Two purported ex-lovers of former California congressman Gary A. Condit told the FBI that he had a penchant for bondage during sex, and one of the women said he was “aggressive” with her during a sexual encounter, according to a new court filing.
The statements, made in 2001 to agents investigating the disappearance and slaying of federal intern Chandra Levy, were cited by defense attorneys representing the man facing retrial in the case.
At a hearing in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday, the attorneys for Ingmar Guandique asked to depose the women in preparation for his trial. They said the accounts of the women, who were not publicly identified, could help their client and point to Condit as a “main suspect” in the killing.
Calls Thursday to Condit, who has returned to private life, were not immediately returned. Two lawyers who have represented Condit did not return calls for comment.
Levy was a 24-year-old intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons when she disappeared May 1, 2001. The case gained national attention because police investigators at first looked closely at Condit, with whom Levy had an affair. Authorities later ruled him out as a suspect.
Levy’s remains were found in 2002 in Rock Creek Park. Guandique, who had pleaded guilty to attacking other women in the park, was charged. He was found guilty of Levy’s murder following a 2010 trial, but his conviction was overturned last year and he is set to be tried again in October.
The retrial has prompted a reexamination by prosecutors and the defense of evidence collected 15 years ago. The women’s statements were not provided to the initial defense team; prosecutors concluded the information was not relevant, and they had questioned the credibility of one of the women, according to court papers. But the new trial judge ordered the government to provide the defense with reams of potential evidence.
Guandique’s team of attorneys with the District’s Public Defender Service said in court that they wanted to seek sworn testimony from Condit’s onetime girlfriends in case the attorneys decide to argue at trial that Condit, and not Guandique, killed Levy.
“We want to make sure that when the trial happens that the jury will have all the relevant facts,” attorney Jon Anderson said.
The defense said in their filing that the women’s statements make Condit a suspect because when Levy’s remains were discovered, a pair of jogging tights was found nearby. Each leg of the tights had been tied in a knot, and prosecutors during the first trial argued that Guandique used the tights to restrain Levy in the park. Neither Guandique’s DNA nor Condit’s was found on the tights or on Levy’s remains.
“Aggressive sex involving bondage is not an entirely safe activity, and Mr. Condit would have had a powerful motive to dispose of Ms. Levy’s remains — and her tights that had been tied in knots — if she died during sexual activity with Mr. Condit,” Guandique’s attorneys wrote in the filing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines said in court that Condit’s sexual activity had nothing to do with Levy’s death.
“This is sensational, salacious and an effort to taint the jury pool,” Sines told the judge. “They can’t make the argument that because he had sex with someone years ago, you can infer he killed Chandra Levy. You can’t do that. You can’t do that with these witnesses.”
According to the defense filing, one of the women told an FBI agent that she and Condit had a sexual relationship in 2001, allegedly around the same time the married congressman was also having an affair with Levy. According to the interview, the woman said that she and Condit had “aggressive sex” a few months before Levy disappeared and that Condit displayed a desire to tie her up with articles of clothing.
The woman also said Condit’s then-attorney tried to get her to sign a false affidavit stating that said she did not have a romantic relationship with Condit, according to court papers. She refused to sign the document.
The second woman told an FBI agent that she and Condit were in a sexual relationship about five years prior to Condit’s involvement with Levy. The woman told the agent that Condit liked to tie her up during sex and that he preferred an iron bed with posts for bondage purposes, the court papers state.
The second woman told the FBI agent that during their relationship, she became “scared” of Condit, according to the filing. She said that when she came forward, she attempted to do so anonymously because she “feared repercussions from Condit” for telling the FBI about her relationship with him.
Judge Robert E. Morin ruled that the defense may travel to interview the first woman, who has health issues. Prosecutors said the second woman would be available to come to Washington for Guandique’s trial, so Morin found a defense trip would not be necessary.
Guandique’s attorneys in November alerted the judge that they were seeking information and evidence from prosecutors about Condit, including his phone records, photographs and other information regarding his relationship with Levy.
Guandique, now 34, has maintained his innocence and is in prison for non-deadly attacks on other women in Rock Creek Park around the time Levy disappeared.