Early this week, Florida’s Attorney General's Office made public audio recordings of the testimony of Witness 9 in the George Zimmerman case. The woman, who has been identified as Zimmerman’s cousin, told investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that Zimmerman had serially molested her over a ten-year period. This testimony is now an integral part of the George Zimmerman case.
She testified that Zimmerman began molesting her when she was 6 years old, and Zimmerman was 8, and that the last incident occurred when she was 16 and Zimmerman was 18. She testified, “He would reach under the blankets and try to do things and I would try to push him off, but he was bigger and stronger and older.” In a Monday statement, Zimmerman’s defense countered that his client was not yet 8 years old when the alleged abuse began, and that he was 17 when it was alleged to have ended.
The prosecutors, working for State Attorney Angela Corey, argue that Witness 9’s testimony should be admitted as rebuttal evidence, evidence that is presented to contradict other evidence that has been presented by an adverse party. Prosecutors say that the defense is likely to contend that Zimmerman is an upstanding character; they plan to use Witness 9’s testimony to rebut this claim.
Zimmerman’s lawyers have argued that these allegations amount to nothing more than inadmissible evidence that is irrelevant to the case. While I agree that it may be difficult for Florida prosecutors to introduce the testimony as evidence in the second degree murder case of Trayvon Martin, it is easy to see how the testimony relates to the case.
It is easy to see the connection between Witness 9’s testimony and the Trayvon Martin case. This is especially true when one considers, Witness 9’s statement that Zimmerman was “bigger and stronger and older.” It is not hard to imagine a living Trayvon Martin making a similar declaration. These allegations, if proven true, create a history of Zimmerman victimizing smaller, weaker, and younger people. These statements should thus be included as evidence, which must be scrutinized by both sides.
Judge Lester, the presiding judge over the case, will likely be the one to make the final decision on the evidence’s admissibility. But it should be noted that Zimmerman’s lawyers are currently trying to get Judge Lester to recuse himself due to statements Lester made when he reset Zimmerman’s bond. Judge Lester reset Zimmerman’s bond after prosecutors proved that Zimmerman and his wife lied about their financial status to receive a lower bond.