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NOW Urges New Inquiry Into Alleged Rape by Lawyer Mitchelson

June 05, 1987|TED ROHRLICH | Times Staff Writer

District attorney's office spokesman Al Albergate said: "We are unaware of any distortions."

In its report on the case, the district attorney's office cited "ambiguous" statements Mitchelson made when the Los Angeles Police Department secretly tape-recorded a phone call between him and Barrett-Whitney.

Conversation Transcript

According to a transcript of that conversation, Mitchelson at one point denies having abused Barrett-Whitney. But at another point he says, "I understand. I understand," immediately after she says, "I emotionally can't have situations like the bathroom."

At another point he says: "Now without acknowledging that anything happened anyplace, I don't intend in any way to become personally involved. . . . I just wanted to help you and represent you, try to settle the case. . . . And I can tell you something. You know, without referring to you or me, you know, there are people, I mean, let's take a doctor--a doctor may be an excellent surgeon. Maybe he even becomes involved with the patient. . . . But he's still able to--he's a great surgeon. He's able to perform a cataract. I'm a lawyer. I know what I'm doing. I think I do. I'm able to settle cases."

Last week, in an unusual estrangement from the district attorney's office, grand jurors voted to decline an offer to hear the district attorney's point of view on the Mitchelson case, according to two sources familiar with the jury's secret deliberations.

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