Lawyer representing Newton's accuser says she may pursue civil charges
Aug. 14, 1997
DALLAS (AP) _ Money is looming large in the case of a woman who has accused Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Nate Newton of rape.
Newton's attorney, Howard Shapiro of Plano, says the woman is trying to extort his client. Her lawyer, David Cole, says Newton and Shapiro have repeatedly tried to buy her silence.
Newton, 35, has not been charged with any crime. He declined to answer questions Thursday.
Cole contends that three days after June 15, when the assault allegedly took place, Newton and his attorney invited the 31-year-old woman to a meeting and offered her $60,000 to not report the alleged incident. At the time, the woman did not have a lawyer.
Shapiro denied that he set up the meeting or made an offer. He says it was the woman who asked for the meeting and demanded $80,000 to keep quiet.
Shapiro also said that during the meeting, he left Newton and the woman alone for a few minutes and returned to a surprising scene.
``I left the room and Nate and this lady were embracing and kissing in my office _ three days after he supposedly brutalized her,'' Shapiro said Thursday.
Cole flatly denied that version of events.
``That's false,'' he said. ``I'm sure he'll get the opportunity to testify to that fact. Absolutely she has denied any kind of intimacy'' after the alleged rape, Cole said.
He said his client may pursue a civil suit as well as the criminal case to obtain compensation for her suffering.
``She is entitled to money _ you bet she is entitled to money,'' Cole said. ``But she is also entitled to seek justice for the crime.''
The woman says Newton came to her home in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie about 1 a.m. on June 15 and sexually assaulted her, said Deputy Chief Brad Geary. She told police she recently ended a year-long relationship with Newton, who is married with two children.
The case has been turned over to a Dallas County grand jury and a hearing will be held Aug. 25.
Cole said his client was initially afraid to report the crime because of the publicity over sexual assault accusations made last year against wide receiver Michael Irvin and offensive tackle Erik Williams of the Cowboys.
Nina Shahravan, a former topless dancer, recanted the allegations and is awaiting trial on a perjury charge.
``My client does not have a credibility problem like in last year's case,'' Cole said. ``She is not a topless dancer and she has not made other claims.''