Smith's Attorneys Denied Access to Accuser's Job Records
Oct. 11, 1991
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A judge ruled Friday that William Kennedy Smith's attorneys can't see the job records of a woman accusing Smith of rape, another setback in their efforts to delve into her past.
Attorneys for the 30-year-old woman said her privacy rights under Florida's constitution were being threatened. Smith's attorneys contended her employment history could help Smith's defense.
Circuit Judge James Stewart said after looking over the records, ''the contents do not lead to the discovery of any admissible evidence.''
Smith's attorney, Mark Schnapp, told the judge the woman's ''checkered employment past'' may show why she accused Smith of rape. Smith, 31, has maintained his innocence.
''A motive in this particular case for making a false accusation may be, ultimately, financial gain,'' he said.
He also argued that the woman's job history could be evidence of instability.
Schnapp said Smith's attorneys want to know why she left jobs and whether she lied or made false accusations while working.
The 30-year-old Florida woman worked in accounting and statistics at Disney World in 1985-87 and as a clerk at a Winter Park law firm in 1987-88.
Her attorney, Douglas Duncan, said her work history has ''absolutely no relevance'' to the case. The woman wanted the records blocked to maintain her privacy, he said.
A Disney World finance employee who worked with the woman said she did well on her job.
''She was excellent,'' Gene Lemoine told The Palm Beach Post in a story published Friday. ''She was extremely hard-working and very bright. ... She gets along well with people.''
Stewart heard the arguments because Circuit Judge Mary Lupo, the trial judge who has heard previous motions in the case, was out of town.
Ms. Lupo has ruled against most defense requests for access to the woman's medical and psychological records, which Smith's attorneys say could support their contention that she fabricated the charge.
The judge has set jury selection to begin Oct. 30 and opening statements for Dec. 2.
Smith, the nephew of U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, is charged with raping the woman March 30 at his family's Palm Beach estate.
Also Friday, prosecutors filed new interstate summonses requiring potential witnesses to be available to testify beginning Dec. 2. They include Smith's mother, Jean Kennedy Smith, and his sister Amanda.