Bryant's Accuser Files Civil Lawsuit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The 20-year-old woman who's accused Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant of rape has filed a civil lawsuit against him in Denver federal court.

The suit, filed Tuesday, seeks unspecified damages for pain, suffering and “public scorn, hatred and ridicule.” It also asks for a jury trial and at least $75,000 dollars in compensatory damages, with punitive damages to be determined later. The filing backs up a threat the woman's attorneys made a week ago.

A criminal case requires a higher standard of proof to convict, and punishment can involve prison time. A civil case has a lower standard of proof, and punishment is usually a monetary award.

Prosecutors say the filing changes nothing for them. Prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan says the district attorney's office is still moving forward with its criminal case against Bryant.

The 25-year-old Bryant has pleaded innocent to felony sexual assault. Jury selection in his trial is scheduled to begin August 27th.

Timeline of the sexual assault case against Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant:

  • June 30, 2003: Bryant arrives at Lodge & Spa at Cordillera near Edwards, Colo., 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: The woman and Bryant are taken separately to a hospital for examinations.
  • July 4: Sheriff Joe Hoy issues arrest warrant for Bryant, who had 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.
  • Jan. 23, 2004: 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. 2: Citing illness, Bryant skips first day of two-day evidentiary hearing.
  • March 1-2: Defense attorneys say accuser had sex with someone else less than 15 hours after her alleged assault. Her attorney denies the claim.
  • March 24: The 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.
  • March 25: Bryant's accuser asks judge to set trial date. In letter, her mother says she fears for daughter's safety because of death threats.
  • April 26-28: Several witnesses questioned behind closed doors on the relevancy of the alleged victim's sexual history and on a defense attempt to suppress certain evidence.
  • May 10: Accuser makes surprise appearance to watch pretrial hearing.
  • May 11: Bryant pleads not guilty.
  • May 27: The judge orders AT&T Wireless Communications Inc. to turn over records of cell-phone text messages sent between the accuser, a former boyfriend and another unidentified person within hours of the alleged attack.
  • June 1: The judge prohibits use of term “victim” at trial, agreeing with defense arguments that the term implies guilt.
  • June 10: The judge rejects a defense bid to overturn the state's rape shield law, saying it can be applied constitutionally in the case. He later rejects defense request to instruct jurors that investigators failed to gather evidence that could have suggested Bryant is innocent.
  • June 25: Judge schedules jury selection to begin Aug. 27; court reporter accidentally releases transcripts of closed-door hearing to news organizations and judge issues order threatening contempt of court for any that publish the details.
  • June 30: DA Hurlbert announces he will not take a lead role for the prosecution during the trial, citing responsibility to oversee other cases.
  • July 8: Attorney for alleged victim hires Lin Wood, a libel attorney who has defended the parents of slain 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey.
  • July 9: Graber, accused of offering to kill accuser for $3 million, sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to reduced charges.
  • July 13: Accuser's attorney asks judge to halt Internet posting of court filings.
  • July 14: Judge rules that prosecutors can use certain evidence collected from Bryant, including his statements to investigators and bloodstained T-shirt. Bars evidence collected from Bryant at hospital.
  • July 16: Roche sentenced to four months in prison for threatening accuser. Jury summonses sent to 999 Eagle County residents.
  • July 19: Colorado Supreme Court upholds judge in barring media from reporting details from transcript of closed-door hearing. Groups take case to U.S. Supreme Court.
  • July 23: Trial judge says information about the accuser's sexual activities in the 72 hours before her hospital exam can be admitted as evidence.
  • Aug. 10: Accuser files civil lawsuit against Bryant in federal court, seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering and “public scorn, hatred and ridicule.”


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