Written By Brandi Hopper
Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, coined by the press as the“Hip-Hop Mayor,” is sinking deeper into his legal troubles.
Already accused of perjury for allegedly lying about having an affair with his former aide, Christine Beatty, Kilpatrick is now being accused of cheating with other women too, according to the Detroit Free Press.
At this point, the only perjury charge against Kilpatrick dealing with infidelity accuses him of lying about sex with Beatty. He stuck to his story while under oath during a police whistle-blower case last year.
Now the prosecution is looking to expand its case against the mayor - who fell from grace last year when a long transcript of romantic and some illicit text message between him and Beatty were made public - by proving that he also had affairs with at least two other women as well.
But first they have to prove that he said he didn’t.
"If he in fact made statements that indicated that he had not engaged in any extramarital affairs and there are text messages indicating that he did, those would be allegedly perjurious as well," said Attorney Len Niehoff, who teaches evidence at the University of Michigan Law School. In Niehoff’s opinion, accusing Kilpatrick of lying about affairs with women besides Beatty could improve the other side’s chances of winning a conviction.
"I think what [prosecuting attorney] Kym Worthy is trying to do is simply make sure that the charge is broad enough to correspond with all the evidence that she anticipates presenting to the jury," Niehoof said.
The Free Press reviewed the trial transcripts and “did not find any blanket denials of affairs by the mayor,” an article read.
But the review did find that the mayor denied having sex with an unidentified Jamaican woman at a barbershop. Also, one of the mayor's former bodyguards had accused him of meeting a woman at the Lofts apartments in Detroit for a late-night tryst. But Kilpatrick wasn’t even asked about that at trial.
According to a Wayne State University law professor and former federal prosecutor, Peter Henning, prosecutors are going to need to show Kilpatrick lying about having affairs with other women if they want to make these new allegations stick.
"He's not charged with having an affair, he's charged with lying," Henning said. "They're going to have to identify the question and answer. They're going to have to link it up with false statements he made."
Kilpatrick's attorney James Thomas said yesterday that he was disappointed by the prosecution's conduct and Beatty’s lawyer Mayer Morganroth seems to feel the same way.
Morganroth said the text messages were supposed to have remained private until District Judge Ronald Giles rules on whether to make them part of the public court file.
"But they don't even care," Morganroth said of prosecutors. "They just want to get stuff out there any way they can to taint the jury.”
Kilpatrick faces a number of other more serious charges - including misconduct in office and obstruction of justice - in addition to lying while under oath. The perjury charge is expected to be amended to include “other women” in the near future.