3rd Duke Lacrosse Player Is Indicted in Rape Case

DURHAM, N.C., May 15 — A third lacrosse player was indicted Monday in the rape investigation that has raised racial and class tensions between Duke University and its hometown.

David F. Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., a team captain who lived in the house where a black woman says she was sexually assaulted by three white players during a party, was charged with rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping. Mr. Evans was indicted on the same charges as two of his teammates, Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., who surrendered April 18.

Mr. Evans graduated from Duke on Sunday but did not attend the commencement ceremony. Before turning himself in on Monday, he emphatically denied guilt at a news conference, becoming the first indicted player to speak publicly.

"These allegations are lies, fabricated, and they will be proven wrong," he said. "Every member of the Duke University lacrosse team is innocent."

Mr. Evans said that he and his roommates had voluntarily helped the police when officers executed a search warrant at their house, and that he willingly provided DNA, spoke to investigators without a lawyer present and offered to take a polygraph test, which officials declined.

He said that he and his lawyer, Joseph B. Cheshire V, had tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to contact the district attorney, Michael B. Nifong, before Monday's indictment.

"As a result of his apparent lack of interest in my story, the true story," Mr. Evans said, he and his lawyer had arranged for a private polygraph test. "I passed it absolutely," he said, adding: "I've never had my character questioned before. Anyone who's met me knows that this didn't happen."

Mr. Evans was accompanied by his parents, Rae F. and David C. Evans, and by the seven other seniors on the lacrosse team, who stood behind him with solemn, almost military bearing, uniformly dressed in khaki pants and oxford shirts. Neither Mr. Evans nor his teammates took questions.

Mrs. Evans, chairwoman of the Ladies Professional Golf Association board of directors and founder of the Evans Capitol Group, a Washington lobbying firm, wore on her suit lapel a large button with her son's photograph and jersey number. Her husband is a Washington lawyer. Their son graduated in 2002 from the Landon School, a private boys preparatory school in Bethesda.

Mr. Evans's indictment came three days after defense lawyers received the results of a second round of DNA tests that they said failed to link any lacrosse players to the alleged crime. Tests on a fake fingernail found at the scene showed DNA from multiple sources and could not affirmatively exclude Mr. Evans, the lawyers said.

"That, according to our expert, is about as weak a DNA analysis as you could ever have," Mr. Cheshire said. He said the nail had been found in a trash can and could have been contaminated by used tissues or other items carrying the players' DNA.

Mr. Seligmann has provided, through his lawyer, a detailed alibi including cash machine and food receipts that his lawyer says show that he could not have taken part in any assault.

Mr. Cheshire said a vaginal swab taken from the accuser showed semen from a male, named in the report on the results, who was not a Duke lacrosse player. The test would not indicate when the semen was deposited.

The accuser, one of two strippers hired to perform at the party, said she had lost the nail during a struggle in which she was followed into the bathroom, attacked, raped and sodomized by three men. She later identified Mr. Seligmann and Mr. Finnerty in a photo lineup.

She also picked out Mr. Evans but was not totally certain of the identification, Mr. Cheshire said. He said that according to a transcript of her remarks during the lineup, the woman believed that Mr. Evans had been wearing a mustache at the time of the attack. His client had never had a mustache, the lawyer said.

Still, the latest indictment was not a surprise. Mr. Nifong had said he was trying to identify a third attacker positively, and Monday was his first opportunity to submit new evidence to the grand jury.

Mr. Cheshire said he knew of no new evidence other than the DNA test results. But he added that he had not seen all the evidence his client is entitled to now that he has been charged. Grand jury proceedings are secret.

Mr. Nifong has not commented on the new DNA tests. He did issue a statement saying, "I believe it is important to state publicly on Monday that none of the evidence that we have developed implicates any member of that team other than those three against whom indictments have been returned."

Mr. Evans was released Monday afternoon after posting $400,000 bail.