Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump defended former boxing champion Mike Tyson when he was convicted of rape by blaming Tyson's victim, Desiree Washington, on Feb. 21, 1992 (video below).
"It’s my opinion that to a large extent, Mike Tyson was railroaded in this case," Trump told NBC News. "You have a young woman that was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will. You have a young woman who was seen dancing for the beauty contest, dancing with a big smile on her face, looked happy as could be."
BuzzFeed News, which recently dug up the video, notes that Trump hosted several Tyson boxing matches, and was positioned to rake in millions if his Atlantic City casino hosted Tyson's fight against Evander Holyfield in 1992. Tyson's rape conviction on Feb. 10 created a problem for Trump.
Trump tried to keep Tyson out of prison by proposing that some of the money from the Tyson-Holyfield match could go to Washington and "rape and abuse" victims in Indiana -- Tyson assaulted Washington in Indianapolis -- reported Mother Jones in 2015.
Holyfield's promoter called Trump's proposal "absolutely reprehensible," while the rape prosecutor, J. Gregory Garrison, added: "These people seem to think they can buy their way out of anything. Well, I've never seen anyone buy his way out of jail in this state yet."
Trump continued his defense of Tyson on Howard Stern's radio show in February 1992, where he referred to the rape conviction as a "travesty," notes CNN:
It's so sad because I've known Mike more or less from the beginning. He started off having his first fights at my place and he's had his biggest fights at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City with [Michael] Spinks and everything else. He was so incredible and the last few years he's just not been the same. Number one he's not been the same fighter, he's not been the same man, he's not been the same anything.
Stern asked Trump if he ever saw Tyson grabbing women, and Trump said: "I've seen women going around touching him. He walks into a room and the women start grabbing him and grabbing his ass and grabbing anything else they can grab on him."
Trump later added: "The truth is he's been very loyal to me, he has most of his fights at my places. He does best at my places in terms of his best fights and he's been great and I just hate to see what's happened to him. It's a travesty, it's a travesty."
Washington told ABC News' "20/20" in February 1992 that she was offered $1 million by an unidentified person to drop her allegations against Tyson, but refused the bribe, reports Philly.com.
Tyson was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the judge suspended four years, which meant six years behind bars. Tyson was released after three years.
Trump's campaign did not respond to Mother Jones when it reported its October 2015 story. The campaign did not respond to CNN for comment on Oct. 11, 2016.