A woman with close ties to George Zimmerman and his family told investigators that members of Zimmerman’s family were boastfully proud racists and that for more than a decade Zimmerman sexually molested her, reports the Huffington Post.
“It started when I was six,” the woman told investigators during an interview on the morning of March 20. “We’d all lay in front of the TV and we had pillows and blankets and he would reach under the blankets and try to do things and I would try to push him off but he was bigger and stronger and older,” the woman said, audibly weeping in the Florida State Attorney’s Office interview recording released Monday. “It was in front of everybody and I don’t know how I didn’t say anything, I just didn’t know any better.”
The woman, identified in various reports and in taped interviews with investigators as witness 9, said that from the age of six to 19 Zimmerman repeatedly fondled her, at times penetrating her vagina with his finger.
The woman told investigators that she was coming forward when she did because she thought that Zimmerman might have shot and killed Trayvon Martin because he was black, and that she finally felt safe enough to make a report when Zimmerman had gone into hiding after the shooting.
“This is the first time in my life that I’m not afraid of him,” the woman said. “[H]e can’t get to me. If I saw him on the street or saw him anywhere it would just make me break down in tears, but now with everything going on I know that he’s not going to be out in public. I won’t go to Target and see him anymore. I’m not afraid of him anymore.”
The molestation continued for years during visits between the families, she said. The Zimmermans lived in Virginia and moved down to Florida — where the woman lived with her family — not long after George Zimmerman graduated from high school. The last incident occurred in Lake Mary, Fla., where Zimmerman had moved into a house owned by his family ahead of their arrival from Virginia.
“It’s not just me that he did these things to,” she said. The witness said that she talked to another woman who she claims was also molested by Zimmerman, but would not come forward.
The woman’s statements are part of the latest trove of evidence released by the State Attorney’s Office, which is handling Zimmerman’s second-degree murder case. Zimmerman is charged with Martin’s February 26 killing in Sanford, Fla. Other evidence released Monday includes nearly 150 jailhouse calls made to and from George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, has argued that witness 9’s statements should not be released and that because her testimony would not be introduced at trial, it was irrelevant. Some of the racial implications made by the witness, he said, could likely cause “widespread hostile publicity.”
But Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. issued an order in late June outlining which records prosecutors must release, and named witness 9’s statements.
Witness 9 first made an anonymous call to law enforcement and shortly thereafter met with investigators with the State Attorney’s Office. The revelations of alleged sexual molestation were buttressed by the woman’s belief that Martin’s race may have played a role in his killing by Zimmerman.
“I was afraid that he may have done something because the kid was black,” the witness told investigators. “Because growing up they’ve always made, 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 and other than that, they talk a lot of bad things about black people.”
The woman said that Zimmerman’s Peruvian mother was among the more boastfully racist of the clan.
“His mother protested it very loud,” the woman said. During one incident, the woman said that Zimmerman’s mother had come to the witness’s workplace, and during a discussion about President Obama, made it clear how she felt about him and his ethnicity.
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