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Original Issue


The case has produceda steady drip of leaks, damage control and conflicting evidence

MARCH 13 | 11:30 p.m.: Approximate time the alleged victim, an exotic dancer, arrives at a lacrosse team party at 610 North Buchanan Boulevard. She and a second dancer, Kim Roberts, perform for only a few minutes, according to court documents.

MARCH 14 | 12:53 a.m.: Roberts calls 911 complaining that white males outside 610 North Buchanan used racial slurs in addressing her and her friend. Police respond and report that no one seems to be at the house, but that a party appears to have taken place.

MARCH 14 | 1:22 a.m.: In a 911 call on behalf of Roberts, who had driven the alleged victim to a grocery store, a security guard at the store says, "There's a lady in somebody else's car, and she will not get out.... She's, like, intoxicated, drunk or something." A police officer responds and reports that the alleged victim is "not in distress. She's just passed-out drunk."

MARCH 14 | 2:45 a.m. After a stop at a 24-hour mental health crisis center where she alleges that she was raped at the house, the accusing woman is checked into Duke University Hospital. There she tells police that she had only been groped at the party. A few minutes later she tells a sexual-assault nurse examiner that she was raped. Police will seek a search warrant at the house based on the woman's allegation that she was raped, sodomized and beaten by three white men in a bathroom at the party.

MARCH 16 | Police search 610 North Buchanan. Among the items seized are cameras, computers and fake fingernails found in a bathroom trash can. The three residents submit DNA samples and are interviewed by police.

MARCH 20 | Roberts tells Benjamin Himan, an investigator in the violent-crimes unit, that the rape allegations are "a crock." (A month later, though, she will tell the AP she believes "somebody did something besides underage drinking," adding, "In all honesty, I think they're guilty."

MARCH 22 | Roberts is arrested for violating her probation from a 2001 conviction for embezzling $25,000 from a photo-processing company. She is released on bail, and later a hearing on the matter will be set for July 24.

MARCH 23 | Forty-six of the 47 members of the lacrosse team have their photos taken and submit DNA samples to police. The lone black member of the team does not because the accuser identified her attackers as white.

MARCH 25 | The Raleigh News & Observer publishes a story giving the alleged victim's account of what happened. It is the first (and thus far only) interview she has given to the media. That same day Duke forfeits two games to punish the team for hiring dancers and allowing underage drinking at a party.

MARCH 28 | School president Richard Brodhead (left) and athletic director Joe Alleva hold a news conference at which they announce the suspension of the season until the rape allegations are more clearly resolved.

APRIL 4 | The accuser identifies her alleged attackers in a photographic ID exercise with police. She identifies sophomores Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann with what she calls 100% certainty and senior David Evans with "about 90%" certainty. (She adds that a fourth person resembles one of the assailants.)

APRIL 5 | A vulgar e-mail sent by sophomore Ryan McFadyen (41) to several teammates is made public when a judge unseals an application for a search warrant in the case. In the message McFadyen, who had been at the party, says he would host strippers and skin them while ejaculating in his "Duke issue spandex," an apparent reference to the novel American Psycho.

Later that same day, coach Mike Pressler resigns and the university cancels the season. Duke also announces the formation of five independent committees to investigate the lacrosse program, the university's response to the rape allegations and other issues related to the case.

APRIL 10 | Defense attorneys release the results of the DNA tests, saying that the report from the state crime lab indicates that none of the 46 players' DNA was in or on the accuser or any of her belongings.

APRIL 11 | At a public forum at North Carolina Central University, where the accuser is a student, Durham County D.A. Mike Nifong says that he will pursue the case despite the DNA results.

APRIL 17 | A Durham County grand jury returns sealed indictments against two players: Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., and the 20-year-old Seligmann of Essex Fells, N.J.

APRIL 18 | Finnerty (top) and Seligmann turn themselves in to the police and are charged with first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping. Each is released on a $400,000 secured bond. Nifong says in a statement that he will continue to investigate a third suspect.

APRIL 21 | Roberts is interviewed by the AP after an e-mail she sent to the 5W Public Relations firm is leaked to the press. In the e-mail she writes, "I've found myself in the center of one of the biggest stories in the country. I'm worried about letting this opportunity pass me by without making the best of it and was wondering if you had any advice as to how to spin this to my advantage."

MAY 1 | Two of the committees that Brodhead chartered return their reports. One concludes that the members of the team generally have been responsible academically and athletically. It notes that many players have been "socially irresponsible consumers of alcohol" but recommends that the team be allowed to resume play next season.

MAY 2 | Nifong wins the Democratic primary, virtually assuring a four-year term as Durham County D.A. (There are no Republican candidates for the general election in November.)

MAY 12 | Defense lawyers announce that a second round of DNA tests done by a private firm have come back inconclusive. Evans's attorney, Joseph Cheshire, claims that DNA found on a vaginal swab of the accuser does not belong to a Duke student. But he also says that an analysis of DNA found on a false fingernail retrieved from 610 North Buchanan contained a partial match with samples taken from certain Duke players.

MAY 15 | A Durham County grand jury indicts Evans (below), 23, of Bethesda, Md., a co-captain and recent graduate. He is charged with first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping, and is also released on a $400,000 secured bond. He says in a statement outside the Durham County Detention Facility: "These allegations are lies, fabricated, and they will be proven wrong."

MAY 18 | Seligmann makes his first appearance in court. Lawyer J. Kirk Osborn makes several motions on his behalf, including a request for access to the accuser's cellphone records and the police notes. Nifong hands over about 1,300 pages of evidence, two videotapes and a CD with photographs to Osborn and other defense lawyers.

JUNE 5 | Duke officials announce that the team will resume play in the fall under stronger administrative oversight and that assistant coach Kevin Cassese will take over as interim coach while Duke conducts a national search for Pressler's replacement.