June 2, 1990 |
Defense attorneys in rape cases can no longer use the alleged victim's clothing as evidence to justify the attack, under a new law signed by Florida Gov. Bob Martinez. "There is no excuse for rape under any circumstances, and this law will make it clear that the victim of sexual battery should not be persecuted as the criminal is prosecuted," the governor said in Tallahassee. "This new law is a major victory for the rights of crime victims."
August 1, 1991 |
A Florida judge on Wednesday delayed the rape trial of William Kennedy Smith for at least 90 days after Smith's lawyers argued that "pervasive and prejudicial" publicity was making it impossible to fairly try the nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). Roy Black, attorney for Smith, argued that a delay was needed to cool the fever of news media coverage that he said was worsened by prosecutors and was quickly turning the public against Smith.
June 2, 1991 |
In pressing her complaint that she was raped at the Kennedy estate here, the accuser of William Kennedy Smith was questioned repeatedly by police about aspects of her past that appear unrelated to the alleged incident. At the same time, because of the prominence of the accused's family, many details of the 29-year-old woman's life, including her name, have been made public.
June 14, 1991 |
Attorneys defending William Kennedy Smith on rape charges charged Thursday that Palm Beach, Fla., police and prosecutors have "intentionally coached and assisted the complaining witness in the fabrication of her story." The charge, contained in a motion to dismiss the charges against the nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), was the sharpest attack so far by Smith's attorney's on the prosecution case and seemed to signal a key element of the defense strategy.
April 17, 1991 |
Police detectives in Palm Beach, Fla., made "a number of visits" to the Kennedy family's estate after an alleged sexual assault there, including one soon after they received the rape report about 2 p.m. March 30, a police spokesman said. Each time, they were told members of the family weren't there. A Jupiter, Fla., woman said she was raped by William Kennedy Smith, a nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). Smith, 30, denied the allegation. No one has been charged.
December 12, 1991 |
Women's rights advocates voiced fears Wednesday that the outcome in the Palm Beach rape case and the recent Senate confirmation of Clarence Thomas, despite Anita Faye Hill's accusations of sexual harassment, might send a message to women that their stories of date rape or sexual abuse will not be believed. "That's my obvious fear--that the message will be that women are liars and that acquaintance rape is not a crime," USC law professor Susan Estrich said.
December 14, 1991 |
Taxpayers likely will help William Kennedy Smith pay part of his enormous legal bill, a county official said. Under Florida law, Smith, who was acquitted of charges that he raped a 30-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., woman, may recover costs that include court reporters' deposition fees, the costs of witness subpoenas and process servers, standard witness fees that are about $5 each and the bills of expert witnesses for time spent in court.