George Zimmerman’s legal team did not want prosecutors to release allegations that he molested his younger relative. The victim, known as “Witness 9,” was interviewed by police two days after Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. In her account, she not only accused the 28-year-old of being racist, but opened up about alleged abuse, which started when she was a child and went on until she was a teenager.
In response to the revelation, Zimmerman’s attorney—Mike O’Mara—posted a message on his client’s website explaining why the information should not have been made public. “The defense moved to block the public release of Witness #9’s statement in a motion filed on June 18, 2012 contending ‘The content of this statement is not relevant to the issues of this case, and it would not be admissible in the State’s case in chief,’” reads the statement. “The motion further contends that this irrelevant statement should be withheld from public dissemination because of the substantial risk that public disclosure will lead to widespread hostile publicity which would substantially impair the Defendant’s fair trial rights, and would pose a serious threat to the administration of justice.”
Judge Kenneth Lester denied the request, prompting O’Mara to ask that he be removed from the case for being biased. Despite the judge’s response, O’Mara asked the prosecution to hold off on unveiling the evidence, to which they did not comply. “Now that this statement is part of the public record, the defense will vigorously defend Mr. Zimmerman against the allegations. In the next several weeks, there will be reciprocal discovery filed regarding Witness #9’s statement.”
Zimmerman was released from custody last week and has been transported to a safe house.
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