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 January 31, 2002 | 1037 IST

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Police probe new rape allegation against Tyson

Las Vegas police said on Wednesday that they will ask prosecutors later this week to charge boxer Mike Tyson with sexual assault and were investigating allegations by a second woman that the former heavyweight champion raped her at his Las Vegas home.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Jeff Carlson, head of the department's sexual assault detail, said his detectives would present their case against Tyson to prosecutors on Friday and would ask for a felony warrant against the 35-year-old boxer.

Mike Tyson That case stems from allegations by an unnamed local woman that Tyson raped her at his Las Vegas home in September.

Carlson said detectives had also opened an investigation into allegations by a second woman, who is now 20 years old, that Tyson raped her in November 2000 when she was visiting the desert gambling city.

"We have completed our investigation on one case and that will be submitted to the (Clark County) District Attorney's Office to see if they will approve that case or not," Carlson said. "We also now have a second investigation but that is in the preliminary stages."

Tyson's attorney, Darrow Soll, said his client would cooperate with authorities and criticized police for speaking to the media about the case.

"We're hopeful that the District Attorney's Office, whom we believe to be a very fair organization, will allow us to cooperate in the investigation and interview any witnesses we put forth, Soll said.

"We've refrained from making any statements to the press and it's inconceivable why the police see the need to try this case in the media," Soll said. "We suspect the District Attorney's Office will take a different tack."

The Nevada State Athletic Commission on Tuesday rejected Tyson's bid for a boxing license in the state, blocking his planned April 6 bout with world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and leaving promoters scrambling to find a new venue.

The officials did not question Tyson about the rape allegations during a three-hour hearing on Tuesday, but Carlson said commission staff members had contacted Las Vegas police to inquire about the possibility of formal charges.

Carlson said Tyson had been questioned by detectives about the alleged September incident, but not about the new case.

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