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Montgomery, Alabama

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Duke Settles with Players and Judge Suspends Nifong Immediately

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Duke University has settled on a financial agreement with three of their former students and lacrosse team players. The students were suspended and the lacrosse team season was cancelled after they were charged with rape. The allegations turned out to be false.

On Monday, the school stated, “We welcomed their exoneration and deeply regret the difficult year they and their families have had to endure. These young men and their families have been the subject of intense scrutiny that has taken a heavy toll.”

Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and Dave Evans were accused of raping a stripper at an off-campus party. The families have lost millions of dollars in legal bills due to the charges and are likely to file a lawsuit against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong.

The accusations were withdrawn in April by state prosecutors. The three students were victims of the District Attorney’s rush to accuse.

Nifong was disbarred for breaking dozens of rules of professional conduct in prosecuting the case. It was found that he lied to the court, withheld DNA evidence that proved the boys’ innocence, and made false and derogatory statements about the three lacrosse players.

On Monday, Nifong wrote in a letter that he would resign from office in a month to “spare the community further anguish”. But, a July 13 departure date was not soon enough for Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, who decided to suspend Nifong from office immediately. The judge stated that Nifong would not be able to continue his DA duties from today on.