Former WABC Sportscaster Marvell Scott Accused of Raping Underage Prostitute
By Kiratiana Freelon on February 23, 2010 3:13pm |
By Shayna Jacobs, Jim Scott and Heather Grossmann
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Former WABC-TV sportscaster Marvell Scott pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon to charges he raped a teenage prostitute inside his Times Square apartment.
Scott, 36, had sex with the 14-year-old girl, who ran away from home the day before, prosecutors said. She left her upstate home and went to Manhattan with two friends on her 14th birthday on June 4, 2008, according to prosecutors.
The following day the girl and her 16-year-old friend met a pimp in Times Square who set them up to to sell sex and drugs to get money for food, prosecutors said.
Scott met the pimp and the girls at 47th and 9th Avenue that afternoon, according to prosecutors, and took them to his apartment.
"The [14-year-old] was very scared, very reluctant to go through with the act," said Assistant District Attorney Lisa Friel.
The girl refused to have sex with Scott at first, so the sportscaster accompanied her back to the pimp and demanded a refund, the lawyers said. The girl was pressured by the pimp and her friend to sleep with Scott, prosecutors said, and eventually the two girls returned to the apartment where the 14-year-old allegedly had sex with Scott.
"Please stop," the girl said to Scott, according to prosecutors. "He said, 'Just a little more.'"
It was not until the following year, on April 8, 2009, that detectives went to Scott's apartment to question him as a suspect.
Scott's lawyer Richard Portale claimed that no sexual intercourse took place. He said the girls had set Scott up by asking him if they could come up to his apartment to use the bathroom.
"It was a ruse. They saw him as a mark, they asked to use the bathroom," Portale said in press conference after his client's arraignment.
"Once he sniffed it out, it was ended," Portale said.
Prosecutors said DNA samples taken from both sides of the girl's neck were not from Scott but matched the pimp and another male.
Scott's lawyers stressed there was no DNA match to the ex-sportscaster, who willingly submitted to a test.
Scott worked as a sportscaster for Channel 7 for six years before abruptly leaving television last May. He is in the process of opening a sports medicine practice and has a fellowship at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Jersey.
The police investigation has been ongoing since June, according to Angelo MacDonald, one of Scott's lawyers. MacDonald said Scott has been cooperating with police since the beginning of the investigation.
"He's bent over backwards to get the truth out and they ultimately indicted him," MacDonald said.
"This case boils down to an attempt to shake down Dr. Scott by a pimp and his two prostitutes," Portale said. "Now Mr. Scott is forced to defend himself in court."
The former sportscaster was charged with rape in the second degree, patronizing a prostitute in the third degree and endangering the welfare of a child.
Scott was released on $10,000 bail. His case was adjourned to March 25.
The alleged victim, now 16, testified at grand jury proceedings, which led to Scott's indictment. She is back in school upstate and doing well, prosecutors said.