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Paternity test ordered on baby of Duke accuser

DURHAM, N.C. -- A judge yesterday ordered a paternity test on a baby expected by the woman who has accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape, but both the district attorney and the defense rejected any possibility that one of the men is the father.

News of the accuser's pregnancy comes roughly nine months after the team party where she says she was raped.

District Attorney Mike Nifong said he believes the accuser became pregnant at least two weeks after the party and said she is due the first week in February.

The defense asked for the paternity test. At the same time, defense attorney Joseph Cheshire said it is an "absolute impossibility" that she got pregnant during the alleged attack.

Cheshire said the woman was given a pregnancy test, which was negative, immediately after reporting she was raped, and she took an emergency contraceptive. In addition, DNA tests found no genetic material from any Duke lacrosse team members on the woman or her clothes.

A person familiar with the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the pregnancy late Thursday. Also yesterday, a lab director admitted in court that after an agreement with Nifong, he violated his own procedures and withheld results showing none of the players' DNA was found on or in her body.

Dr. Brian Meehan, lab director at DNA Security Inc., said he and Nifong agreed to include only DNA matches in the report on his testing results. The report released in May omitted information about people the DNA tests excluded, including the fact that no genetic material from any member of the lacrosse team was among that from several males found in the accuser's underwear and body.

"We are extremely troubled by that," Cheshire said. The full testing results, showing the exclusions, were disclosed through a defense request over the summer.

Testimony at a procedural hearing that ended yesterday afternoon focused on a defense request for more information about the DNA testing conducted for the prosecution.

Defense attorneys have stressed for months that no sex occurred at the party, and they have cited DNA testing that found genetic material from several males in the accuser's body and her underwear but none from any member of the lacrosse team.

The woman has said the three men raped her in a bathroom at a March 13 team party where she had been hired to perform as a stripper.

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