Charges dropped in Duke case; lacrosse players are pronounced innocent

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)   All charges against three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault have been dropped.

North Carolina's attorney general made the announcement today, saying the athletes were innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse" by an over-reaching prosecutor. He says his own probe concluded that no attack took place.

State Attorney General Roy Cooper says there were a number of points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado.

Cooper took over the case after Durham County DA Mike Nifong was charged with ethics violations. Cooper says investigators understood that sexual assault victims often have some inconsistencies in their accounts of an attack.

But he says the inconsistencies were so significant in this case that there's no credible evidence that an attack occurred.