Videotapes surface in Rep. Jim Gibbons’ alleged assault case Candidate for Nevada governor wants police to release tapes
October 29, 2006
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Videotapes from cameras in the parking garage where Rep. Jim Gibbons is alleged to have tried to sexually assault a cocktail waitress are now in the hands of Las Vegas police, according to the lawyer for a property management company.
Police had said previously that no surveillance tapes existed from inside the parking garage.
Kirk Lenhard, a lawyer representing Crescent Properties, said multiple tapes of the area where the alleged incident happened between Gibbons, who is running for Nevada governor, and Chrissy Mazzeo on Oct. 13 were handed over to police recently.
“The tapes in question are in the possession of Metro,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The attorney for Gibbons, a five-term Republican congressman, called for the tapes to be released.
“On Monday morning, I intend to file an emergency motion to compel the Metropolitan Police Department to produce 18 hours of videotape in their possession,” said lawyer Donald Campbell.
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Campbell said he was told by Crescent that the tapes contain footage from the landing of the steps in the interior of the parking garage, the front of the elevator and its interior, “all areas of the garage where Miss Mazzeo says she and Congressman Gibbons were together.”
Sheriff Bill Young declined to confirm the tapes’ existence.
“I’m not going to comment on this one way or the other,” he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, there is no active investigation until we get a crime report signed,” he said, alluding to the fact Mazzeo dropped charges one day after calling 911 three times to report the incident that evening.
Mazzeo said last week that she was pressured to withdraw her complaint and that people associated with Gibbons’ campaign offered her money to keep quiet.
Mazzeo, 32, has accused Gibbons of pushing her against a wall and making a sexual advance toward her in the parking garage outside a Las Vegas restaurant where they had been drinking.
Gibbons has denied Mazzeo’s accusation, saying he was helping her find her truck when she tripped and he helped her up.
Both have said they were willing to take lie-detector tests.
Gibbons said Saturday the tapes would vindicate his version of events.
“Thank God they found the tapes,” he said. “My reputation, I feel, has been restored with these tapes.
“I’ve always said the events did not happen. Nothing inappropriate happened inside the restaurant or outside it,” he said. “This whole thing has been a terrible ordeal for me, my family, my friends and voters of Nevada. Quite frankly, it’s been more like torture.”
Richard Wright, the lawyer representing Mazzeo, reacted to the news of the tapes’ existence with caution.
“I’m ecstatic – if it’s the correct tapes for the correct time, unaltered, on the correct date at the correct location. Because of the mystery that’s surrounding them, first they didn’t exist, now they do exist, I’m guardedly optimistic.”
A spokeswoman for Democrat Dina Titus’ gubernatorial campaign, Hilarie Grey, declined to comment on the tapes, saying only, “It’s a personal issue for Jim Gibbons that has nothing to do with us.”