Kobe Bryant's accuser testified in a courtroom in Eagle on Wednesday as part of a pre-trial hearing. It was the first time the woman has faced the NBA star since last June. That’s when she claims he sexually assaulted her at a mountain resort near Edwards.
The woman’s statements were made behind closed doors. She was expected to testify in detail about her sexual history to determine whether those details can be introduced at
Bryant says the two had consensual sex. He is charged with sexual assault for his encounter with the former Edwards lodge worker last year. The judge decided to allow the questioning behind closed doors---but will then decide whether any of the information can be used in court.
Bryant’s lawyers say details about the accuser's sex life should be available at trial to show she had an alleged scheme to sleep with Bryant. They also say the woman's sexual conduct around the time of the alleged assault should be admitted at trial because it could show that her injuries were caused by another sexual partner. “If that is true, that is behavior inconsistent with a person who has recently been sexually assaulted,” says Larry Pozner, Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
The woman’s attorney calls claims that his client had sex within the 15 hours following the alleged assault, quote, “patently false.”
No word about her testimony, but the 19-year-old woman appeared unshaken during a break from questions about her sex life. Wearing a business suit and escorted by security, she entered the courthouse through a fire exit. But she couldn't avoid a throng of reporters and photographers in the hallway.
Kathy Redmond is founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes. She says she has corresponded with Bryant’s accuser and wants attorneys solely focused on the events of June 30th, 2003. “In this case, we make the victim respond to her sexual history. We don’t even make Kobe respond to his sexual history,” she says.
The case challenges Colorado’s Rape Shield Law, originally drafted to protect victims of sexual assault from undue humiliation and embarrassment. Legal experts say Defense Attorney Pamela Mackey’s line of questioning is intended to cast doubt on the accuser’s credibility.
Timeline of the sexual assault case against Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant:
- June 30: Bryant arrives at Lodge & Spa at Cordillera near Edwards, one day before knee surgery at Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail.
- July 1: A 19-year-old employee tells sheriff's deputies Bryant sexually assaulted her.
- July 2: Sheriff's deputies take Bryant to hospital for tests.
- July 4: Sheriff Joe Hoy issues arrest warrant for Bryant, who has returned to California. Bryant flies back to Eagle County, surrenders and is released after posting $25,000 bond.
- July 18: District Attorney Mark Hurlbert files single count of felony sexual assault. Bryant says he committed adultery but is innocent of assault.
- Aug. 6: Bryant makes initial court appearance.
- Sept. 2: Iowa college student John Roche, 22, pleads innocent in federal court to leaving death threat on accuser's answering machine.
- Sept. 2: Prosecutors reveal Bryant's attorneys have subpoenaed a Colorado hospital to see his accuser's medical records.
- Sept. 18: Swiss man Patrick Graber, 31, arrested in California for investigation of soliciting the murder of Bryant's accuser.
- Oct. 2: Judge says the woman does not have to testify at preliminary hearing and denies defense requests to see her medical records.
- Oct. 9: Preliminary hearing begins, ends Oct. 15.
- Oct. 20: Judge rules Bryant must stand trial.
- Nov. 13: Bryant makes first appearance before trial judge, puts off formal plea.
- Dec. 19: Bryant appears before trial judge at evidentiary hearing.
- Jan. 23: Bryant appears before trial judge at evidentiary hearing. Roche pleads guilty to making telephone threat against Bryant's accuser, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at June 4 sentencing.
- Jan. 29: NBA fans select Bryant as All-Star Game starter.
- Feb. 1: Citing illness, Bryant skips first day of two-day evidentiary hearing. Returns the next day.
- Feb. 26: Cedric Augustine, 37, of Long Beach, Calif., accused of making profanity-laced death threats against Bryant's accuser and the prosecutor.
- March 1-2: Bryant appears for evidentiary hearing. Defense attorneys say accuser had sex with someone else less than 15 hours
after her alleged assault. Her attorney denies the claim.
- March 24: Bryant's 19-year-old accuser faces Bryant for first time since incident, testifies for three hours behind closed doors about her sexual history. Defense says details may prove she was injured during sex with someone else the week of the incident.