“Witness 9” Claims Zimmerman Sexually Molested Her
SANFORD (CBSMiami) — The State Attorney’s Office has released more information in their case against George Zimmerman, the Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year old Miami teen Trayvon Martin last February.
One of the statements released, which involves “Witness 9,” is quite shocking and includes allegations of child sexual molestation.
Two investigators from the Duval County State Attorney’s Office in Sanford, Jim Post and Jim Rick, interviewed Witness 9, a younger relative of Zimmerman’s, who contacted Sanford police after the Feb. 26th shooting.
During her statement, she tearfully described how Zimmerman allegedly sexually molested her starting when she was just six years old and ended when she was 16.
“He would put his hand under my pants and under my underwear and basically just finger me, I guess,” explained Witness 9.
She was asked, “Did he put his finger inside of you?”
She replied, “Yes and there were other times he did things too but he would always call them, before we left the room or left anyplace he would say, ‘We weren’t doing anything, we were just laying down or we were just playing hide and seek,’ and he would always make sure that he told me that and I didn’t know. I was a kid, I didn’t know any better.”
Witness 9 said she tried to tell her family what was going on.
“At one time I told my sister and I thought I was telling them because they asked, ‘What were you guys doing?’ I didn’t know, I said we were ‘laying down’ and I thought I was telling them and they just ignored it and went to sleep crying because I didn’t know better,” she told investigators.
When she was about 12 and Zimmerman was about 14, she said there was another incident.
“Another time he told me that he had to have surgery on his penis because it had been pinching and he couldn’t pee so he made me see it and the scars and see his penis, basically.”
There were other incidents as well which took place at his parents’ house when her family would come to visit, she claimed.
Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O’Mara filed a motion Monday to put a stop to a judge’s ruling that ordered the release of hundreds of his client’s jailhouse phone calls and the statement from Witness 9.
But the motion apparently did not make it to the State Attorney in time, as the recorded statement was posted shortly after 11 a.m. as scheduled.
Witness 9 also reportedly told investigators she knew Zimmerman and his family to dislike African-Americans. That much of her statement had already been made public but part of her statement was sealed, and Zimmerman’s attorney asked the court to keep it that way because her accusations were incendiary, irrelevant and would hurt chances for a fair trial.
He also wanted to seal about 150 of Zimmerman’s jailhouse phone calls.
Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester disagreed, saying nothing in Florida’s public record law allows for such information to be kept secret. By law, evidence the prosecution turns over to the defense — called “discovery” — is public record. There are exceptions for things like telecommunications records and confessions.
The 28-year-old Zimmerman is awaiting trial on a charge of second-degree murder for the death of Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman said he killed Trayvon in self-defense after the teenager attacked him. Prosecutors say Zimmerman assumed Trayvon was about to commit a crime, followed him then shot him.
Also released Monday were Zimmerman’s calls from behind bars last April, where he prayed with Terry Jones, the Gainesville pastor who gained national attention for burning Qur’ans. Jones wanted to protest in support of Zimmerman.
“I just ask that you allow this city to heal and America to heal. I know that God’s will will be done. However, I just ask that perhaps instead of coming Saturday and protesting, we allow law enforcement to do their job and not lose focus,” said Zimmerman.
Jones held his rally anyway. Zimmerman’s call to Jones appears to have been organized by Zimmerman himself because, he said, he was concerned over the massive media attention.
“Every day that goes by, each time my name or Trayvon’s name makes it to the headlines, it’s just another day or hurt and not healing,” said Zimmerman.