by Isi Esene
As if the murder case hanging on him isn’t enough, George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, has again been accused by his female cousin of sexual molestation. She alleged that the molestation went for about 10 years beginning when she was 6.
The name of the accuser was however deleted from the audio tape of her witness statement released to the media. She was simply addressed as witness 9. It is not however clear why she decided to come out with her story now or whether the prosecution plans to use it in court if Zimmerman ends up going on trial.
Mark O’Mara, the defense lawyer, confirmed the woman was the former neighborhood watch volunteer’s cousin.
According to Reuters, O’Mara had in June argued that Witness 9’s statement is “uncorroborated and irrelevant to the murder case”. He argued at the time that its disclosure would lead to “widespread hostile publicity which would substantially impair his client’s fair trial rights.”
Judge Kenneth R. Lester, who is presiding over the case, ordered the document released under Florida’s public records law. He also ordered that about 145 of Zimmerman’s jailhouse phone calls should also be released to the public. The calls included conversations Zimmerman had with his wife and other family members and friends about his jail conditions, media handling and his finances.
Part of the woman’s statement was released last week in which she told investigators in a separate recorded statement that Zimmerman’s family was known to be racist, but she did not recall any specific statement or act by Zimmerman to illustrate the point.
“This is the first time in my life that I’m not afraid of him… he can’t get to me,” Witness 9 said, when she was asked why she’s coming out of the closet now.
She accused Zimmerman of molesting her during annual family get-togethers and trips. According to her, she finally revealed the Zimmerman’s actions to her parents in 2005 and they invited him for a meeting at pizza restaurant in Lake Mary to iron it out.
“Instead of talking about it, all he did was come in the room, come in the restaurant, he sat down on the end of the booth and he said ‘I’m sorry’ and just got up and walked out… my parents, their jaws dropped,” the woman said.
She was however discouraged by her mother from taking the allegations public because, as she advised, it would be her word against his.
Nothing seems to be looking up for Zimmerman at the moment.