John Stevenson, Herald-Sun (Durham), April 14, 2006
DURHAM — The names of two Duke University lacrosse players suspected of raping an exotic dancer at a North Buchanan Boulevard house party will be presented to Durham’s grand jury for possible indictment on Monday, defense lawyers said Thursday.
But even though they were confident about the imminent grand jury action, the lawyers said they don’t know which two names would be submitted.
Meanwhile, a police communications tape was released Thursday in which an officer describes the woman who later told police she was gang-raped as “unconscious” and “passed out drunk.”
After receiving the SBI conclusions from Nifong on Monday, defense attorneys said no DNA from 46 lacrosse players tested was found on or in the alleged victim’s body or under her fingernails. She had told authorities she clawed at one of the attackers.
Nor was any of the alleged victim’s DNA found in the bathroom in which she said she was raped, sodomized, beaten and strangled by three men for 30 minutes, according to the test results announced by the defense attorneys.
The negative results indicated that none of the lacrosse players had sexually assaulted the woman, defense lawyers said.
But even without DNA matches, Nifong could seek indictments based on the alleged victim’s visual identification of those she said assaulted her. The district attorney also has said that medical reports indicated the woman had vaginal trauma.
The police communications tape released Thursday was recorded after midnight on March 14, shortly after the alleged attack. It includes the Police Department’s initial response to a call from the security guard at the Kroger on Hillsborough Road, where an as-yet-unidentified woman had driven the alleged victim.
According to other recordings released previously, the woman told the security guard that the alleged victim was drunk.
In the newly released tape, of radio transmissions between officers and dispatchers, the first officer to arrive at the Kroger tells the dispatcher: “She’s 10-56 and unconscious.” The radio code 10-56 means an intoxicated person.
The dispatcher asks: “You need a medic truck or are you 10-4?”
The officer replies: “She’s breathing, appears to be fine, she’s not in distress. She’s just passed out drunk.”
According to defense attorneys, the characterization of the alleged victim conforms with statements from lacrosse players that the woman was highly intoxicated when she arrived at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. to dance for them. Beyond that, the lawyers said they had time-stamped photographs depicting the dancer in a seemingly impaired condition.
In one of the photos, the woman fell down at the back door of the house as if she were drunk or asleep, the attorneys have said.
The pictures have not yet been made public.