Wednesday , Aug , 25 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

DNA evidence in Kobe Bryant case may have been contaminated

Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Prosecutors in the sexual assault case involving
NBA star Kobe Bryant said in a court filing released Wednesday that key DNA
evidence tested by defense experts may have been contaminated.

The prosecution said it had found contamination in DNA “control” samples
intended to guarantee that testing was accurate. In addition, prosecutors
claim data from the defense experts appears to have been tampered with.

The prosecution wants Bryant’s attorneys to prove the accuracy of the evidence
to be presented at the trial by the defense experts and have asked the judge
in the case to conduct a hearing on Thursday.

The DNA material is crucial to the defense’s efforts to weaken the credibility
of the accuser. The evidence suggests that the alleged victim engaged in
sexual activity after her encounter with Bryant and prior to her hospital exam
the next day.

Bryant, who recently turned 26, is accused of sexually assaulting a then 19-
year-old woman more than a year ago at a Colorado resort, a Class 3 felony
with penalties ranging from four years to life in prison or 20 years to life
on probation.

The Los Angeles Lakers guard, who was in Colorado for surgery on his right
knee at the time of the alleged assault, claimed the two had consensual sex.

Jury selection is set to begin this Friday.

LAL