WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A relative of George Zimmerman claims she was molested by him when they were children, the latest allegation against the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
The interview with police, done nearly a month after the February shooting, was made public yesterday after local media fought to have it released, over objections from prosecutors and the defense.
The woman, identified as witness No. 9 in court documents, said she was fondled, groped and kissed by Zimmerman beginning when she was 6 and he was about 8, when they would see each other at family gatherings. She said it continued until she was about 16.
Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara called it an "uncorroborated, irrelevant statement" in court papers. He said yesterday he would vigorously defend Zimmerman against those allegations.
Prosecutors said they may want to use the interview, and a separate statement from the woman calling Zimmerman a racist, but did not want it made public yet because it could influence potential jurors.
The prosecutors did not return a phone call seeking comment about whether they planned to pursue additional charges. A legal expert said charges would be unlikely, in part because laws limit how long a victim can wait before taking allegations to authorities.
Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Martin, 17, who was unarmed. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.
The interview was done March 20 as protests were organized nationwide, saying the teen was racially profiled because he was black. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Peruvian.
In the interview, the woman tearfully recalled watching movies at Zimmerman's house when he first reached inside her underwear. She said she went to sleep crying.
"I would try to push him off, but he was bigger and stronger and older," she said.
She said she was not raped.
Around 2005, the woman's parents arranged to confront Zimmerman, after learning from her sister what happened. He showed up, said, "I'm sorry," and left, she said.
In a separate interview, the woman accused Zimmerman of being a racist.
"I was afraid that he may have done something because the kid was black, because growing up they 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," the woman said.