Three lacrosse players accused of rape

BRIDGEPORT, CT Wayne Keeney said his client, 19-year-old Timothy Sanders of Ashburn, Va., was having consensual sex with the 18-year-old female student when two teammeates sneaked into the dorm as a prank.

The woman told authorities that Sanders suddenly summoned his teammates -- 19-year-old Nicholas Travers of Smithtown, N.Y., and 18-year-old Zachari Triner of Marshfield, Mass., -- while she was having consensual sex with him. She told police that Travers and Triner raped her while Sanders held her down.

Neither Travers nor Triner had sexual contact with the woman, Keeney said. He said alcohol was involved and that the woman was not aware the two men had entered the room. Attorneys for Travers and Triner declined to comment Tuesday on the case or the arrests.

All three men were charged Sunday with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault, police said.

Sacred Heart University released a statement saying privacy laws prohibit commenting on specific students but that school policy calls for automatic suspensions when such accusations are made. Keeney confirmed that all three have been suspended from school and the lacrosse team.

Keeney said the bed was lofted 5 feet off the floor, raising questions about the woman's description of events.

"I can appreciate that this young woman was put in an embarrasing set of circumstances through some sophomoric, college-boy antics, but there's no indication from what I can see or discern so far that there was any sexual assualt there," Keeney said.

Sacred Heart finished 4-10 in lacrosse last spring, including a 1-5 record in the Colonial Athletic Conference. The team opens its 2010 season Feb. 12 against Massachusetts and is scheduled to end May 9 at Duke, whose program was rocked by scandal in 2006 when a stripper falsely accused three players of raping her at a team party. Charges against the players were dropped in 2007.

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