Bloomberg News

Clemens’s Prosecutors Seek to Bar Evidence of Witness Probe

June 21, 2011

(Updates with excerpt from motion in second paragraph.)

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Roger Clemens’s lawyers should be restricted in their questioning of ex-New York Yankees trainer Brian McNamee, a key government witness, about a 2001 incident in which he lied to the police, prosecutors said.

In a request today to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton in Washington, U.S. prosecutors said the former Yankees pitcher shouldn’t be allowed “to inflame the jury” by bringing up “long-off, uncharged allegations of sexual assault” that involved the police interview of McNamee. McNamee was never arrested or charged with any offense.

McNamee, who became a personal trainer for Clemens, will testify that he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, the government said in the filing.

Prosecutors said McNamee was questioned by police in October 2001 in connection with an incident that occurred at a hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. McNamee, who at the time was employed by the Yankees, “falsely denied” knowing another Yankees employee or how the woman who was the alleged victim of the assault became incoherent, prosecutors said in today’s filing.

“The government files this motion to obtain, in advance of trial, a ruling imposing necessary limits to prevent that legitimate cross-examination from turning into an unfairly prejudicial, and procedurally improper, sideshow,” prosecutors said in today’s filing.

Congressional Probe

Clemens, 48, was indicted in August on one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury. Clemens, who also played for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros over a 24-year Major League Baseball career, has pleaded not guilty.

Clemens faces a $1.5 million fine and as long as 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Jury selection is scheduled to begin July 6.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen in Washington, declined to comment. Clemens’s lawyer, Michael Attanasio in San Diego, also declined to comment. Richard Emery, a lawyer for McNamee, didn’t immediately return a telephone call and e-mail seeking comment.

In another filing today, prosecutors said they plan to call about 45 witnesses during the trial. They include former Major League Baseball players and employees of several teams, as well as officials of the House of Representatives.

The government’s case is expected to last four weeks, according to assistant U.S. attorneys Steven Durham and Daniel Butler.

The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

--Editors: Fred Strasser, Michael Hytha

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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