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Accuser pregnant; defense wants photo lineup tossed

RALEIGH, N.C. --The woman at the center of the Duke lacrosse rape case is pregnant and due to give birth any day, roughly nine months after the team party where she says she was raped by three men in a bathroom.

The pregnancy was confirmed late Thursday by a person familiar with the case, speaking to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Both Fox News and WRAL-TV in Raleigh reported she gave birth Thursday night.

There had been no prior indication the woman, a 28-year-old college student who already has children, was even pregnant. She has not spoken in public since granting a single interview to the News & Observer of Raleigh shortly after the party.

The person who confirmed the pregnancy to the AP had no information about the father. 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.

Calls to attorneys representing the three indicted players were not returned Thursday night. Nor were calls and messages left with District Attorney Mike Nifong.

Medical records included in a defense motion filed Thursday were not made public. It wasn't clear whether a pregnancy test was taken immediately after the party.

The development came just hours after defense attorneys filed a motion saying the woman misidentified her alleged attackers in a photo lineup that was "an incoherent mass of contradiction and error." The attorneys asked a judge to bar prosecutors from using the photo lineup at their clients' trial and prevent the accuser from identifying the players from the witness stand.

Duke University law professor James E. Coleman Jr. said the case would be "effectively dismissed" if the court finds the lineup inadmissible "and rules that it is so suggestive that there can't be an in-court identification."

Within Thursday's motion, the defense highlighted what it considers numerous holes in the accuser's story.

Among the details cited are examples of how the accuser's story changed in the hours and days after the party; that she has a history of bipolar disorder; that she identified two people as having attended the party who were not there; and that she identified four attackers during the April photo lineup.

An earlier defense motion argued the lineup was "unnecessarily suggestive" because the accuser was shown photos of only lacrosse players.

Thursday's motion adds details about efforts by police investigators and Nifong to assist the accuser in identifying the three men she said gang-raped her in a bathroom at a March 13 team party where she had been hired to perform as a dancer.

Based in part on those identifications, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans were indicted on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. All three players have insisted they are innocent.

Investigators conducted three photo lineups, according to the defense motion. In the first two, the accuser failed to identify Evans and did not identify Seligmann as an attacker, despite being shown photos of both men.

Defense lawyers argue that the third lineup, conducted April 4 at the Durham Police Department, violated departmental policies and the defendants' constitutional due process rights because it included only pictures of those at the party.

A hearing is scheduled Friday, but it is unclear whether the defense might argue their motions filed Wednesday and Thursday. The hearing had been expected mostly to deal with scheduling.