Duke University President Richard Brodhead learned that a woman was accusing Duke lacrosse players of rape and sexual assault from the student newspaper a week after police began their investigation, says a report quoted by the Charlotte Observer. Some school officials learned of the case within hours of the police report, but Durham police told them the accuser “kept changing her story and was not credible,” said the report by Charlotte civil rights leader Julius Chambers and former Princeton University President William Bowen. “It is the main fact that explains why we dealt with this as we did,” Brodhead said yesterday. “All of us wish we had gotten onto the story earlier.”
The woman initially told police she was raped and sexually assaulted by about 20 members of a Duke team, the report says. She later told authorities she was assaulted by three men. Kerry Sutton, an attorney for a player who has not been charged in the incident, said, “Our position from the very beginning is these players didn’t do anything and the woman is not credible.” Two lacrosse players, Reade Seligman and Collin Finnerty, have been charged with first degree rape, sex offense, and kidnapping.