Latest Week of Scott Peterson Trial Focuses on His Mistress

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 5, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Latest Week of Scott Peterson Trial Focuses on His Mistress

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
July 5, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — The woman who introduced Scott Peterson to his mistress took the stand in Peterson’s double-murder trial Wednesday. The prosecution is using her account of Peterson’s behavior to bolster their case that Peterson’s affair was his motive for killing his pregnant wife, Laci.

"Scott acted like he wasn’t married," said Shawn Sibley, whom Peterson met at an agriculture conference in October 2002 at the Disneyland Hotel. Sibley said Peterson had told her he was searching for a long-term relationship, and repeatedly expressed interest in meeting women.

"He asked what he could write on his name tag to attract women to him that night, and I wrote on the back of it, ‘I’m rich,’" said Sibley.

Sibley also recalled Peterson steering a group dinner conversation toward sex, and asked her intimate questions about her own sex life although “he was kind of joking.”

Sibley and Peterson conversed over drinks until early the next morning, and Peterson never mentioned he was married. He did say he had “lost” his “soulmate” and, despite a number of one-night stands, was unable to find someone like her.

Later, Sibley agreed to introduce Peterson to one of her friends, Fresno massage therapist Amber Frey, on the condition that Peterson would pursue a long-term relationship as Frey had previous bad experiences with men.

"He was very interested in meeting her," Sibley said.

Sibley acknowledged that she knew people at conferences to drink and say stupid things, or even for married men to act idiotic, but she had never known men to lie about being married.

Sibley and Peterson stayed in touch after the conference, and Sibley even babysat for Frey and Peterson’s first date in November. Sibley testified that she had to call Frey home from a Radisson hotel the next morning, as Sibley needed to leave for work.

A friend who had applied at Peterson’s company, Tradecorp USA, told Sibley that Peterson was married. Sibley said she “freaked out” at the news and left a message on Peterson’s voicemail on December 6. Peterson called her back the same day, “sobbing hysterically” and telling Sibley that he had been married and his wife died. The phone conversation took place 18 days before Laci disappeared on December 24.

Peterson promised Sibley he would tell Frey, who, along with Sibley did not find out that Peterson was still married until the media reports about Laci’s disappearance three weeks later.

Peterson’s emotional conversation to Sibley about his wife’s death, however, contrasts reports from police and Laci’s family that Peterson showed little emotion following his wife’s disappearance.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos said they did not contest the affair, but the fact that Peterson was unfaithful does not mean he is a killer.

The prosecution has been attempting to put forth a case based on Scott Peterson’s erratic behavior, affair, and alleged secret purchase of a fishing boat that could have been used to dump Laci’s body into the San Francisco Bay.

Geragos has pointed out that the prosecution has no murder weapon, no eyewitnesses, and a case built entirely on circumstantial evidence. He has put forth explanations for Peterson’s strange behavior as well as theories that a satanic cult or men with a tan van abducted Laci on the morning of December 24.

Scott has pleaded innocent to charges that he murdered his wife on Christmas Eve 2002, when she was eight months pregnant, and dumped her body into San Francisco Bay. Her body and that of her son Conner washed up on the California coast in April.

The double murder charges against Peterson have received national attention and spurred the passage of numerous unborn victims laws.

The laws allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill or injure an unborn child in addition to a pregnant woman.

Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha, has become and outspoken advocate of Unborn Victims Laws, both for individual states and the entire nation.

President Bush signed a federal Unborn Victims of Violence Law in March. Rocha had voiced her support of the bill, and had criticized members of the Senate, including presidential hopeful John Kerry, who had stalled and opposed the bill.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 30 states have unborn victims laws, most recently Kentucky and Virginia, and 18 cover mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy. None of those laws has ever been successfully challenged in Court.