Copperfield calls allegations against accuser 'vindication'

By Mike Carter
January 13, 2010

Magician David Copperfield says recent allegations of prostitution and giving false statements to police that have been leveled against the young model who accused him of rape two years ago are a vindication for him and show her to be what he has claimed all along: A liar.

In a statement released this morning by his Seattle attorney, Copperfield, 53, pointed out that the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office have "finally" closed their investigation into him on the rape allegations "without bringing a single charge."

The investigation was closed Tuesday, about a month after Bellevue police began looking into allegations that the woman tried to solicit $2,000 for sex from a man and then accused him of sexual assault when he refused to pay. Bellevue police detectives have recommended that the 22-year-old woman be charged, although no charges have been filed.

"Her lies to Bellevue police support what David has said all along," said lawyer Angelo Calfo in a prepared statement. "Her two-year-old claims against him are patently false, absurd and contradicted by each and every witness and by documentary evidence.

"This woman's attempts to use law enforcement as a tool for extortion and financial gain should now be obvious to everyone," Calfo said.

Businessman "felt victimized"

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 businessman's attorney, Kurt Boehl, said his client "felt victimized" by the woman and will continue to cooperate with authorities if she's charged.

"He believes this is an unfortunate event for everyone," Boehl said this morning.

"There is evidence to support that [the woman] made false or misleading material statements to [police] after she reported being assaulted," Bellevue Police Detective Jerry Johnson wrote in a Dec. 21 case summary.

The King County Prosecutor's Office reviewed the case but determined no felony was committed by the woman. Spokesman Dan Donohoe said the case will be sent to the Bellevue City Attorney's Office to determine if misdemeanor charges are warranted.

A spokeswoman at the City Attorney's Office said no referral had been logged as of Tuesday afternoon.

He said she said "put $2,000 in my purse"

The victim of the alleged 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 $370 room and bought a $100 bottle of Champagne. 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 claiming to hotel staff that 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 minutes later to report 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.

Concerned about Copperfield case

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.

Her reason, she said, was the then-pending FBI investigation into her allegations that Copperfield had lured her to his private $50 million island in the Bahamas after meeting her at a performance in Kennewick in 2007. There, according to her claim in the civil lawsuit she filed against Copperfield last year, the magician held her against her will and raped her at least twice.

"[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 0.14 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, Johnson, the Bellevue detective, wrote in a referral for charges dated Dec. 12.

The man provided police with a 74-page statement and turned over his cellphone, which contained text messages that officers believe supported his story.

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.

Efforts to reach the woman Tuesday were unsuccessful.

(Excerpt)