RALEIGH, N.C. -- A second round of DNA testing in the Duke University lacrosse rape case came back with the same result as the first -- no conclusive match to any member of the team, defense lawyers said yesterday.
Attorney Joseph Cheshire, who represents a team captain who has not been charged, said the tests showed genetic material from a ''single male source" was found on a vaginal swab taken from the accuser, but that material did not match any of the players.
''In other words, it appears this woman had sex with a male," said Cheshire, who spoke at a news conference with other defense lawyers in the case. ''It also appears with certainty it wasn't a Duke lacrosse player."
Cheshire said the testing did find some genetic material from several people on a plastic fingernail found in a bathroom trash can of the house where the team held the March 13 party. He said some of that material had the ''same characteristics" -- a link short of a conclusive match -- to some of the players, but not the two who have charged with rape, kidnapping, and sexual assault.
Two members of the team have been charged with raping a stripper hired to perform at the party.
The dancer, a 27-year-old black student at nearby North Carolina Central University, told police she was raped and beaten for a half-hour by three white men at the party. A grand jury has charged sophomores Reade Seligmann of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty of Garden City, N.Y., with rape, kidnapping, and sexual assault.
Defense lawyers have strongly proclaimed that all the players are innocent, consistently pointing to an initial round of DNA tests they said found no match among the 46 players tested and the accuser.
District Attorney Mike Nifong did not immediately return a call to his home seeking comment last night.
After the first round of tests came back without a match, Nifong said that in 75 percent to 80 percent of all sexual assault cases, there is no DNA evidence.
''We had to deal with sexual assault cases the good old-fashioned way. Witnesses got on the stand and told what happened to them," he said.
Cheshire said the fact that the players turned over the fingernail shows they had nothing to hide.
The ''single male source" who matched the genetic material found on the vaginal swab taken from the victim is named in the report on the second round of DNA results and ''is known to the Durham Police Department," Cheshire said. He declined to give the man's name or comment on his relationship with the accuser.