Molestation claims came from Zimmerman's cousin -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Molestation claims came from Zimmerman's cousin

George Zimmerman, center, appears at a hearing with his attorney Mark O'Mara. (Source: CNN) George Zimmerman, center, appears at a hearing with his attorney Mark O'Mara. (Source: CNN)

SANFORD, FL (RNN) - The woman behind allegations that George Zimmerman molested her as a child is his cousin.

Defense attorneys confirmed the relationship after police interviews with the woman were released Monday.

The cousin alleges the former neighborhood watch captain who has admitted to shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin inappropriately touched her starting when she was 6 years old. Zimmerman was 8 years old at the time.

The alleged abuse went on for nearly 10 years.

Special Prosecutor Angela Corey released the interview along with more than 100 recorded jailhouse calls made by and to Zimmerman as part of an ongoing release of Florida's discovery. The release was made possible by the state's public record laws.

Attorneys for Zimmerman tried to block the interview from going public, according to a motion filed with the court on June 18.

The request was denied by Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. on July 13.

In a statement, Zimmerman's attorneys said they tried to block the release of statements by the witness because of a pending request to get Lester replaced as the trial judge. They argued if the motion was granted, it may call into question his ruling over releasing the interview.

However, the interview was released by prosecutors regardless.

"The content of this statement is not relevant to the issues of this case and it would not be admissible in the state's case in chief," his attorneys said in their June motion.

Despite that, they argued making the interview public would "substantially impair the defendant's fair trial rights, and would pose a serious threat to the administration of justice."

Along with the recording, prosecutors released a second interview with Zimmerman's cousin in which she claimed the family had a history of bias against black people.

Known as "witness 9," she told police she had never seen Zimmerman act on his bias, but she knew his family didn't "like black people if they don't act like white people. They like black people if they act white."

Growing up, the witness said Zimmerman's mother, father and siblings were all known to disapprove of African American people.

"Now that this statement is part of the public record, the defense will vigorously defend Mr. Zimmerman against the allegations," his attorneys said in a statement. "In the next several weeks, there will be reciprocal discovery filed regarding witness 9's statements."

Corey released more than 200 pages of evidence last week, including transcripts of FBI interviews with Sanford police officers, Zimmerman's ex-girlfriend, his neighbor, co-workers, witnesses and the employees at the gun shop where Zimmerman bought the firearm that he used to kill Martin.

On Friday, attorneys for Zimmerman requested the court replace Lester as the trial judge after he wrote a condescending order to set Zimmerman's bond on July 5.

Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting death of 17-year-old Martin.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Defense attorneys said they don't expect the case to go in front of a jury until 2013.

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