a party last spring, is being recruited as a transfer student by the men’s lacrosse team.

Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’90 confirmed that Brown is recruiting Seligmann.

“Yes, he is interested in Brown University, and we are recruiting him,” Tiffany said. Due to NCAA recruiting regulations, Tiffany said he could not provide any further comment.

Seligmann is a 2004 graduate of the Delbarton School, a private preparatory school in New Jersey. Three former Delbarton lacrosse players currently play for Brown.

Seligmann and teammates Collin Finnerty and David Evans were initially charged with raping an exotic dancer last March. That charge has since been dropped, and all three have consistently denied all charges in the case.

“It’s impossible. It’s impossible for it to have happened,” Seligmann told CBS’ Ed Bradley on “60 Minutes” in an Oct. 15, 2006 interview.

Seligmann’s lawyer, J. Kirk Osborn, told the New York Times in April that he had “irrefutable, independent evidence” – including records of cell phone calls, an ATM transaction and a time-coded dormitory entry card – that Seligmann was not at the party when the incident allegedly occurred, the Times reported on Apr. 20, 2006.

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, who has come under heavy criticism for his handling of the case, dropped the rape charge in December after the accuser changed key details of her story.

The North Carolina State Bar filed charges of professional misconduct against Nifong last month for his role in prosecuting the case. Nifong has been accused of withholding DNA evidence from the defense as well as other ethical violations. Nifong asked to be removed from the case, which is now in the hands of special prosecutors in the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

Seligmann and Finnerty were placed on interim suspension by Duke for the Spring 2006 semester following their indictment and were put on administrative leave for the fall semester. Duke President Richard Brodhead reinstated both Seligmann and Finnerty last month, making it possible for them to return to class and the lacrosse team for this semester. At this time, neither student has returned to Duke.

Seligmann could not be reached for comment.

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