J. Pat Carter / AP file
Stephen "The Rifleman
On trial for murder and racketeering, James "Whitey" Bulger faced a new accusation Tuesday — that he took a 16-year-old lover to Mexico.
The claim was lodged by Bulger's ex-partner, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, while he was being hammered by a defense lawyer for his own sexual relationship with an 18-year-old who called him "Daddy" growing up.
"You want to talk about pedophilia, right over there at that table," Flemmi said, pointing to Bulger in the courtroom, according to the Boston Globe.
"He had a young girl, 16 years old," Flemmi charged. "He took her to Mexico."
Bulger — who spent 16 years on the lam as one of America's most-wanted and was an inspiration for the Jack Nicholson movie "The Departed" — did not appear to react to Flemmi's allegation.
It came as defense lawyer Henry Brennan fired question after question at Flemmi about the life and death of Deborah Hussey, the daughter of his longtime girlfriend.
Flemmi admitted that he engaged in sexual contact with Hussey twice when she was about 18 years old. Some eight years later, he said, he lured her to her death — after taking her shopping.
"She wasn't aware she was going to be killed," Flemmi testified, according to the Globe.
Bulger, then the fearsome head of the South Boston's Winter Hill Gang, allegedly wanted Hussey dead because she was using drugs, getting into trouble and throwing his name around.
Flemmi said he reluctantly agreed and brought Hussey to a Boston house where Bulger strangled her. He denied Brennan's accusation that he choked the life out of a young woman who was essentially his stepdaughter.
"I didn't kill her but I agreed with it," Flemmi said. "There's never any justification for murder ... I agreed because I was coerced into it."
“He could have prevented it," Flemmi, 79, said of Bulger. "All he had to do was say pass ... and I would have been so happy.’’
The defense lawyer grilled Flemmi about how he used pliers to pull out Hussey's teeth after she was dead to make sure she couldn't be identified. Flemmi — who is serving life for 10 murders — refused to look at a photo of her skull.
Flemmi, who escaped the death penalty under his cooperation agreement, is one of the prosecution's star witnesses and the defense is anxious to destroy his credibility.
Bulger has pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment that includes 19 murders and a raft of other crimes, but it's thought that he's particularly eager to distance himself from the strangulation of Hussey and Flemmi's girlfriend, Debra Davis, 26.
He also bristles at any suggestion that he was an FBI informant before becoming a fugitive, even cursing out witnesses who have called him a rat on the stand.
Reuters contributed to this story.
First published July 23 2013, 10:58 AM