Jefferson Smith on Dropped Assault Charge: "You Never Know What Happens When You Go to a Jury"
Denis C. TheriaultWith a couple dozen of his supporters (including his wife) standing as a silent backdrop, mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith struggled to clearly answer questions today about WW report that he settled a charge of misdemeanor assault in 1993. He declined to identify the woman who almost took him to court, he declined to detail the injuries he caused, and he lashed out instead about a campaign season dominated by "rumors" and a ratio of stories tilted more to the "salacious." Smith worked hard to keep upbeat in front of reporters at a hastily convened press conference in Terry Schrunk Plaza, but sometimes struggled in the face of queries like why he waited 20 years for this to emerge, whether he thought he would have lost if the case went to court, and how and where he injured the woman in the incident. "It happened pretty fast," he said, replying "I don't know" when asked if the woman had received stitches and explaining, when asked wither he'd release his settlement agreement with the woman, that a storage-unit fire when he was in law school destroyed most of his old records (including, he said, baseball cards and comics.) Smith did confirm the general details of WW's reporting, which was based on witnesses. To recap: He was at a college party between his sophomore and junior years when someone he knew a little bit, he said, tipped over a couch holding a woman he didn't know at all. The woman, intoxicated, woke up and blamed Smith and came at him. "I tried to stop her," Smith said. "She just kept coming at me. I shoved her." Later he talked of the Bible's admonition to turn the other cheek and also said, "If I had to do it over again, I'd just let her keep coming at me." [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
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Oct. 01, 2012
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