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DA to investigate allegations of affair with underage girl

April 25, 1997

BOSTON (AP) _ The district attorney will conduct a preliminary investigation into allegations that Michael Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, may have had an affair with an underage teen who was the family’s baby sitter.

No charges have been filed.

``This will be dealt with like any other case. We’ll not comment further on the matter while it is under investigation,″ Norfolk County District Attorney Jeffrey Locke told The Patriot Ledger of Quincy.

Nina Flaherty, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor, told The Associated Press that Locke wasn’t immediately available for further comment and she declined to discuss the matter.

Unidentified neighbors of Kennedy and the young woman were quoted in The Boston Globe today as saying he got involved with her when she was a 14-year-old baby sitter for his children.

Cohasset Police Chief Brian Noonan said neither the girl, now a 19-year-old college freshman, nor her parents have talked to police.

``No one has contacted the department or made any allegation. No one’s made us aware of any concerns,″ Noonan said. ``I’d probably have to initiate some kind of investigation with the sexual assault unit from the Norfolk County district attorney’s office.″

Kennedy, 39, who lives in Cohasset, has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for comment by the AP.

Jean Fleischman, spokeswoman for Citizens Energy Corp., a nonprofit group founded by his brother U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, said she didn’t have any information about the matter and couldn’t comment.

A man who identified himself as a lawyer and friend of Kennedy told the Globe the allegation was not true.

``This is all nonsense,″ he said in the Globe. ``If you publish this, it is false and defamatory.″

A spokeswoman for the girl’s family declined to comment.

``They’re aware of the article in today’s Globe but they’re not going to comment either on the article or the situation,″ spokeswoman Nancy Sterling said.

Kennedy announced last week that he and his wife, daughter of sportscaster Frank Gifford, were separating on friendly terms.

Kennedy and his wife, Victoria, have three children.

The teen-ager ended the relationship when she went to college last September, although Kennedy tried unsuccessfully for several months to keep the relationship going, the Globe said.

If the relationship were sexual before she turned 16, it would be statutory rape under Massachusetts law.

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