(MIAMI) — A lawyer for accused murderer George Zimmerman said on Monday that a woman who claims he molested her for years as a child was Zimmerman’s cousin and said his legal team would “vigorously defend” him against the allegations.
Lawyer Mark O’Mara also appeared to question why the prosecution released the woman’s accusation. In a statement Monday, O’Mara said that he had sought to block the release last month arguing, “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.”
He also argued that the “irrelevant statement should be withheld from public dissemination” for fear that it would create “hostile publicity” that could “pose a serious threat to the administration of justice.”
Judge Kenneth Lester had rejected O’Mara’s motion, but the lawyer filed a new motion on Monday to block the release of the woman’s statement. The prosecution, however, released her claim, along with other evidence in the case which includes dozens of Zimmerman’s jailhouse phone calls.
The woman is identified in court papers only a Witness 9.
“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,” O’Mara said.
The prosecution contends that they were simply following an earlier ruling by the court that called for the release.
Zimmerman, charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, is not charged in connection to the molestation accusations. He is currently out of jail on a $1 millon bond.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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