Source: Grand jury indicts two Duke lacrosse players

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A grand jury issued sealed indictments Monday against two members of the Duke University lacrosse team in connection with allegations that a stripper was raped last month at a team party, a source close to the case told The Associated Press.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the grand jury proceedings are secret, said he did not know which players were indicted or what charges they faced.

The grand jury adjourned around 2 p.m. Monday, handing up indictments a short time later to Superior Court Judge Ronald Stephens.

A filing at the courthouse said the judge had sealed at least one indictment, citing a state law that allows an indictment to be “kept secret until the defendant is arrested or appears before the court.”

A 27-year-old black woman told police she was attacked March 13 by three white men in a bathroom at a party held by the lacrosse team.

The racially charged allegations have led to near daily protest rallies. The school canceled the highly ranked team’s season and accepted the resignation of coach Mike Pressler after the release of a vulgar and graphic e-mail that was sent by a team member shortly after the alleged assault. Defense attorneys have urged District Attorney Mike Nifong to drop the case, saying DNA tests failed to connect any of the 46 team members tested to the alleged victim.

Nifong has said 75 percent to 80 percent of rape prosecutions lack DNA evidence.

According to court records, a medical examination of the woman found injuries consistent with rape.

There were numerous conferences involving defense lawyers and members of the district attorney’s office in hallways of the courthouse Monday morning.

At several points during the day, Nifong declined to comment when asked about the case.

At Duke, the university’s chief spokesman said the school knew little about what had taken place in court.

“We are aware that the district attorney made a presentation to the grand jury today, but we have no knowledge about the contents of his presentation,” said John F. Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations.

AP-ES-04-17-06 1946EDT

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