Rape investigation moves slowly Florida police cautious in case tied to Kennedy.

April 05, 1991|By Boston Globe

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Nearly a week after a woman said she was raped at the Kennedy family compound, police have made no arrests and the woman's family complained that the investigation was going nowhere.

The stepfather of the alleged victim said yesterday he was growing impatient with the progress of the case and might soon hire an attorney to represent his family.

"I'm thinking of getting a lawyer," the man said in a telephone interview, as the media laid siege to his stepdaughter's home.

Meanwhile, Capt. Brian Roach, who is supervising the case for the Palm Beach Police Department, was called to the stand in Circuit Court yesterday after the local news media filed a suit challenging the department's policy of secrecy. Roach said his detectives were preparing a photo lineup to show the woman soon.

The editors of the Palm Beach Daily News, a local society newspaper, said Palm Beach Police Chief Joseph Terlizzese asked the paper to supply him with photographs of two nephews and a son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

The police asked for pictures of Patrick Kennedy, 24, who is the senator's youngest son; William Kennedy Smith, 30, who is the son of his sister Jean Kennedy Smith; and John F. Kennedy Jr., 30, who is the son of President John F. Kennedy, editors said. The paper refused the request.

Smith is listed in a police document as the suspect in the alleged rape, according to the Palm Beach Post. Smith, along with Sen. Kennedy and his son Patrick, were drinking at a chic local bar with the woman in the hours before she said she was raped. The senator and his son have said they had nothing to do with the alleged rape. Smith has issued a statement saying he was not involved "in any offense." No one has been charged.

Lawyers for several media organizations attacked the news blackout in court, demanding access to public records that have been withheld. Circuit Court Judge Richard L. Oftedal said he would issue an opinion today.

Roach defended his department, saying that even though the woman had named the person she said was her assailant, "we don't have, at this point, a positive identification. We have a tentative identification" that needs to be reinforced by a photo lineup.

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