Thursday , Jul , 31 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Prosecution in Bryant case to focus on injuries

Eagle, CO (Sports Network) – The prosecution in the sexual assault case against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is expected to focus on injuries sustained by the alleged victim as well as its belief that Bryant gave inconsistent statements to law enforcement officials.

Prosecution in Bryant case to focus on injuries

ABC News is reporting that the All-Star guard and his alleged rape victim engaged in some consensual sexual activity, but that the intercourse that took place was not consensual.

Bryant is being charged with one count of sexual assault. The charge is considered a Class III felony and the penalties range from four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation.

The 24-year-old Bryant was in Colorado for surgery on his right knee at Vail’s Steadman Hawkins Clinic. He was accused of sexually assaulting the 19-year-old woman on June 30th at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in nearby Edwards. The Colorado woman, who worked at the hotel where Bryant checked in, filed a report with Eagle County authorities the following day and the five-time All- Star posted bond on July 4 after turning himself in.

Bryant, who is married and has an infant daughter, admitted to making the mistake of adultery, but insisted the sex was consensual.

The report says that the alleged victim was in Bryant’s room for less than a half hour and that she suffered some physical injuries that Eagle County prosecutors will argue are indicative of sexual assault.

In addition, prosecutors are expected to argue that Bryant attempted to deceive law enforcement officials and that he gave inconsistent statements.

Bryant is due to appear in court on August 6 at which time he will be formally advised of the charge against him. Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett agreed Wednesday to allow cameras in the courtroom for the hearing, but issued a warning to reporters that they may not get a seat in his courtroom if they publish the name or photograph of the alleged victim.

Bryant was the NBA’s second-leading scorer last season, averaging a career- high 30 points to go along with 6.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists. He has won three world championships with the Lakers.