George Zimmerman, the man charged with the murder of a black teenager in Florida, has now also been accused of sexually molesting his cousin. In other developments relating to the case, supporters of Zimmerman aim to postpone plans for a memorial for the slain teenager.
George Zimmerman, who is charged in the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, was accused by his female cousin of sexually molesting her for a decade beginning when she was 6 years old, according to new documents made public on Monday by prosecutors.
The name of the relative was deleted from an audio tape version of her witness statement that was released to the media. Identified only as Witness No. 9, she would be about age 27 now.
Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, confirmed the woman was the former neighborhood watch volunteer's cousin.
It is not immediately clear why prosecutors released the molestation allegation or whether they plan to use it in court if Zimmerman goes on trial.
"Now that this statement is part of the public record, the defense will vigorously defend Mr. Zimmerman against the allegations," O'Mara said in a statement.
In a motion filed in June to keep the accusation under wraps, O'Mara argued the statement by Witness 9 was uncorroborated and irrelevant to the murder case.
He wrote at the time that its disclosure would lead to "widespread hostile publicity which would substantially impair (Zimmerman's) fair trial rights."