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Suspect In Duke Rape Case May Lose Gay-Bashing Plea Bargain


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Suspect In Duke Rape Case May Lose Gay-Bashing Plea Bargain

by The Associated Press

April 18, 2006 - 10:00 pm ET

(Durham, North Carolina) Federal prosecutors could revoke a deal reached in an assault case with a Duke lacrosse player charged with raping a stripper at a team party, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., was charged with assault on Nov. 5, after he and two high school lacrosse teammates were involved in a confrontation with Jeffrey O. Bloxgom in Georgetown, according to records at D.C. Superior Court. (story)

Bloxgom said Finnerty and the other young men "punched him in the face and body" after he told them to "stop calling him gay and other derogatory names," according to the complaint. He added "that when he tried to walk away, the subjects without provocation attacked him, busting his lip and bruising his chin."

The three men were arrested after Bloxgom flagged down police. Paramedics treated him at the scene.

Finnerty entered a diversion program, under which the charges would be dismissed after the completion of 25 hours of community service. The diversion agreement called for Finnerty to refrain from committing any criminal offense.

"We're considering revocation of the diversion," Channing Phillips, a spokesman for D.C.'s U.S. Attorney's Office, said Tuesday.

The simple assault charge carries a potential penalty of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Hearings in the case are scheduled for April 25 and Sept. 25, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Calls to Steven J. McCool, who is representing Finnerty in the Georgetown case, were not returned.

Finnerty made a brief court appearance Tuesday in Durham, N.C., on charges of rape and kidnapping. A 27-year-old black woman and mother of two children told police she was attacked March 13 by three white men in a bathroom at an off-campus party held by the lacrosse team.

The woman in the case also has a criminal history. She pleaded guilty following a June 2002 incident to misdemeanor counts of larceny, speeding to elude arrest, assault on a government official and driving while impaired.

©365Gay.com 2006

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