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FOX 17 Report Could Have Bearing on Vanderbilt Rape Case - Erika Lathon

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Prosecutors in the Vanderbilt rape case want a defense attorney on the legal team of Brandon Vandenburg disqualified for alleged misconduct. In court on Friday, they pointed to comments he made during a FOX 17 News interview, but Vandenburg told a judge he stands by his counsel, California defense attorney Albert Perez Jr.

In his first appearance in open court, Vandenburg assured the judge in the case that he wants for Perez to remain on his legal team.

Prosecutors have been trying for months to get Perez disqualified, alleging he tampered with evidence. On Friday, they again accused Perez of misconduct for having made harsh comments against Assistant District Attorney Tom Thurman during a FOX 17 News interview in January. In the interview, while responding to the allegations of evidence tampering, Perez said of Thurman: "He's a liar he's 100 percent lying about this, and I wish he was here today. We came ready for his accusations, and he's not here.

RELATED: Defense Attorneys Have Harsh Words for Prosecution in Vanderbilt Rape Case

The Vandenburg defense team wants the interview sealed, so it doesn't come up at trial. Nonetheless, Perez on Friday stood by his comments.

"It's absolutely not true, he said. It's made up it's made up to divert the defense of Mr. Vandenburg, they're focused on me, and it's absolutely made up."

A judge will rule on whether or not Perez will remain on Vandenburgs defense team. His lawyers have also filed a motion to have the entire case dismissed.

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