New allegations made by the defense in a new trial for the man accused of murdering Chandra Levy are raising questions about the disappearance of Levy, the FBI intern who vanished in May 2001 and whose remains were found the next year in Washington, D.C.,’s Rock Creek Park.
The Washington murder case ended the career of former California Congressman Gary Condit, who was at one point the primary suspect before police ruled him out despite his romantic link to Levy. Condit’s alleged secret sex life is now in the spotlight after defense attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, the man sentenced to 60 years in prison for killing 24-year-old Levy, filed a new motion last week.
Guandique, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was convicted by a jury in 2010 based on a jailhouse confession to other inmates. However, his conviction was later set aside. Last year, prosecutors dropped their opposition to Guandique’s attorneys’ request for a new trial.
Guandique is facing a new trial this fall.
The new motion filed by Guandique’s lawyers claims that “aggressive sex involving bondage” may have killed Levy.
When Levy’s body was found in 2002 in Rock Creek Park, investigators found a pair of knotted tights nearby. Defense attorneys claim Condit may have used the tights to restrain Levy during a rough sex act gone wrong.
Condit’s DNA was found at Levy’s home, providing proof of the affair, but authorities ruled Condit out as a suspect after it came to light that a predator — allegedly Guandique — had been attacking female joggers in the park.
Condit was once a powerful Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. He famously broke with his party over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, demanding that then-president Bill Clinton “come clean” about his affair with Lewinsky.
Condit has denied he had anything to do with Levy’s murder. He returned to private life after losing to a primary challenger in 2002.
Levy’s parents, Robert and Susan Levy, are split over the defense’s efforts to reevaluate Condit’s possible role in their daughter’s murder.
“I think Condit was fooling around and doing that but it doesn’t prove he was the murderer,” Robert Levy told ABC News.
Susan Levy added, “Young women can be caught up in the web of predators or powerful people and you don’t know what happened to them.”
The defense motion claims that Condit had “a powerful motive to either kill and/or cover-up the circumstances of her death, whether her death was intentional or accidental.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines, prosecuting the Guandique case a second time, in court called the new motion, “a sensational, salacious and an effort to taint the jury pool.”
Condit’s civil attorney, L. Lin Wood, described the defense strategy from Guandique’s lawyers as “reprehensible.”
“Mr. Condit was long ago cleared by law enforcement in connection with her murder. Now a public defender for Mr. Guandique is wasting tax payer dollars to re-assert accusations to support a defense theory that has been unequivocally rejected,” Wood said in a statement to ABC News.