Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Duke Rape Case update from Yahoo! News

Judge orders paternity test in Duke case 2 hours, 8 minutes ago

DURHAM, N.C. - The judge in the Duke University lacrosse case has ordered a paternity test to determine the father of a child born to the woman accusing three players of sexual assault.


Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III requested the paternity test in a written court order filed Wednesday.

Defense attorneys had first requested the test in December before the child was born to eliminate any paternity question. The woman said she was attacked by the players during a team party in March.

Smith approved the paternity test during a hearing in December, but didn't make the order official until Wednesday.

The accuser gave birth to a girl last week at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, a person familiar with the case has told The Associated Press. The source spoke anonymously because the information had not yet been made public.

Durham County District Attorney Mike 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.

Rape charges were dropped against the three players last month though they still face charges of sexual offense and kidnapping. All three maintain their innocence.

Smith also ordered that attorneys be given transcripts from a closed-door hearing they attended in December to discuss sealed records in the case. The transcripts were ordered sealed, and no details were provided about what was discussed during the hearing.

Defense lawyers have asked for records detailing the accuser's military service, social services interaction and medical information.

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