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Tyson’s Attorneys Request Victim’s Contracts with Lawyer

July 7, 1992

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Mike Tyson’s lawyers have requested copies of any contracts between the woman he was convicted of raping and her former civil lawyer for use in his appeal.

Alan M. Dershowitz, who is heading Tyson’s appeal, said he needs the contracts from Marion Superior Court Judge Patricia Gifford.

The former heavyweight boxing champaion was convicted Feb. 10 of raping Desiree Washington a year ago when the two were in Indianapolis for Black Expo.

Dershowitz said Gifford has refused to disclose the contract with him. Miss Washington’s former attorney, Edward Gerstein, of Providence, R.I., also has refused to give Dershowitz a copy, citing the attorney-client privilege.

Dershowitz’s request came after the Rhode Island Supreme Court ordered Gerstein to tell Gifford that Miss Washington had signed a contract with him to represent her in a possible civil lawsuit.

The Rhode Island court said June 25 that the existence of a contingency fee agreement with a lawyer was significant enough to have been disclosed to the jury at Tyson’s criminal trial.

Miss Washington acknowledged during the rape trial that her parents had hired Gerstein, but said she did not know of the fee arrangements.

Dershowitz said after the court’s decision that it casts doubt on the testimony and motives of Miss Washington, a 19-year-old college student from Coventry, R.I. The defense argued that the sexual encounter between Tyson and Miss Washington was consensual and she later complained of rape because, among other things, she wanted to get money from him.

On June 22, Washington filed a civil damage suit against Tyson in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, seeking unspecified damages. However, attorney Deval Patrick of Boston, not Gerstein, is representing Washington in the civil case.

Tyson, 25, is serving a six-year prison term at the Indiana Youth Center.

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