Durham, Players Settle Duke Lacrosse Lawsuit

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- The city of Durham said Friday it has settled a lawsuit filed by three former Duke University lacrosse players who were falsely accused of raping a stripper eight years ago.

In announcing the settlement, city officials said no money is going to the former players, but the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission will receive a $50,000 grant.

Kendra Montgomery-Blinn, the commission's executive director, called the grant "an honor and a surprise" and said it would be used to investigate innocence claims.

The commission, a state agency established by the General Assembly in 2006, consists of eight members who are selected by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court and the chief judge of the state Court of Appeals.

David Evans, Colin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann sued the city, alleging malicious prosecution over the way the police department handled the case.

The city maintains its police officers were obligated to investigate the accusations but concurs with Attorney General Roy Cooper's 2007 move to dismiss all charges and declare the former players innocent.

The accusations by a black woman against white athletes at the private, elite university attracted worldwide attention.


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