Two students from a top-ranked American university have been arrested and charged with rape and kidnapping in a controversial case that has received widespread U.S. media coverage.

The students from Duke University in the state of North Carolina are both 20-year-old lacrosse players. One has already been released on $400,000 bail.

A 27-year-old female stripper, who is black, accused three white students of assaulting and raping her during a party for the university's lacrosse team. The case has sparked debate on race and class issues, and prompted numerous vigils at Duke and neighboring universities.

A defense lawyer for the students says he is confident the men will be found innocent.

The district attorney says he plans to charge one more student soon.