Mark O’Mara, lawyer for George Zimmerman, motioned one last time Monday morning to seal a witness statement minutes before the prosecution released it in accordance with public records law, the Miami Herald reported.
In the evidence O’Mara deemed ‘irrelevant’ to the case at hand, ‘Witness 9,’ believed to be Zimmerman’s cousin, alleges that Zimmerman molested her for years as a child, beginning when they were six and eight years old, respectively.
The witness came forward only a few days after Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, telling investigators that Zimmerman and his family were racist, and called the prosecution again a few weeks later to allege the sexual abuse.
According to the witness, Zimmerman molested her during annual family visits and on joint family trips until the victim was sixteen. Many of the incidents took place at the Zimmerman family home, she said.
O’Mara asked Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester twice to withhold the witness’ statement from the public record before Monday’s last-minute courtroom dash.
“It’s completely irrelevant,” O’Mara told the Herald of the allegation, “and now we will have to waste 50 hours on something that will never make it to a courtroom.”
But Benjamin Crump, attorney for Martin’s family, said that Witness 9’s revelation could help prove that Zimmerman was not a man of good character, the Herald reported.
According to lawyer Erin Russell, an uninvolved party who has been blogging about the Zimmerman case, Witness 9 could challenge any character testimony Zimmerman might give, a threat which might keep Zimmerman from taking the stand, the Herald wrote.
Listen to Witness 9’s allegations of Zimmerman’s abuse here: