Sen. Edward Kennedy knew before he left Palm Beach on Easter weekend that his nephew had been accused of rape and that police wanted to talk to him, Kennedy's son told investigators.
Patrick Kennedy also told police that his cousin William Kennedy Smith admitted having sex with the alleged victim. Smith has denied any wrongdoing but has not publicly indicated whether he had sex with the woman.The senator has repeatedly denied that he knew before leaving Florida on April 1 that Smith, his 30-year-old nephew, was accused of raping a woman on the lawn of the Kennedy estate March 30.
But Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island lawmaker, told police in a sworn statement released Tuesday that his father knew of the accusation.
According to the documents, Patrick Kennedy said his father learned of the rape allegation in a conversation the evening of March 31 with William Barry, a former FBI agent and chief of security for the estate.
Investigators asked Patrick, "So your father was there to hear of the allegation of sexual battery from the lips of Bill Barry?" Patrick responded, "Yes."
Earlier on March 31, police who went to the estate looking for the senator and his nephew were turned away by Barry, who incorrectly said they had already left town.
The senator said as late as last Friday that he did not respond to the police because he didn't know a rape investigation was involved. "I was never, never told that weekend that there would be an alleged charge against Willie Smith that he had raped a young woman," he said at a news conference Friday.
Meanwhile, Barry's son, who was a guest at the Kennedy home during the alleged rape, said he looked out his bedroom window and saw what appeared to be two people lying on the ground near the pool, according to police reports released Tuesday.
Patrick Barry, 26, a student at Pace University Law School in New York, was visiting the Kennedys' Palm Beach estate with his family Easter weekend.
" just looked like two people either lying next to each other or, you know, one on top of the other, I couldn't tell because it was pretty dark," the younger Barry said.