RALEIGH, N.C. – Prosecutors dropped all charges Wednesday against the three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper at a party, saying the athletes were innocent victims of a “tragic rush to accuse” by an overreaching district attorney.
“There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a damning assessment of Durham County District Mike Nifong’s handling of the sensational case.
Cooper, who took over the case in January after Nifong was charged with ethics violations that could get him disbarred, said his own investigation “led us to the conclusion that no attack occurred.”
“I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies to a lot of people,” Cooper said. “I think those people ought to consider doing that.”
Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans were indicted last spring on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual offense.