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Those Damn Privileged Duke Lacrosse Players

I normally try to avoid these kind of salacious stories, but this is getting ridiculous.

Why does the DNC’s Associated Press think this warrants an article?

Reporters talk to an unidentified woman in a car in front of the home of Duke University lacrosse player Collin Finnerty in Garden City, N.Y., Tuesday, April 18, 2006. Finnerty is being charged with rape and kidnap of a stripper hired to dance at an off campus party last month.

Duke suspects had privileged upbringings

Finnerty, Seligmann from world of multimillion-dollar homes, golf courses

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – They grew up in privileged surroundings in the suburbs of New York City.

Collin Finnerty of Long Island and Reade Seligmann of New Jersey both come from a world of golf courses and multimillion-dollar homes and were educated at exclusive all-boys Catholic prep schools. Their paths merged after the high school lacrosse stars won admission to Duke University, where they shared an off-campus home with their teammates.

On Tuesday, the two 20-year-olds stood as co-defendants, accused of raping a stripper at an off-campus party in Durham, N.C.

Defenders quickly came forward at both of their high schools. Finnerty was described as a good student and athlete who was never in any trouble, while Seligmann was remembered as a kid incapable of committing such a heinous act.

“Knowing Reade Seligmann as well as we do here at Delbarton, I believe him innocent of the charges,” said the Rev. Luke L. Travers, headmaster at Seligmann’s $22,500-a-year high school. “The hearts and prayers of our community go out to Reade and his family, the woman who made the accusations, the players on the Duke lacrosse team and all their families.”

At Chaminade High School on Long Island, where Finnerty was among the 1,600 students, his former lacrosse coach said the young man “really was never in any trouble. Basically, more of a quiet kid.”

Jack Moran, the Chaminade lacrosse coach for 28 years, recalled Finnerty as an A student and a good teammate.

“Collin obviously was a very good player,” Moran said before practice Tuesday. “He was good enough to play at Duke. He was a good student. … Obviously, a good enough student to qualify academically for Duke.”

An education at Chaminade cost $6,670 a year in regular tuition, while students in the elite collegiate program paid more than $23,000 annually.

According to court documents, Finnerty was arrested six months ago in Washington, D.C., after an alleged gay-bashing incident. Jeffrey Bloxgom said Finnerty and two of his high school teammates hurled anti-gay insults and punched him repeatedly.

Finnerty entered a diversion program, under which the charges will be dismissed after the completion of 25 hours of community service. His next court appearance was set for Sept. 25.

Both defendants graduated from high school in 2004. There were other similarities in their upbringings.

Finnerty hails from Garden City, N.Y., and lived in a Dutch colonial house on a cul-de-sac. A lacrosse net and equipment were visible in the yard, which abuts a golf course. No one answered the door at the Finnerty home Tuesday morning.

Seligmann grew up in well-to-do Essex Fells, N.J., where multimillion-dollar homes also abound and the current mayor grew up with the lacrosse player’s dad.

“Reade Seligmann’s a great kid,” said Mayor Edward P. Abbot. “The Seligmanns have been a great Essex Fells family.”

The Seligmanns’ home — a two-story red-brick house with twin white columns — sits about 17 miles west of Manhattan and within 1½ miles of three golf courses. The 6-foot-1 sophomore was a leader at the high school lacrosse powerhouse Delbarton, winning an award for outstanding athlete when he was a senior.

Essex Fells, with a population of just over 2,100, has a median household income of $148,000, according to the Census Bureau.

The Seligmanns’ neighbors declined to speak with reporters and called police when the media stepped on their property.

Clearly the AP’s photographers have developed a fascination with residential architechure.

The media is not trying to prejudice us against these suspects, are they? Why would they want to do that?

I’m sure we’ll soon see a similar analysis of the (unnamed) complainant’s colorful background.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 18th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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