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Woman Recants Rape Tale

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From Times Wire Services

The woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by Dallas Cowboy stars Michael Irvin and Erik Williams has admitted she lied, police officials said Friday.

Police spokesman Ed Spencer said the 23-year-old woman had withdrawn her allegations, and that there was no case against Irvin or Williams.

“We carried out a thorough and serious investigation and concluded the allegations were false,” Spencer said.

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“We’ve determined conclusively that the allegations are not true and that a sexual assault did not take place. We also determined that Michael Irvin was not present at any time.”

Spencer added the 23-year-old woman could be charged with filing a false report.

The woman, a former topless dancer who recently worked at a mall cosmetics counter, had accused Irvin of holding a gun against her head while Williams and a third--unidentified--man raped her on top of a pool table inside Williams’ home on Dec. 29. She said the men videotaped the assault.

Irvin, 30, and Williams, 28, had denied the assault accusations, and no one had been charged with a crime in the wake of the allegation.

“I’ve been falsely accused of something that I didn’t do, and I’m looking forward to the truth to come out as soon as possible,” Williams said after the allegation was announced by police.

Irvin was even more vocal. “I’m . . . looking forward to seeing how you guys go rewrite, reprint, rerun all these things about what happened Sunday night when you find out that I wasn’t even at Erik’s house.”

Irvin had said he had not visited Williams’ house in 1 1/2 years.

Spencer said the evidence demonstrated that the two football stars were telling the truth and that they might press misdemeanor charges against the woman, who had been under police protection since her allegation.

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Irvin, 30, is a wide receiver who was a member of the 1996 Pro Bowl roster. Williams, 28, is an offensive lineman selected earlier this month for the 1997 Pro Bowl game.

The allegation surfaced as the Cowboys were in the midst of another playoff run, and it proved to be a major distraction. The Cowboys, who have won three of the last four Super Bowls, lost to the Carolina Panthers last week. Irvin injured his shoulder early and sat out most of the game.

Williams was previously accused of sexual assault, but a grand jury in 1995 refused to indict him, citing insufficient evidence. The incident involved a 17-year-old girl at Williams’ home.

Irvin is on probation after pleading no contest in July to cocaine possession charges. At his sentencing, the judge threatened to put him in prison for 20 years if he violated parole. The NFL also suspended Irvin for the season’s first five games.

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