Prosecutors drop rape investigation of David Copperfield

By Mike Carter
January 12, 2010

Federal prosecutors in Seattle have dropped their rape investigation of magician David Copperfield after learning the young model who claimed she was assaulted on his private island in the Bahamas two years ago is being investigated by Bellevue police for alleged prostitution and making a false statement.

The woman, a former contestant in the Miss Washington pageant, was questioned last month by Bellevue police after a businessman accused her of trying to extort $2,000 from him for sex, according to police reports.

The Seattle Times is not naming the woman because she has not been charged in the Bellevue case, but detectives say they believe there is evidence to support charges of prostitution and giving false statements to officers, according to police documents obtained by the Times.

The alleged victim of the extortion, a 31-year-old single man, told police he knew the woman as a waitress at a Bellevue club he frequents. On Dec. 2, he said, he met her and a friend at another club where they were drinking. He said the woman was sexually aggressive and agreed to go to a hotel with him.

They ended up at the Bellevue Club, where he rented a room and bought a $100 bottle of champagne. Once inside the room, the two engaged in a sex act until the woman allegedly told him, "put $2,000 in my purse and you can have it all," according to the man's statement to police.

When he refused, he said she left the room, leaving behind her panties and tights. The man said he went to the lobby and found the woman surrounded by hotel staff saying she had been "taken advantage of."

The man said he called police to report that he believed he was about to be extorted.

The woman called police a few minutes later to report that she had been assaulted. She told officers that she could not recall going to the hotel and woke up to find the man on top of her, pinning her arms to the hotel bed.

The woman was taken to Overlake Hospital Medical Center for a rape examination. However, she later said she was reluctant to release the results to police, according to reports.

"[She] stated she was not sure she wanted to assist any further in the investigation or potential prosecution" of the businessman, according to a police report. "She was worried this case would tarnish her other case."

The woman refused to sign over the medical documents to police, who obtained them after filing a search warrant. The reports showed no physical injuries nor the presence of any "date rape" drugs in her system. The reports note the woman had a blood-alcohol level of .14 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for intoxication.

"Her recorded statement ... was very vague and her statements to police of being in a blackout state are not supported by the hotel security videos, hotel staff statements" or the statements of the alleged victim, Bellevue Police Detective Jerry Johnson wrote in a referral for charges dated Dec. 12.

After a two-week investigation, Bellevue detectives concluded the woman's statements were inconsistent with numerous witness statements and surveillance videotapes from two downtown Bellevue hotels where the couple tried to get a room.

Copperfield's Seattle lawyers, Angelo Calfo and Patty Eakes, said they would have no comment on the case at this point.

(Excerpt)