Judge Issues Order For Paternity Test In Duke Lacrosse Case

A paternity test has been ordered to determine the father of a child born to the woman accusing three Duke University lacrosse players of sexual assault.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III requested the paternity test in a written court order filed yesterday. Defense attorneys had first requested the test in December before the child was born to eliminate any paternity question. The woman said she was attacked by the players during a team party last March.

Smith approved the paternity test during a hearing in December, but didn't make the order official until Wednesday. A person familiar with the case told The Associated Press that the accuser gave birth to a girl last week at U-N-C Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong has said the pregnancy is almost certainly unrelated to the night of the team party. Both sides agreed the test should be conducted to silence any doubts about a connection to the case.