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Defense: Duke Accuser Changes Account- Again....
looks like the start of another bad weekend for bitonti....
[QUOTE][B]Defense: Duke Accuser Changes Account
By ELIZABETH DUNBAR[/B]
DURHAM, N.C. - The accuser in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case told prosecutors in December that one of the three players charged did not commit any sex act on her during the alleged attack, according to papers filed Thursday by the defense.
The attacker identified as Reade Seligmann was repeatedly urged to take part in the alleged attack, she told an investigator, but he said he could not because he was getting married, the papers said.
"The accuser's most recent recollection of events demonstrates clearly that she cannot accurately recall and describe her attackers and that any identification made by her is necessarily unreliable," the defense filing said.
Lawyers have said Seligmann, 20, has a girlfriend, but there has been no indication that he was engaged or married.
The new description of Seligmann's role in the alleged assault in March was one of several changes the accuser made in her story during a Dec. 21 interview with an investigator from District Attorney Mike Nifong's office, the defense said.
In that same interview, the accuser also said she was no longer certain she had been penetrated vaginally by a penis, a necessary element of rape charges in North Carolina.
That led Nifong to dismiss rape charges against Seligmann and fellow defendants Dave Evans and Collin Finnerty. The players, who have steadfastly declared their innocence, remain charged with sexual offense and kidnapping.
Both Nifong and James P. Cooney III, an attorney for Seligmann, did not return a call seeking comment Thursday morning.
Thursday's motion added to a previous defense attack on the photo lineup in which the accuser identified the three players. The defense plans to argue at a Feb. 5 hearing that the lineup should be tossed out. Experts have said there appears to be little evidence outside of the accuser's testimony to support the charges, and without the photo lineup, they argue Nifong would probably have to drop the case.
The defense has repeatedly attacked the credibility of the accuser, citing the many different versions of the alleged attack she has provided to authorities.
The defense motion filed Thursday includes the investigator's report of the Dec. 21 interview, during which she made several other changes in her account of the March 13 party where she and another woman were hired to perform as a strippers.
Among them, that the attack occurred earlier in the evening _ between 11:35 p.m. and midnight _ than she had first reported. The initial police report on the case suggested the alleged attack took place about midnight.
The new timeline would put the attack outside of the apparent alibi window established by Seligmann's attorneys, based on records that include ATM receipts and cell phone records.
But the defense motion said the accuser's cell phone records show that she was on her on the phone during part of the time she now says she was attacked. Records also show Seligmann received a call on his cell phone during that period, the defense said.
Time-stamped photos and records of a 911 call made by the second dancer also indicate the women did not leave the party until shortly before 1 a.m., nearly an hour after the alleged attack ended under the new timeline. In an April written statement, the accuser said she and the second dancer left the party immediately after the alleged assault.
The filing comes a day after the judge overseeing the case ordered a paternity test to determine the father of a child born to the woman. Defense attorneys requested the test in December to eliminate any paternity question, although Nifong has said the pregnancy is almost certainly unrelated to the night of the team party.
Both sides agreed the test should be conducted to silence any doubts about a connection to the case.
The accuser gave birth to a girl last week, a person familiar with the case has told The Associated Press. The source spoke anonymously because the information had not yet been made public.