Aaron Beard, AP, April 12, 2007
The local prosecutor who charged three Duke lacrosse players with raping a stripper apologized to the athletes Thursday, a day after North Carolina’s attorney general dropped the entire case.
“To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused,” Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong said in a statement.
“I also understand that whenever someone has been wrongly accused, the harm caused by the accusations might not be immediately undone merely by dismissing them,” Nifong said. “It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to remedy any remaining injury that has resulted from these cases.”
Nifong refused to answer any questions after handing the statement to an Associated Press reporter outside his office in Durham.
Seligmann’s attorney, Jim Cooney, responded bitterly to the apology.
“You can accept an apology from someone who knows all the facts and simply makes an error,” Cooney said. “If a person refuses to know all the facts and then makes a judgment, that’s far worseparticularly when that judgment destroys lives.”