Givens' input part of report on Tyson

February 12, 1992|By John Kass | John Kass,Chicago Tribune

INDIANAPOLIS -- As Mike Tyson went through his first full day as a convicted rapist, probation authorities added another problem to his ruined life yesterday.

They said they would call his ex-wife, Robin Givens, in compiling a sentencing report for Judge Patricia Gifford, the former sex-crimes prosecutor who will sentence him on March 6.

"He was reserved, quiet and soft-spoken and respectful," said Steve Wills, the chief probation officer who interviewed Tyson for more than one hour.

Wills said his office will contact Givens, a television actress, and give her the opportunity to offer her insights into the former world heavyweight champion.

Probation officers also will review Tyson's past criminal record as a juvenile and reports of any uncharged crimes.

Tyson technically faces up to 60 years in prison, but according to officials, is likely to be sentenced to no more than 10 years in prison.

While Tyson went through his pre-sentencing interview in the building where he was convicted Monday of raping an 18-year-old Miss Black America contestant, the young woman thanked prosecutors as she left Indiana for her home.

"I'm very happy with the verdict, the jury, the police and the prosecutors," said the honor student whom the defense had villified as a scheming, manipulative gold-digger during the two-week trial.

"I'm very happy with the city of Indianapolis," said the woman, now a college freshman. She has told authorities she is considering becoming a victims rights advocate to encourage other rape victims to testify against their assailants.

In New York, Tyson's embittered former trainer, Teddy Atlas, wondered if the prizefighter would break emotionally and mentally before the sentencing.

"When he walked in the courtroom for the biggest moment of his life, he was alone. There was no [promoter Don] King, there was nobody," Atlas said of how Tyson stood nervously while waiting for his lawyers and the jury that would convict him.

"He's very emotional and very unstable, and he can get very depressed . . . His mind gets into turmoil."

Atlas, who helped teach Tyson on how to box when he was rescued from a state institution as a 13-year-old, left Tyson's camp in 1984 after complaining that the fighter's then-manager, Cus D'Amato, refused to discipline the troubled teen-ager.

Tyson's Washington criminal lawyers are planning an appeal in the hopes of keeping their client out of prison.

The appeal is expected to argue that Gifford denied a fair trial in blocking them from calling three surprise witnesses who would have testified that the accuser was engaged in heavy petting with the fighter in his limousine a few minutes before the rape.

Tyson's chief lawyer, Vincent Fuller, indignantly brushed off questions about his surprising trial tactic of portraying the boxer as a sexual predator in the hopes of convincing jurors the woman and other contestants were aware that he was openly advertising for sex.

When asked why he painted his client in such a manner before a largely white Midwestern jury from a conservative county, Fuller replied in the same booming, staccato baritone he used to speak to the jury.

"I'm not going to answer that question," he said. "I have a practice of 36 years standing. It would be inappropriate to discuss any of it."

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