Duke rape suspect to stand trial for gay bashing

BY admin

April 26 2006 12:00 AM ET

A Duke University
lacrosse player from Long Island, N.Y., charged
with raping a stripper was ordered Tuesday to stand trial in
an unrelated assault case in which he and two
teammates are accused of beating a man after
lobbing antigay epithets at him. Collin Finnerty, 19,
appeared in District of Columbia superior court for a
hearing in which a judge determined he had violated the
conditions of a diversion program he entered after
being charged in a November assault in the Georgetown
section of Washington.

Finnerty and two
friends had been accused of punching the man after the
man told them to "stop calling him gay and other
derogatory names," according to court documents. The
charges would have been dismissed under the terms of
the diversion program once Finnerty completed 25 hours
of community service, but the terms also required that
he stay out of trouble and not commit any criminal offenses.

Finnerty remains
free pending a July 10 trial date in the Georgetown
case. He could face up to six months in jail and a fine of
up to $1,000 if convicted of simple assault. "This
incident has been grossly mischaracterized," said
attorney Steven J. McCool, who is representing
Finnerty, of Garden City, N.Y., in the Georgetown case.

Finnerty showed
no emotion during Tuesday's hearing. A family priest
stood a few feet behind him in the courtroom.

Finnerty and Duke
teammate Reade Seligmann, 20, were indicted on rape and
kidnapping charges last week in the Duke incident. A
27-year-old exotic dancer who had been hired to
perform at a lacrosse team party March 13 told police
three men raped her in a bathroom of an off-campus house.
District attorney Mike Nifong has said he expects to charge
a third person soon. (AP)

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