Mary Gorman trial: Wife could face 11 years in US jail after toilet ‘sex act’

MARY Gorman, the wife of Gadget Shop tycoon Chris Gorman, is preparing to face trial over an alleged incident in a Florida nightclub toilet, after a deal that would have kept her out of prison was rejected by a judge.

Mrs Gorman, from Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, had agreed to carry out 100 hours of community service to avoid facing charges of cocaine possession and assaulting a police officer.

However, on Thursday, the 34-year-old mother of four found out that the deal, known in the United States as pre-trial diversion, had been thrown out by the state attorney’s office.

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It means Mrs Gorman must appear in court to answer claims that she assaulted a police officer after she was reportedly caught carrying out a sex act with a mystery man in a Florida nightclub toilet.

She could face up to 11 years in jail if convicted.

A source close to Mrs Gorman told The Scotsman: “The preparations for the pre-trial diversion were at a very advanced stage. It had been agreed. They can change their mind, but it came as a surprise.”

Herlawyer, Mark Horwitz, said: “I’m disappointed that the pre-trial diversion programme, which was previously agreed upon, is no longer moving forward. We will now commence a vigorous defence of this case and are confident of a successful outcome.”

Danielle Tavernier, spokesman for the Orange County state attorney’s office, confirmed that Mrs Gorman was not being allowed to enter the pre-diversion programme.

“The pre-trial diversion that was agreed will not happen and there will be a trial on a date that has yet to be set.

“We’re still trying to find out why it happened, [but] we’ve got to assume it’s because of the level of violence that was used.”

District judge Mike Murphy has not given any reasons for rejecting the deal, but legal experts said when it was announced last month that Mrs Gorman was “very lucky” to have been granted it because the charges involved assault on a police officer.

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Ms Tavernier told The Scotsman that she expected that a hearing scheduled before Judge Murphy for next Tuesday to set a trial date would be postponed.

“There is not requirement for Mrs Gorman to attend the pre-trial conference, and at this stage there is no way of knowing when the trial might be,” she said. “It’s up to the judge after hearing representations from prosecution and defence counsel.”

Mrs Gorman was arrested in August last year after the alleged incident in the toilet of the Roxy nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where the Gormans had been attending a hip-hop night. She is accused of assaulting a police officer trying to eject her from the club and was allegedly found in possession of a small amount of cocaine.

She is not facing any charges over the alleged sex act. Her husband, who was reportedly in the toilet cubicle at the time, was initial arrested on suspicion of interfering with the arrest, but he was never charged.

Mrs Gorman and her 44-year-old husband are reported to have an estimated fortune of £45 million.

Late last year, she spoke of her relief that she was to avoid the threat of a criminal trial.

She said at the time: “Living under the shadow of this incident has placed our family under considerable strain and so I am very encouraged that a resolution has been agreed.”

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“We fully agree with our lawyer and the state prosecutor’s office that this is the most suitable way to deal with the matter and look forward to agreeing the details in the new year.”