Witness 9: George Zimmerman molested me
Updated On: Jul 16 2012 07:10:41 PM EDT
A woman identified as witness 9 in the George Zimmerman case told investigators that he molested her when they were children.
"It started when I was 6. He's about two years older than I am," the woman recounted, saying that one incident occurred at Zimmerman's parents' house where she was staying while her family moved. "He would reach under the blankets (while watching TV with others in the room) and try to do things, and I would try to push him off, but he was bigger and stronger and older – it was in front of everybody – and I don't know how I didn't say anything, but I just didn't know any better.
Investigators asked specifically what Zimmerman did to her.
“He would put his hands under my pants, under my underwear (and molest me)."
The woman, who said her family got together with the Zimmermans at least once a year, said there were also other incidents, and she once told her sister about it.
"I said we were laying down," she said. "And I thought that I was telling them, and they just ignored it. And I just went to sleep crying because I didn't know better (how to explain it)."
She said when she was about 12 years old, Zimmerman showed her his penis and had her touch it.
"He would give me a certain look, and I would know if it was going to happen when we got together for family gatherings," she said. "He just got this look in his eye."
She also said that she knows of another person who was molested by Zimmerman.
"It's not just me that he did these things to," she said, adding that the other person did not want to discuss the allegations and would deny that anything happened.
The woman also recounted incidents when she was 13 or 14 years old in the interview with investigators and said she went to see Zimmerman alone when she was 16 years old.
In that incident, she said Zimmerman had her lie down while he massaged her, but she ran out of the house when he kissed her face and was aroused.
"I'm one of those people (who) want(s) to believe that everyone is good and that people change," she said while discussing that incident. "I wanted it to just stop."
She said Zimmerman sucked up to her dad and was charming, funny and entertaining to others in her family.
"But he was different behind closed doors with me," she said.
"Growing up, I told my friends, but I didn't tell my family. I tried so hard to forget it all and to make it go away that I even forgot the good stuff."
Witness 9 said she later told her sister about the molestation, without providing details, and her sister told their parents.
Witness 9 said she then went to a Lake Mary restaurant with her parents and told Zimmerman that they needed to talk to him.
"Instead of talking about, he came in the restaurant, sat down at the end of the booth and he said, 'I'm sorry,' and he just got up and walked out," she said.
"(My parents') jaws dropped," she said, adding that her parents told Zimmerman's parents. "But (his parents) never said anything to me. ...They just brushed it under the rug."
She added that she did not go into detail with her parents about the incidents.
"I was a pain in the butt as a child, and I told them, 'I don't want to talk about (specifics)," she said, adding that she has had flashbacks while she's with other men.
Investigators asked the woman why she's now coming forward with the information.
"This is the first time in my life that I'm not afraid. He can't get to me," she said. "With everything going on (in the Trayvon Martin case), I know I won't see him in public. I'm not afraid of him now."
Witness 9 was then asked whether there was anything else she wanted to discuss about Zimmerman.
"I was afraid that he may have done something because (Martin) was black," she said. "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."
She told investigators that Zimmerman's mother, while talking about President Barack Obama, said she didn't like him because, "I am a racist."
Witness 9, however, didn't provide any detailed instances about George Zimmerman being a racist.
"I can't remember anything, but that's just a known thing that that's how his family feels," she said.
More than 100 jailhouse phone calls made by Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch leader charged with murder in the death of Martin, were also released Monday by the state.
In the calls, Zimmerman speaks with Terry Jones, a Gainesville pastor who sparked international outrage when he burned Korans, and his wife, Shellie.
Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Martin, a 17-year-old who was unarmed while waking through a gated Sanford neighborhood. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.
On Friday, Zimmerman filed a motion to disqualify Judge Kenneth Lester, whom Zimmerman claims showed bias against him in his recent bond hearing ruling.
The State Attorney's Office released a statement Friday afternoon objecting to Zimmerman's motion.
On July 6, Zimmerman bonded out of jail for a second time after posting a $1 million bond.
In a scathing order, Lester restricted Zimmerman's travel to within Seminole County, subjected him to a curfew, barred him from the local airport and required him to wear an electronic monitoring device. He is also not allowed to apply for a passport or to drink alcohol.
An initial bond of $150,000 was revoked last month after Lester learned that Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, had failed to disclose more than $150,000 in donations from the public.
In April, Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler approved a motion to disqualify herself from the case and Lester took her place.
O'Mara had asked Recksiedler to step aside because her husband is a law partner of Mark NeJame, an Orlando lawyer and CNN legal analyst. Recksiedler concluded that the arguments individually were "legally insufficient" to force her recusal, but the "totality of the circumstances" made her decide to hand the case to another judge.
Zimmerman was not arrested until 44 days after the shooting because Sanford police said there was not enough evidence to disprove Zimmerman's claims of self-defense.
Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows someone to use lethal force if they feel their life is in danger, came under fire and protests were launched across the country.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed Angela Corey as a special prosecutor, and she charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
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