Bahamian authorities reschedule hearing in Garrett Wittels rape case
May 11, 2011 at 2:03 AM CDT - Updated June 24 at 1:07 AM
MIAMI (Miami Herald) - A Bahamian judge has rescheduled a hearing until June 15 in the rape case against Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and two friends.
"This puts the brakes on a runaway freight train," says Miami defense attorney Richard Sharpstein. "We believe that sooner rather than later this prosecution will be abandoned by the government."
Sharpstein - who represents the three men accused of raping two 17-year-old girls in Nassau - was referring to a Miami Herald story about a series of hotel surveillance videos that appear to contradict statements the girls made to Bahamian investigators following the Dec. 20 incident at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island.
. The story also revealed information that the father of one of the girls allegedly plotted to stage a fake rape at a sporting event in an effort to make money.
Also, Sharpstein said, the girls' civil attorneys had already contacted the men and hotel to inquire about their insurance policies in apparent anticipation of a payout.
The Miami Herald is not revealing the names of the teens or the father who chaperoned them.
The videos show the girls -- both of whom turn 18 this month – acting amorously toward Wittels and two friends, Robert Rothschild and Jon Oberti.
The footage shows one of the girls walking hand-in-hand with Wittels from the Dragon's Ultra Lounge to the casino. Other cameras capture the girls kissing and caressing the men and each other, then ultimately exiting the casino as they proceeded to the room where men were staying.
What happened during the night remains unclear. What the men deemed a night of passion was described as a humiliating experience by the girls, one of whom threw up over herself and on the bathroom floor. One of the men gave her a white T-shirt to wear on top of her soiled green top.
One of the girls says her memory of what happened is sketchy, and said she says she blacked out four times during the hour or so she spent in hotel room.
In written statements to the Royal Bahamian Police, the teens describe Wittels as the man who bought them drinks. Shortly after each girl gave a description of feeling dizzy and losing track of time.
Blood samples taken from the girls came up negative for date-rape drugs.