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: