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SUGGESTION THAT RACE PLAYED ROLE IN TYSON TRIAL OUTRAGES PROSECUTOR

The special prosecutor in former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's rape conviction says he's outraged by people who believe race played a role in the case.

"To suggest that somehow because the defendant was an African-American and therefore there is some racial motivation misses the point," J. Gregory Garrison said on Friday. "What about the victim? She is an 18-year-old African American kid. What about her rights? I'm lost in all that."Tyson, 25, was found guilty on Feb. 10 of raping Desiree Washington of Coventry, R.I., who recently turned 19. Tyson will be sentenced on March 26 in Marion Superior Court.

Finding racial overtones in the guilty verdict "besmirches the trial," Garrison said, as well as sends a message that different laws should apply to the black community.

"We've got our problems in this community," Garrison told the Downtown Indianapolis Kiwanis Club. "But I do not believe that justice in this case has some kind of color sensitivity to it."

Garrison also defended Marion County Prosecutor Jeffrey Modisett's decision to hire him for the case. If Modisett used his regular staff, Garrison said, it could have damaged other pending cases and trials.