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Woman alleges Zimmerman sexually abused her as a child

6:28 PM, Jul 16, 2012   |    comments
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By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY

Taped recordings released today by the Florida State Attorney's Office include an explosive police interview with a woman identified as Witness #9 who accuses George Zimmerman of sexually assaulting her as a child.

The interview is part of another round of recordings related to the case of Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in February.

The woman is not a witness to Trayvon's shooting. She came forward and spoke with police after the shooting and media attention to the case.

Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara had argued that the interview should not be released. O'Mara wrote in a motion that the second statement "is not relevant" to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and would "serve to reignite and potentially enhance the widespread public hostility toward Mr. Zimmerman," according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The recordings also included 145 jail calls Zimmerman had while in jail.

The woman says on the taped interview that the alleged sexual assaults began when she was 6 years old and she and her sister went to stay with Zimmerman, then 8, and his family.

She says Zimmerman assaulted her numerous times, groping her with his hands, kissing her, fondling her under her pants and inserting his fingers in her vagina.

The woman -- whose identity has not been disclosed -- says her family and Zimmerman's family were always together.

She says the last incident occurred when she was 16 and they were both in a house his family owned in Lake Mary, Fla. She says he told her to lie down on a bed, then he laid down next to her and tried to massage her. She says they were clothed, but she says she felt his erection. She says she ran out of the room and out of the house.

"I wanted to make it stop, but I didn't know how," the woman tearfully tells Sanford, Fla., detectives in the interviews. She says she never said anything about the abuse because she was scared.

The witness says when she was 20 in 2005 she told her sister that "something happened," but didn't give her details. Her sister told her parents, who allegedly confronted Zimmerman. At the time, he is alleged to have said, "I'm sorry," but they never discussed it further, the woman alleges.

Zimmerman's family allegedly wanted to sweep everything under the rug, the woman says. The families still got together, but she says Zimmerman no longer attends many of those functions.

She says she came forward now because, "For the first time in my life, I'm not afraid of him."

USA TODAY

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