Grand Jury's Term Extended for Probe in Smith Rape Case

Associated Press

A grand jury's term was extended Friday so it can complete a probe of possible obstruction of justice during a police investigation of a woman's claim that she was raped by William Kennedy Smith.

Judge I. C. Smith granted the panel's request for a 90-day extension of its term. The 18-member panel has finished its scheduled four-month term.

Prosecutors have identified William Barry, a longtime Kennedy family friend and retired FBI agent, as the target of the probe.

Palm Beach police said Barry misled them during their investigation of a 30-year-old woman's claim that she was raped by Smith on March 30 at the Kennedy estate. Smith is the nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

The Palm Beach County grand jury reported that it has heard "several witnesses and other evidence" but needs more time.

Kennedy testified before the grand jury on Aug. 30. Grand jury proceedings are secret.

Neither Barry nor his attorney could be reached by telephone at their offices Friday.

Under state law, a conviction for obstructing a police investigation could carry penalties of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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