Player in Duke Lacrosse scandal speaks to students at UNC Charlotte

by: Torie Wells Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One of the players in the Duke Lacrosse scandal spoke to students at UNC Charlotte Monday. The school was observing Constitution Day, and his attorney said the injustice in Durham in 2006 happened because people forgot the Constitution.

It’s a case that was splashed across the headlines. Three Duke Lacrosse players were accused of raping a female escort and were later cleared.

Monday, one of those players took his story to UNC Charlotte students, hoping it is a lesson about justice.

"Justice is one of those things you have to fight for every day," said attorney James Cooney.

Six years ago, Cooney took Reade Seligmann's case. Cooney told him then that life as he knew it was over.

"Your life is always going to be different," said Cooney. "It's up to you if it's going to be better or worse."

Six years later, Seligmann's accuser, Crystal Magnum, is charged with killing her boyfriend, and Cooney said that litigation is still ongoing against the City of Durham and the District Attorney at the time.

"What happened in this case is that people forgot we had a presumption of innocence," said Cooney.

Seligmann said he doesn't want to talk about any of that.

"I'm here to talk about moving forward," he said.

He said he hopes his story can now be used for good. He had the resources to fight, but not everyone does.

"If we can take our case and have people learn from it, and use the lessons learned from our case and apply it to future injustice, it will be worth it," Seligmann said.

Students Eyewitness News spoke with said it's a lesson they couldn't learn in a classroom.