Sunday, August 21, 2011

Albert Haynesworth's attorneys accused of offering bribe in sex-abuse case

Prosecutors alleged Thursday in court documents that Albert Haynesworth's attorneys offered money to the alleged victim in the sex-abuse case against him in hopes of getting her to persuade the government to drop the charges.

"The government is well aware of the fact that on numerous occasions since the assault . . . defense counsel has approached the victim's attorney offering a sum of money in exchange for getting the criminal case dismissed," government lawyers said in a filing in D.C. Superior Court.

They did not say how much had allegedly been offered. But the filing, by assistant U.S. attorneys Heide L. Herrmann and Sharon Donovan, means that both sides of the case have now claimed that the other has attempted to use money to influence the outcome of a trial that is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

On Thursday evening, Haynesworth attorney A. Scott Bolden "categorically denied" prosecutors' allegations, calling them "completely false."

In a Monday filing, Bolden asked the judge overseeing the trial to force prosecutors to provide evidence, including the testimony of a security guard who allegedly told a grand jury that he saw the former Washington Redskin grope a cocktail waitress at the W Hotel's P.O.V. Roof Terrace Lounge early Feb. 13 after a party.

The guard later told one of Bolden's private detectives that the contact was "consensual" and that he was offered $50,000 to testify on behalf of the waitress from a man who introduced himself as the woman's attorney, Bolden said. On Thursday, the government said that the security guard was only interviewed and that while someone might have offered him money, he only "assumed" that the person represented the waitress. Prosecutors called Bolden's allegations "unconscionable."

Haynesworth was charged with misdemeanor sexual abuse after prosecutors said he "inappropriately" touched the woman's breast. He has pleaded not guilty.

By Keith L. Alexander

Source: Washington Post


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