Two top media outlets, The New York Daily News and The Daily Beast, ran stories on an 11-year-old sexual assault allegation against Vince McMahon. In January of 2006, a 22-year-old woman accused McMahon of trying to kiss and grope her at a tanning salon in Boca Raton, Florida, where she worked.
The Daily Beast first published the story, apparently over comments that McMahon made at this week’s XFL press conference regarding not hiring players with a criminal record.
“We are evaluating a player based on many things, including the quality of human being they are,” McMahon said. “If you have any sort of criminal record or commit a crime you aren’t playing in this league.”
The accuser claimed that McMahon, who was 60 at the time, asked her to take photos of him on the phone to send to his girlfriend in New York. After she gave him his phone back, he allegedly showed her nude and semi-nude photos of himself that were on it. She told him to stop, and said that McMahon tanned for 20 minutes before talking with a salon attendant and a customer. She said that as she was cleaning a tanning bed, McMahon came into the room, shut the door and then tried to kiss and grope her. She said that after she rejected him, he left the salon and went to his Hummer in the parking lot, where he waited for 20 minutes.
She went to a nearby Papa John’s to get help and called the salon’s manager, telling her that an “older gentlemen followed me into a room and tried to kiss me.” The manager didn’t want to get police involved.
A customer at the salon that day, Kelly McMahon (no relation), told the Associated Press at the time that she spoke to McMahon and that “he was nothing but a gentleman.”
“He was nothing but a gentleman. He shook my hand three times,” she said. “He showed no signs of coming on to [ the employee ]. He was talking to me. She was trying to interrupt our conversation.”
McMahon denied the allegations through his attorney. The woman reported the incident to the police, however no charges were filed due to a lack of evidence.
“The filing standard for the state is above and beyond a reasonable doubt,” a spokesperson for the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office told The Daily Beast. “Prosecutors have to file at a higher standard, which is proof above a reasonable doubt. It’s a much different standard than probable cause.
“A misdemeanor that is not done in the presence of a law enforcement officer in Florida generally is not a prosecutable case unless there is a independent witnesses and or physical evidence as in photos — that kind of thing.”