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Tyson's Aides Sought in Probe of Alleged Rape

Crime: A woman says the boxer assaulted her while he was training in the Big Bear area.

July 31, 2001|SCOTT GOLD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Expanding their investigation into a complaint that Mike Tyson sexually assaulted a woman while training in the mountains above San Bernardino, detectives on Monday began trying to identify several aides who reportedly were with the boxer at the time of the alleged incident.

San Bernardino County sheriff's detectives had already signaled their intent to interview Tyson, 35, about the alleged assault in the Big Bear area. On Monday, sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers said the local resident who has accused Tyson has also pointed investigators in the direction of several of the boxer's aides.

Detectives are trying to determine whether to file charges against Tyson, Beavers said.

The detectives contacted Tyson's lawyer in Phoenix Monday "to identify a few staff members who were with Tyson during the time the allegations supposedly had taken place," Beavers said.

The local woman told officials that Tyson sexually assaulted her July 16 in a Big Bear-area home he had been renting.

Officials have released little other information, and sheriff's officials declined Monday to release any related documents.

The mountain community is a popular training ground for several boxers, partly because of its remote locale and partly because its altitude helps them get in shape. Tyson has been training there for a possible September fight in Copenhagen.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and spent three years in prison in Indiana.

Tyson's attorney, Darrow Soll, could not be reached for comment Monday. However, in a prepared statement, Soll said the "allegation is without merit."

"We are hopeful that the authorities will conduct a thorough and complete investigation, which we expect will clear Mr. Tyson of any wrongdoing," the statement said. "Mr. Tyson will continue to train as scheduled and is looking forward to competing in September."

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