Lawyer Claims Duke Lacrosse Player Has Alibi

The Chronicle Online
Duke University

In the wake of two arrests of sophomores on the men’s lacrosse team, the case continues to develop as more evidence is brought to light. Some of the evidence seems to support defense lawyers’ claim that their clients are “absolutely innocent.”

A taxi driver granted interviews to various media sources Thursday when he described driving suspect Reade Seligmann on the night of the party where the alleged rape took place. A search warrant was also released Thursday that revealed details of Colin Finnerty’s dormitory room search.

Seligmann and Finnerty were charged Tuesday morning with first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense and kidnapping.

William Cotter, an attorney for Finnerty, said his client would not be pleading guilty.

“I don’t think there is any chance in hell that there will be a guilty plea,” he said. “I can’t tell you about [everybody], but my client’s case is either going to be dismissed by the DA or go to trial.”

Moez Mostafa, a cab driver, told various members of the press Thursday that he drove Seligmann home from the party just after midnight March 14.

Mostafa’s cell phone records, which were reviewed by ABC News, show an incoming call from Seligmann’s phone at 12:14 a.m.

The driver said he picked up Seligmann and another student from N. Buchanan Boulevard five minutes after the call came in and drove them to a Wachovia ATM and then to a drive-through restaurant on Hillsborough Road.

DukeCard records show that Seligmann’s card swiped in to Edens dormitory at 12:46 a.m., ABC News reported, and Mostafa said he watched the two students enter the building.

“They were just joking and laughing inside my car, and everything [was] fine,” Mostafa told ABC.

According to The Durham Herald-Sun, Mostafa was reluctant to get involved in the case but was convinced to recount his involvement by Philip Seligmann, Reade’s father.

District Attorney Mike Nifong has refused to comment on what evidence the prosecution presented to the grand jury Monday. He has declined interview requests for the past few weeks.

The warrant from Tuesday evening’s search of Finnerty’s Edens 2C dorm room was also released Thursday.

The only items seized were an April 5 New York Times article detailing Finnerty’s involvement in a simple battery case last fall and an envelope postmarked Sept. 14, 2005. The warrant gave police permission to take “any clothing related to the suspect and the victim from the night of the attack,” and property belonging to the alleged victim included a white, 6-inch shoe.

The warrant also stated that investigators were looking for any computers, cameras or other data storage devices that may have contained e-mails or photographs relating to the night of the party and the crimes with which Finnerty is charged.

Seligmann’s room was also searched Tuesday night, resident advisor Taggert White said. But police have not released the search warrant for that room.

Results from a second round of DNA tests, which are being conducted at a private lab, are due back imminently.

Defense lawyers have said they do not expect these tests to differ from previous results, which did not show any matches between DNA collected from 46 players and samples taken from the victim’s body and clothing.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.