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Chandra Levy. (Getty Images)

Explosive allegations

Lawyers building case around Gary Condit as suspect in death of Chandra Levy

By WITW Staff on May 23, 2016

Lawyers for the man who was convicted of murdering Chandra Levy have made explosive new claims against former congressman Gary Condit, who had a close relationship with the federal intern years ago. Ingmar Guandique, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador who was convicted in Levy’s death in 2010, was recently granted a new trial in the case. The new allegations by his defense attorneys come in a motion in preparation for the retrial later this year. They suggest that “aggressive sex involving bondage” caused Levy’s death, and they also allege that Condit, a U.S. congressman from Modesto, California, at the time, was trying to cover up a secret sex life. The lawyers argue Condit, as one of the top-ranking officials on Capitol Hill, had sufficient motive to cover up a crime.

“Mr. Condit was fully aware of the cost he could pay if his affair with Ms. Levy became public. He therefore had an obvious motive to kill Ms. Levy in order to keep the relationship secret, and an equally powerful motive to cover-up the circumstances of her death if she died while she was with him — either through his intentional conduct or otherwise,” the defense lawyers wrote in the motion, according to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of it.

Gary Condit being interviewed on ABC's '20/20' 2001. (Getty Images)
Gary Condit being interviewed on ABC’s ‘Primetime’ 2001. (Getty Images)

Levy, 24, mysteriously vanished in May 2001 after apparently having gone for a jog. Her disappearance ignited a national scandal as attention was focused on Condit as a person of interest in the case. Condit admitted to having had a close relationship with Levy, but staunchly denied to police and to the media having had anything to do with her disappearance or death. A year later, her remains were discovered at a park in the nation’s capital. Detectives found a pair of knotted-up tights near Levy’s remains, a piece of evidence that the defense attorneys’ new allegations hinge upon. They suggest that Condit may have used the tights to restrain Levy during a rough sex act gone wrong.

The mystery surrounding Levy’s death persisted for almost a decade — Condit’s DNA was found in Levy’s apartment, but police ruled him out as a suspect. In 2009, Guandique was charged with her murder. He was already in prison serving a 10-year sentence for having assaulted women in the same park in which Levy’s remains were found. A year later a jury convicted Guandique for Levy’s murder and he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Condit, who lost a bid for reelection in 2002 and no longer works in government, has always maintained his innocence. His attorney reportedly described the new claims as “reprehensible.”

Read the full story at ABC News.