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Duke rape
suspect to stand trial for gay bashing

Duke rape
suspect to stand trial for gay bashing

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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