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Duke rape
suspect may get jail time for antigay assault

Duke rape
suspect may get jail time for antigay assault


Accusations that Duke University lacrosse player Collin Finnerty raped a college student could upset a deal that kept him out of prison over an antigay assault last year.

One of the two Duke University students who have been charged with raping a woman from a nearby school in North Carolina will appear in court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for his alleged participation in an antigay assault in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C., last year. Collin Finnerty's court appearance was moved up from September because the accusations in North Carolina are enough to warrant a revocation of the agreement that allowed the Duke lacrosse player to avoid a trial and possible jail time last year, Newsday reports.

Finnerty and two friends were accused of hurling antigay epithets at Jeffrey Bloxsom in the early morning of November 5, leading to a fight in which Bloxsom suffered a cut lip and bruised chin, according to the police report. Bloxsom's lawyer said he is not gay.

Finnerty, now 19, avoided charges by agreeing to participate in a diversion program for people in trouble with the law for the first time. Such programs call for participants to perform community service, pay restitution, and stay out of trouble. If the conditions of the diversion program are met, the case is expunged from the participant's record, although a record of the arrest remains, said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the District of Columbia's U.S. attorney's office.

Finnerty's next court appearance for the simple assault charge was initially scheduled for September 25, but after his arrest for his alleged role in the Duke rape scandal, the D.C. superior court may decide to move forward with the prosecution, said Phillips. If the agreement is revoked at the hearing, a trial date will be set, and Finnerty could face up to 180 days in jail or a fine of $1,000 or both, according to Phillips. (The Advocate)

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