The case of George Zimmerman has taken a surprising turn today: In an audio tape released by prosecutors today, a woman accuses Zimmerman of molesting her for about a decade.
Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman has claimed he killed the unarmed 17-year-old in self-defense. But Martin’s family and supporters allege Zimmerman racially profiled the African-American teenager and followed him despite a police dispatcher’s advice not to do that.
NPR’s Greg Allen filed this report for our Newscast unit about the new allegations:
“The recordings are investigators’ interviews with a woman who claims that Zimmerman sexually abused her as a child.
“Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara had fought to keep these interviews from being made public, saying they were potentially prejudicial to his client’s case. In a previous interview with police, the woman making the charges, known only as witness #9, charged Zimmerman ‘doesn’t like black people.'”
“In the newly released interviews, she repeats those allegations but also details for investigators a series of incidents in which she says Zimmerman sexually assaulted her — beginning when she was 6 and he was 8 years old.
“She told investigators they continued until she was 16.
“O’Mara filed a motion seeking a stay of the judge’s order to release the recordings, but it apparently was posted too late to stop the interview from being made public.”
It’s not clear whether prosecutors plan to use the allegations during Zimmerman’s trial.
The New York Times reports that the woman alleges that in 2005, she told her sister about the incidents and her sister told her parents.
The Times reports:
“She and her parents met with Mr. Zimmerman at a pizzeria in Lake Mary, she said. But she never described to them the full extent of the molesting, she said.
“‘Instead of talking about it, all he did was come in the room, come in the restaurant, and sat down on the end of the booth and said, “I’m sorry,” and just got up and walked out,’ she said.”