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November 01, 1991 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-01

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The Michigan Daily- Friday, November 1, 1991 - Page,'T

Jury selection
begins in Palm
Beach rape trial

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.
(AP) - Seven months after a
woman said she was raped by
William.Kennedy Smith, lawyers
yesterday began questioning po-
tential jurors about his famous
family, from its scandals to its
tragedies.
Smith watched intently and
took notes during the questioning.

Palm Beach estate March 30.
He' and his attorneys contend
the woman, who lives in Jupiter,
consented to sex, then fabricated
the accusation. If convicted, he
could face four and a half years in
prison.
"Let's just let this process
work," Smith said inside the tiny,

'I'm confident that when the process is
completed, I'll be found innocent ... I look
forward to putting this behind me'
-WilliamKennedy Smith

"I'm confident that when the
process is completed, I'11 be
found innocent," Smith told -hun-
dreds of reporters as he entered
the Palm Beach Cou.nty
Courthouse. "I look. forward to
putting this behind. me and get-
ting on with my life and my ca-.
reer, which I miss a great deal.'"
The Georgetown medical
school graduate, a nephew of Sen.
Edward Kennedy, was accompa-
nied by his mother, Jean Kennedy
Smith, aunt Patricia Lawford, sis-
ters Amanda and Kym Maria, and
his brother Stephen.
Smith is accused of raping a
Florida. woman at the Kennedys'

fourth-floor court. "I
. want to try this in the
room."

really
court-

Kennedy
raped," said Priscilla Roper, who
noted that she read a newspaper
every day and subscribed to.home-
maker magazines.
A second potential juror,
speech therapist Theresa Poterek,
said the Kennedys are
"untouchables, they are not com-
mon ordinary people."
She said she had little regard
for Senator Kennedy and his
drinking, but added Smith can't
"be judged by his uncle or anyone.
else.".
Black unsuccessfully tried to
persuade Circuit Judge Mary
Lupo to excuse Ms. Poterek be-
cause she said she had made up her
mind Smith was guilty after read-
ing early news reports.
"We have a juror here who's
been influenced by the press,"
Black said.
Only three potential jurors
were interviewed by mid-after-
noon, and attorneys declined to
speculate how long it would take
to select the six-member panel
and an as yet undetermined num-
ber of alternates. The judge has set
aside a month.

FTC figh
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
government is showing newfound
drive in its effort to protect con-
sumers against false or misleading
marketing claims.
In recent days, the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) announced a
rash of actions to halt what it said
were phony diet promotions, mis-
leading labels on wrinkle creams,
unsubstantiated ads for cellulite
and baldness remedies, and false rep-
resentations about the fat content of
a well-known dairy substitute.
And a sister agency, the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), has
been just as aggressive lately in
policing the labeling of products
under its jurisdiction, drugs and
non-meat foods.
The FTC's enforcement flurry
reflects the agency's dynamic ap-
proach to its job since Janet Steiger
took over as commissioner in mid-
1989.
"I think that Steiger's FTC has
taken a very, very aggressive and
public stance toward enforcing the
law. They've added credibility and
integrity back to the FTC, particu-
larly with regard to food matters,"
said Richard Frank, an attorney spe-
cializing in food labeling and adver-
tising.
While the FTC's job is to police
advertising claims, the FDA is in
charge of making sure that drugs and
food products are safe and properly
labeled. And under Dr. David
Kessler, it, too, has demonstrated
new, enforcement energy.
The Nutrition Labeling and
Education Act passed into law last
year also can be credited with pro-
viding some of that impetus, for
both agencies.,
That- law, which will not be
fully implemented until 1993, re-

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requires fresh produce and seafood which the food c
to be labeled. to stop claiming
Additional legislation, intro- Coffee-mate Liqui
duced in the House, would require consumed in amou
food ads to give information about The FTC said
nutrition and health that is consis- that Coffee-mate I
tent with labels. fat than whole mil
This week, the FTC took action 2 percent milk as a
on claims about four food products, real, fruit or in co
three beauty aids and a tobacco com- is not the case.

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Wearing a brown tweed sport-
coat,. tan slacks, and red tie, the
smiling Smith was- accompanied
in court by.attorneys Roy Black,
Mark Schnapp and Mark Seiden,
and Galveston, Texas-based trial
consultant Cathy Bennett.
The woman who accuses Smith
of rape was not in court.
Black grilled potential jurors
about what they knew of the
highly publicized case and their
attitudes about the Kennedys.
"Basically, I know a woman
came forward and said she was

di
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