Kennedy's nephew gives blood, hair samples to Fla. rape investigators

April 08, 1991|By Roberto Suro | Roberto Suro,New York Times News Service

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- William Kennedy Smith, the suspect in the reported rape of a young woman at the Kennedy family mansion here, voluntarily gave samples of his blood and hair to a Palm Beach police detective in Washington, D.C., Sunday morning, his lawyer said.

Mr. Smith declined to be questioned by the police, said the lawyer, Mark P. Schnapp of Miami, but had agreed to comply with the request for samples.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D.-Mass., the suspect's uncle, was interviewed by the detective at his home in suburban Virginia outside Washington yesterday. Patrick Kennedy, the senator's 24-year-old son, was interviewed Saturday.

A 29-year-old woman has accused Mr. Smith, a medical student at Georgetown University in Washington, of raping her on the grounds of the mansion in the predawn hours of March 30, Palm Beach police have said. She said she met Mr. Smith at a nightclub, where he was accompanied by the senator and Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island legislator.

The woman told police she was invited to the Kennedy home for cocktails after the nightclub closed.

Smith, Senator Kennedy and his son have denied involvement in any rape. But they have not contested the woman's contention that she was at the estate with them.

Asked whether the senator had been asked to provide hair and blood samples, Senator Kennedy's spokesman, Paul Donovan, said yesterday, "No such request has been made."

Mr. Donovan added, "The officials of the Palm Beach Police Departmentindicated that neither Senator Kennedy nor his son, Patrick, is a suspect in the investigation."

More than a week after the rape report was filed, the mysteries about what happened at the Kennedy house are mounting. Several people familiar with versions of the events that night given by Kennedy family members said yesterday that an antique urn was stolen from the estate by the woman who filed the rapecharge.

Her motives, the timing of the reported theft and the manner in which it was discovered remain unclear.

The urn was turned over to the police by Anne Mercer, a friend of the woman who filed the rape charge, and is being held as evidence in the investigation, a person who is familiar with the investigation said yesterday.

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