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Duke University
rape suspect convicted of antigay assault

Duke University
rape suspect convicted of antigay assault

A Duke University lacrosse player charged with raping an exotic dancer during a team party was convicted of a misdemeanor Tuesday in a homophobic assault last year on a bar patron in Washington, D.C., the Associated Press reports. Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., was sentenced to six months' probation after a two-day trial.

A D.C. superior court judge also ordered Finnerty to submit to drug and alcohol treatment if probation officers deem it necessary. During his probation Finnerty also must stay out of any establishment where alcohol is served unless accompanied by his parents and must stay out of the Georgetown neighborhood, where the assault occurred.

Finnerty could have gotten six months in jail; prosecutors did not ask the judge to impose jail time.

Prosecutors said Finnerty instigated an attack on two Georgetown bar patrons November 5. One victim, Jeffrey Bloxsom, testified that Finnerty pushed him, threw fake punches that landed within inches of his face, and hurled homophobic epithets.

Superior court judge John Bayly said he believed Finnerty was guilty of "menacing" Bloxsom as part of an assault, though it was a friend of Finnerty's who admitted punching Bloxsom. Finnerty's two friends admitted criminal responsibility but avoided prosecution under a special program for first-time offenders. (AP)

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