Officials Accused of Aiding Rape Case Witness

From a Times Staff Writer

Attorneys defending William Kennedy Smith on rape charges charged Thursday that Palm Beach, Fla., police and prosecutors have "intentionally coached and assisted the complaining witness in the fabrication of her story."

The charge, contained in a motion to dismiss the charges against the nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), was the sharpest attack so far by Smith's attorney's on the prosecution case and seemed to signal a key element of the defense strategy.

The motion was filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, which has scheduled Smith's trial for Aug. 5.

Defense lawyers Randall J. Turk and Mark Schnapp argued that Smith has been made the victim of "prosecutorial misconduct" and asked Judge Mary Lupo not to rule on their motion until they obtain files from police and prosecutors and are able to question the alleged victim.

The defense attorneys contended that police and prosecutors have "intentionally manipulated the Florida public records law" by making public items that supported their case while withholding others they did not want disseminated.

Smith is charged with assaulting a woman who accompanied him from a bar to the Kennedy family estate in Palm Beach during the Easter weekend. Smith has denied the allegation.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
63°