SEATTLE — Federal prosecutors closed a two-year rape investigation of magician David Copperfield on Tuesday without filing charges, and police in nearby Bellevue say his accuser made a false sexual assault claim against another man last month.
The end of the federal investigation came in a brief court filing by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Roe. The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle declined to discuss its reasons, but in a written statement, spokeswoman Emily Langlie said that generally, investigations may be closed without charges if prosecutors determine there is no federal jurisdiction, no federal laws were broken, or that it would be impossible to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
"Neither the investigation, nor its termination, should be perceived as a comment on guilt or innocence," the statement said.
The woman who made the complaint, a 23-year-old fashion model, waitress and former Miss Washington contestant, said in a related civil lawsuit against Copperfield that she met him when he pulled her out of the crowd and onto the stage during a performance in Kennewick, in southeastern Washington. She was later invited to visit his private island in the Bahamas in July 2007.
The woman claimed that once she arrived, Copperfield, whose real name is David Kotkin, sexually assaulted her, in one instance holding her head under water to coerce her.
"She is disappointed, but it wasn't completely unexpected given the jurisdictional issue of prosecuting him here for something that happened on his private island," said Rebecca Roe, a lawyer for the woman.
The illusionist's lawyers, Angelo Calfo and Patty Eakes, previously said he denied the allegations and called the lawsuit "extortion for money, plain and simple," but they had no immediate comment on the prosecutors' decision.
Bellevue Police records obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday indicate that Copperfield's accuser made false sexual assault allegations against another man last month. Police referred the matter to prosecutors for potential charges of prostitution and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.
According to the investigation reports, the woman was working as a server at a restaurant and decided to meet with a customer for drinks on Dec. 2. She and another woman met the man, but before long the other woman left – later telling police it was because the other two had become so affectionate toward each other that it was making her uncomfortable.
Copperfield's accuser and the other man rented a hotel room, and surveillance images included in the police records showed them kissing and holding each other in the lobby.
The woman later exited the hotel room and told hotel staff the man took advantage of her, the police documents said. She said she was dizzy and couldn't remember what happened, but only awoke to find him on top of her, police said.
But the man also called police, saying she left the room and falsely accused him to the staff because he refused to pay her $2,000 for sex.
Roe, the woman's attorney, said she believed the police report was "overblown."
"I'm fully aware that Copperfield's lawyers are trying to shine a light on her instead of what he did and his modus operandi of luring young girls to his private island," she said.