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Attorney: Accuser of Hunter’s son changes story

- Associated Press - Thursday, May 17, 2012

DALLAS (AP) - The attorney defending the son of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter in a sexual assault case said Thursday he has a recorded telephone conversation during which the boy's 16-year-old accuser recants the allegation.

Todd Shapiro, the attorney for 17-year-old Darius McClinton-Hunter, told reporters that a recording was made Wednesday of a conversation between the girl and a teenage friend of the Hunter family. On the call, she backs away from the story that led police in the Dallas suburb of Prosper to arrest McClinton-Hunter on Monday, the attorney said.

"The alleged victim has done a complete 180 turn," Shapiro said.

In a statement, Prosper police spokesman Celso Martinez said the department's investigation of the case will continue but no details will be released. A message was left seeking comment from the Collin County district attorney's office.

Torii Hunter has been away from the Angels since his son's arrest. He and his son attended a Thursday news conference but didn't speak.

McClinton-Hunter was among five youths arrested in the case, which police said followed a monthlong investigation.

McClinton-Hunter and three others were charged with sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony. The other youth was arrested for unlawful restraint of a child, a state jail felony.

A second-degree felony in Texas carries a sentence of between two and 20 years in prison.

Shapiro said the teenage girl can be heard on the tape saying no sex occurred, forced or otherwise.

"It just could not be more clear," he said.

Shapiro said the call was recorded by a teen who is close to McClinton-Hunter and his two brothers. The attorney called the youth "an extraordinary young man who had the foresight and wisdom to record the call."

Phone calls can be legally taped in Texas with one party's consent.

Shapiro said the alleged victim initiated the call. Two conversations, separated by minutes, occurred, he said.

"She reached out to him to, we believe, set the record straight," Shapiro said.

The attorney said he will not release the tape publicly but will turn it over to authorities.

According to Shapiro, the alleged victim has accused McClinton-Hunter of sexually assaulting her in a closet at a time when another youth was present.

Shapiro said the youth who was in the closet at the time stated under oath at a juvenile hearing that McClinton-Hunter didn't have sex with the alleged victim.

McClinton-Hunter plays football at Prosper High School. He is a receiver who reportedly has attracted interest from several colleges, including Texas Tech, West Virginia and SMU.

Shapiro said he will ask authorities to drop the charges and issue an apology to McClinton-Hunter and his family.

"The future (for McClinton-Hunter) is bright, and we want to make sure he can continue down that road," the attorney said.

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