Wash. woman who alleged rape against David Copperfield drops lawsuit

SEATTLE -- A woman who accused David Copperfield of luring her to his private island in the Bahamas and raping her -- and who was later charged with fabricating sexual assault claims against another man -- dropped her federal lawsuit against the magician Tuesday.

Attorneys for model and waitress Lacey Carroll announced her decision in a news release.

"It has never been about money," Carroll said in the statement. "I just wanted him held accountable for what he did."

The Associated Press does not typically name people who may be victims of sexual assault, but in this case, Carroll's lawyers identified her in the news release with her consent.

Carroll claimed Copperfield pulled her out of the crowd during a show in Kennewick, in southeastern Washington. She was later invited to visit his island in July 2007. The trip was supposed to lead to possible modeling gigs doing promotional brochures or other materials for Copperfield, she claimed, but Copperfield forced her to perform sex acts instead.

The FBI and federal prosecutors spent more than two years investigating the allegations and even searched Copperfield's Las Vegas warehouse but closed the case early this year without filing criminal charges and without explaining the decision.

Carroll filed her civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle seeking damages from Copperfield last July.

On Monday, Carroll's lawyers filed sealed documents in the case that include statements witnesses gave to the FBI. In the news release Tuesday, they urged reporters to seek to have such documents unsealed.

Copperfield insisted her allegations amounted to an extortion attempt. His lawyers said that view was vindicated when Carroll was charged with making a false sexual assault claim against another man in Bellevue, Wash., late last year.

In that case, police said, Carroll reported she was sexually assaulted by a man who was a customer at the restaurant where she worked. She told police she may have been drugged and woke up in a hotel room to find the man on top of her.

As Carroll left the hotel room and began telling hotel staff she had been taken advantage of, the man called police and reported he was being extorted, according to Bellevue Police Department records. Carroll had left the room and made up the story after he refused to pay her $2,000 for sex, he said.

A woman who was with the pair earlier in the night said Carroll had been sexually aggressive with the man, and hotel surveillance video showed them hugging and kissing in the lobby, police said.

Carroll has pleaded not guilty to charges of prostitution and filing a false police report in the Bellevue case.

Angelo Calfo, a lawyer for Copperfield in Seattle, said his client did not have any immediate statement Tuesday. Calfo noted that the case was not settled and that Copperfield paid Carroll no money.