Photo: AP Images
In a blockbuster interview released Monday morning, an unnamed witness told Sanford, Fla., police that George Zimmerman stuck his hands in her underwear and under her shirt while the two were children.”It started when I was 6,” she told investigators Jim Post and Jim Rick during a March interview. “He’s about almost two years older than I am.”
During the nearly 30-minute interview released Monday morning by Florida prosecutors, the woman, identified only as Witness 9, cried often.
She detailed years of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watchman charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
As children, she would often visit the Zimmerman family home, which is where Witness 9 alleged the abuse started.
“We would watch movies in front of the TV,” she told investigators. “We would all lay in front of the TV and we would have pillows and blankets. And 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.”
“He would put his hands in, under pants, under my underwear, and basically just finger me,” the woman tearfully told investigators. “I was a kid, I didn’t know any better.”
The alleged abuse continued over the years, when Witness 9 would visit the Zimmermans. It’s unclear why she spent so much time with the family, and her exact relationship with George Zimmerman hasn’t been disclosed.
But she told investigators she and her family would get together with the Zimmermans for “family gatherings.”
“Every time that we would go up there, I could just look at him and he would give me a certain look and I would know if it was gonna happen, when we got together for family gatherings, because he just got this look in his eye like he was going to,” she said.
Years later, Witness 9 said the abuse escalated when she went to the house in Lake Mary, Fla., where Zimmerman, whom she called “Georgie,” moved after he graduated high school.
“He told me to lay down on the bed, and I did. And he said that he he was going to give me a massage. So he sat on my back and he started rubbing my back,” Witness 9 told investigators. “And then he started rubbing my chest. And when he leaned down to start kissing the side of my face, I felt, um, that he had an erection and I was scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I just got up and I ran out of the house and I got in my car.”
Witness 9 said both she and Zimmerman were clothed during this incident.
Eventually, Witness 9’s sister found out about the alleged abuse and told her parents.
Witness 9 said her parents confronted Zimmerman at a restaurant in the area. But instead of denying the allegations, Zimmerman said, “‘I’m sorry’ and just got up and walked out,” she told investigators.
Witness 9 told investigators Zimmerman never penetrated her with anything other than his finger and never forced her to perform oral sex acts or performed them on her.
When asked why she chose now to come forward, Witness 9 said she finally overcame her fear.
“This is the first time in my life that I’m not afraid of him,” she said. “I know that nothing can get to me, he can’t get to me.”
Zimmerman’s legal team filed a motion Monday morning to stop the judge from releasing the Witness 9 interview.
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