Sexual Assault Allegations Lawyer Washington DC
In July 2003, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was arrested by the sheriff’s office in Eagle, Colorado in connection with sexual assault allegations made by a 19-year-old desk clerk at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. The hoopster was in town for a surgery that was to be scheduled on July 2. The woman accused Bryant of raping her in his hotel room on July 1, the night before the surgery.
During his initial interview with investigators, Bryant told police that he did not have sexual intercourse with his accuser. However, once officers told Bryant that the woman had taken a physical exam that yielded physical evidence, he admitted he had intercourse with her, but claimed that the it was consensual.
Law enforcement officials collected evidence from Bryant after he agreed to do a rape kit test and a voluntary lie detector test. On July 4, Sheriff Joe Hoy issued an arrest warrant for Bryant, who flew back from Los Angeles to Eagle to surrender himself. He was immediately released on $25,000 bond. Two days later, the arrest went public.
On July 18, 2003, the Eagle County District Attorney’s office filed a formal charge against Bryant for sexual assault, which, if convicted, carried a sentence of probation to life in prison.
After being formally charged, Bryant held a tear-filled news conference, in which he denied that he had raped his accuser, but admitted to cheating on wife Vanessa.
During the pre-trial hearings, the prosecution accused Bryant’s defense team of attacking the accuser’s credibility after it was revealed that she had worn underwear containing another man’s semen and pubic hair to the rape exam the day after the alleged incident. The woman told investigators that she’d grabbed a pair of dirty underwear mistakenly before she left home.
During the hearings, Trina McKay, the resort’s night auditor, said she saw the woman as she was leaving to go home, and said, “she did not look or sound as if there had been any problem.” Meanwhile, Bobby Pietrack, the woman’s high school friend and a bellman at the resort, said she was very upset and she “told me that Kobe Bryant had forced sex with her.”
Prior to trial, Much was made of the accuser’s past in hearings and in headlines. Additionally, sealed information about Bryant’s accuser, namely that she was suing the sports star, was accidentally released before the trial.
Eventually, on September 1, 2004 Eagle County District Judge Terry Ruckriegle dismissed the charges against Bryant because the woman became unwilling to testify.
“The victim has informed us, after much of her own labored deliberation, that she does not want to proceed with this trial,” District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said at the time. “For this reason, and this reason only, the case is being dismissed.”
Prosecutors had spent more than $200,000 preparing for trial.
Following the dismissal, Bryant said in a statement read in court by his lawyer Pamela Mackey, “Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter. I issue this statement today fully aware that while one part of this case ends today, another remains. I understand that the civil case against me will go forward.”
After the dismissal of the criminal, the two sides ultimately settled their civil suit with specific terms undisclosed to the public.
One year after the allegations came to light, Bryant signed a seven-year, $136 million contract and gained back his endorsements from Nike, Spalding, and Coca-Cola. He was named the NBA’s MVP in 2008 and the Finals’ MVP in 2009 and 2010.