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Ex-champ Berbick convicted of rape

Published Oct. 10, 2005

A jury Friday found former world heavyweight boxing champion Trevor Berbick guilty of raping a woman who worked as a baby sitter for his family.

Berbick was the world champ in 1986 when Mike Tyson knocked him out to take the crown. Tyson was convicted of rape earlier this month in Indianapolis.

Now 39, Berbick is no longer a contender.

His accuser, a 26-year-old woman who worked for 2{ weeks as a baby sitter for Berbick's family, gave 90 minutes of emotional testimony Wednesday. She said the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Berbick pulled off her clothing, hit her, held her down and forcibly had sex with her in the bedroom of her Miami apartment on Oct. 31, 1990.

The woman said Berbick had driven to her apartment from his home near Fort Lauderdale, ostensibly to pay her $480 in baby-sitting fees he owed her.

Berbick testified that the woman willingly had an affair with him. He hinted that the woman's testimony was part of a conspiracy, saying she was "on the payroll," but did not specify what that might mean.

Miami sexual battery detective Shawn Mahon testified that, in three successive interviews, Berbick had different accounts of his relationship with his accuser.

The first time, the detective said, Berbick said he had never had sex with her. Then he said he had intercourse with the woman, but at Berbick's home. Then Berbick acknowledged having sex with her at her apartment, but said the woman had consented.

The jury deliberated for two hours before finding Berbick guilty of sex battery by physical force and burglary with assault. Dade Circuit Judge Thomas S. Wilson Jr. set sentencing for April 10.

Berbick was scheduled to fight Melvin Epps in Sarasota today but will not be able to make the trip because of a mortgage fraud case pending against him, said Berbick's attorney, Mark Panunzio.