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Baby Sitter Won't Press the Issue

Law: A teenager who used to baby-sit Michael Kennedy's children and reportedly had an affair with him, has decided not to file a complaint.


BOSTON — A woman who reportedly had an extended affair with Michael Kennedy when she was a teenage baby sitter for his children does not want to file a complaint, a family spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"The family has determined that they will not press charges because they don't believe that that is in the best interest of their daughter," spokeswoman Nancy Sterling said. "She would be put through an excruciating process if they were to go ahead and press charges."

The Norfolk County district attorney's office has been investigating allegations that Kennedy, a son of slain Sen. Robert Kennedy, had a romance with the girl beginning five years ago, when she was 14. If they had sex before she turned 16, Kennedy could be charged under Massachusetts law with statutory rape.

But prosecuting Kennedy would be nearly impossible without the cooperation of the baby sitter, now a 19-year-old freshman at Boston University, legal experts said.

A spokeswoman for the Norfolk County district attorney's office, Nina Flaherty, declined to comment on the family's statement this morning. She also would not say whether the district attorney would be able to press charges without the cooperation of the teenager and her family.

Kennedy's wife, Victoria, is the daughter of sportscaster Frank Gifford. The couple recently announced they were separating.

Kennedy's lawyer, Thomas Dwyer, was out of town and could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Citizens Energy Corp., which Kennedy heads, would not comment on the developments.

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