Newly public evidence in the murder trial of George Zimmerman includes testimony from a woman who claims he sexually abused her for years beginning when they were children. The woman, who is two years younger than Zimmerman and identified only as Witness 9, told police that the molestation started when she was 6 years old and continued until they were teenagers. "He always was just, you know, very charming and personable with everyone … and just would laugh and entertain everybody," she said. "But he was different behind closed doors with me."
The woman said the attacks occurred during family get-togethers and lasted until she was 16. "We would all lay in front of the TV," she said, "and he would reach under the blankets and try to do things. … I would try to push him off, but he was bigger and stronger and older." Years later, in 2005, her parents allegedly brought up the accusations with Zimmerman; he said, "I'm sorry," and left.
The woman told investigators she came forward after the shooting because, "This is the first time in my life that I'm not afraid of him."
Separately, she added, "Growing up ... him and his family have always made statements that they don't like black people if they don't act like white people. They like black people if they act white. Other than that, they talk a lot of bad things about black people." But she said she had never seen him act on those feelings.
Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara attempted to block the release of the police interview, arguing that it "is not relevant" to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and would "serve to reignite and potentially enhance the widespread public hostility toward Mr. Zimmerman." But a lawyer for the Martin family said the woman "certainly would be a good rebuttal witness, very similar to that in the Sandusky trial, showing that [Zimmerman] has a history of violence and manipulation. As I said before, Zimmerman's mentality is very relevant to this trial."
Jury selection is guaranteed to be a disaster, just in case this whole ordeal wasn't awful enough already.