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Tyson victim on cover of People

Published Oct. 10, 2005

The woman who was raped by boxer Mike Tyson has given People permission to run her picture and name, the magazine said Thursday.

A smiling photograph of Desiree Washington, who competed in the Miss Black America pageant as Miss Rhode Island, appears on People's Feb. 24 cover. The issue goes on sale Sunday.

The magazine quotes her as saying: "I didn't do it for fame. It was the right thing to do."

Washington was not paid for permission to use her identity, said People spokeswoman Beth Kseniak.

ABC spokeswoman Lucy Kraus said the woman also would be interviewed by Barbara Walters on 20-20 on Feb. 21.

Tyson, the former heavyweight champion, was convicted Monday of raping Washington, an 18-year-old freshman at Providence College, in an Indianapolis hotel room last July.

In Indianapolis, Judge Patricia Gifford granted a defense request to delay Tyson's sentencing hearing by three weeks, from March 6 to March 27, and scheduling conflicts could make it even later, court officials said Thursday.

Tyson, who remains free on $30,000 bail, faces up to 60 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump proposed that Tyson be allowed to give "millions and millions" of dollars to rape victims instead of going to prison.

Trump, who has advised Tyson in the past, said Tyson's title fight with heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield should go ahead, and the proceeds could be used to set up trust funds for Tyson's victim and other Indiana rape victims. He also said the deal should keep Tyson out of jail.

"I want to make it clear that I do not condone Mike Tyson's actions," said Trump. "My feelings are that this is one way of dealing with this issue. . . . Much more good can be done (by this plan) than by incarcerating somebody."

Indiana prosecutors said the idea wasn't taken seriously.

"An offer to buy someone out of prison or out of a sentence is not appropriate," said Rob Smith, a Marion County prosecutor's official.

"How offensive. We have a judicial process for these matters and it's not for sale," said Dollyne Pettingill, spokeswoman for Indianapolis mayor Steve Goldsmith, a former Marion County prosecutor.

"My comments were not meant to suggest that Tyson be allowed to buy his victim, the state of Indiana, the criminal justice system, or society," said Trump.

However, the New York Post reported that Tyson's manager Don King had tried to buy off the victim, a teen-age Sunday-school teacher, before her accusations were made public. The paper said King offered the young woman $750,000 _ an amount less than the manager paid Tyson's handlers for a single fight.

Rob Smith, a spokesman for the Indianapolis prosecutor's office, said Tyson's accuser had earlier expressed an interest in becoming an advocate for victims.

"She indicated that's something she wanted to do," said Smith. "That's her own prerogative. We think she'd be very good in that sort of role."

_ Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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